A woman who found herself broke and in debt after becoming single in her 50s has revealed how she paid off her debts and saved $10k in nine months.
Australian woman Jacqueline said she had never been responsible with money when she was younger, but starting out again by herself at 50 meant she had to take charge of her own finances for the first time in order to pay off her debts.
Just nine months after discovering the online financial education program Mastering Money, Jacqueline had paid off her $10,000 credit card debt and managed to build up $10,000 in savings.
‘Honestly, before doing the course, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to get rid of the debt, let alone become financially secure enough to retire or purchase a property some day,’ Jacqueline told FEMAIL.
‘I was scared it might be too late for me and that those things just wouldn’t be possible.’
Jacqueline added: ‘I’ve never felt as in control of my money as I do now. Now, I’m actually excited about my financial future’.
A woman who found herself broke and in debt after becoming single in her 50s has revealed how she paid off her debts and saved $10k in nine months (Jacqueline pictured)
Just nine months after discovering the online financial education program Mastering Money, Jacqueline had paid off her $10,000 credit card debt and managed to build up $10,000 in savings (founder Paridhi Jain pictured)
Jacqueline stumbled upon SkilledSmart’s online financial education program, Mastering Money, when she knew she needed to do something different in order to save for her future.
SkilledSmart is a financial education platform for adults to learn about money and personal finances founded by Paridhi Jain, after she realised that most Australians couldn’t afford a financial advisor.
The online program Mastering Money covers all foundational financial planning topics including budgeting, investing, superannuation and more.
Jacqueline said at the time, she was working two part-time jobs and felt that she never earned enough to make significant contributions to her savings.
But this all changed when she did the course and started becoming more confident in putting more money towards paying off her debt.
‘One of the things that made a big difference for me was learning the processes and systems to organise my money, track my spending, and get visibility of where all my money was going,’ Jacqueline said.
‘Before, I didn’t feel like I had any control over my money, I didn’t know where it would go. It felt like the money came in and then just disappeared and there never seemed to be much leftover.
‘I remember doing the exercises in the course and seeing for the first time just how much I was spending and where it was all going. It was a bit of a shock.’
She said that with a few mindful tweaks, she was quickly able to make $200 in savings a week.
The three main money lessons Jacqueline has learned
1. Track your expenses and know where your money is going: Jacqueline said her top lesson is that you need to track your expenses in order to see where and how you’re spending. When she started writing down what she was spending, she was able to see where she could make cutbacks, and she soon managed to cut back by $200 a week.
2. Pay yourself first: Jacqueline started ‘paying herself’ first, so she would take out a certain figure per month and divide it into four, and then that was what she had to spend for the week. When that money was gone, that was it. This taught her to manage her money.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Finally, she said she had to get over the fact that she might be embarrassed to ask for help in her 50s. She said she did the Mastering Money course with her eyes wide open and asked questions the entire time, saying that’s the ‘only way you learn’. She said you also have to be open to changing your money mindset, as this is what will give you the ability to save and invest for your future.
Jacqueline (pictured) – who has since bought a car and a holiday – said there are three main lessons she has learned including tracking your spending and paying yourself first
Three months after doing the course, Jacqueline said she had paid off her debt, and then it took another six months to bolster her savings by $10,000.
‘I’ve learned many things from doing the course but there are three main lessons,’ she said.
‘The first is that you have to track your expenses and be clear what you’re spending your money on.
‘That way, you can become mindful of what opportunities there are to cut back or improve your spending habits.’
The second lesson Jacqueline said is that you have to ‘pay yourself’ in order to know exactly how much money you have to play with:
‘From the program, I learned to basically pay myself every week,’ she said.
‘I was like my own employee. Each month I’d take out cash from an ATM and split it into four. Then, that week I would have that money in my wallet and that was what I was allowed to spend. When it was gone, that was it.’
SkilledSmart is a financial education platform for adults to learn about money and personal finances founded by Paridhi Jain (pictured), after she realised that most Australians couldn’t afford a financial advisor
Finally, she said you should never be embarrassed to ask for help or admit you’re a novice, because fears often hold people back from asking for the help they need to understand their finances.
‘Everyone has to start somewhere. You can only move forward from where you are,’ Jacqueline said.
‘I don’t let my age hold me back. I knew I needed the help, so I wasn’t too proud to sign up for a program, or too embarrassed to ask lots of questions. That’s how you learn.’
Now, she continues to live debt-free and save, and has managed to afford a car and a holiday.
‘It can be daunting when you’re older, but I’m amazed at the progress I’ve made in just a few years. It started with a willingness to learn, ask questions, and take one step at a time,’ she said.
Paridhi Jain is the founder of SkilledSmart, an independent financial education platform helping adults learn to save and invest their money.
For more money tips, you can get a free e-book on Five Money Mistakes Costing You Thousands via their website, and follow them on Instagram.
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