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My Financial Bounceback | Paradigm Money
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My Financial Bounceback!

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They say that experience is the best teacher. When it comes to credit, that’s been true for me.

Today, I’m an established banking professional and personal finance expert who understands credit and how it works. And while my business experience has developed this knowledge, my personal struggles with credit early on help to remind me how painful it feels to face credit problems.

An Unwise Decision

At 18 years of age and still living with my mother in a small two-bedroom apartment, I used credit irresponsibly. Since I didn’t learn about credit or personal finance in school, I treated credit cards as if they were free money. My credit score and ability to obtain credit plummeted when I purchased things that I really didn’t need – and couldn’t afford.

Big Spender

My first blunder was buying a 40-inch TV and a DVD player with surround sound (back when DVD players were new and expensive) all on credit and with no plan for paying it back. Let’s just say that I used this setup to entertain my friends in my way-too-small bedroom in my mother’s way-too-small apartment. The irresponsibility cost me dearly. By 21, my credit was shot – so much so that I couldn’t even get approved for a department store credit card. My first car had to be leased in the name of my girlfriend (who, by the way, is now my wife). And when it was time to get an apartment, we had to leave my name off the application so we wouldn’t get declined.

Turning it Around

After the embarrassment that came along with not having good credit (and with pressure from my wife), I knew I had to make big changes. By changing how I dealt with my debt, I became a homeowner by 25 and was finally able to obtain financing for a car on my own, get a major credit card with a high limit, and begin receiving daily credit offers.

By using secure credit cards, keeping my credit card balances low, and focusing on paying my bills on time, I was able to rebound from my earlier mistakes. I also made sure to not close any credit card accounts that had a good history, and I applied for additional credit only as I needed it. I saw a big jump in my score and found myself on a path to financial freedom. This financial bounceback has kept me financially and emotionally motivated!

Have you ever experienced a financial “L” (loss) that you had to bounce back from?

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Top Ten Freshman Money Myths

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Starting college is one of the most important and exciting times of your life. Now that you’re all “checked-in,” enjoy your college experience without worrying about where your next meal will come from by chasing away these common freshman money myths. (more…)

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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Do What You Love for Free – Here’s Why

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This is ParadigmMoney.Com, right? So, speaking about a paradigm shift should come as no surprise. In science and philosophy, a paradigm is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. When speaking about money, most believe it is something you work for and not something that works for you. In all truth, the one percenters understand this concept quite well. In order, to wake up and do what you love, you too must shift your thoughts when it comes to finances.

Doing what you love for free allows you to create freely. You can come up with disruptive, out of this world, never seen before creations that will rock this planet. Take Elon Musk from South Africa, founder of X.com which went on to become PayPal and sold to eBay for 1.5 billion dollars. Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX which designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. You may say, of course, he can do this, he is a billionaire and co-founder of Tesla.

Not true. PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX are all products of Musk doing what he loved. As a child, he was an avid reader and taught himself computer programming leading to the creation of X.com. He dropped out of college to start a company with his brother and here’s what he had to say about that PayPal deal… “My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million. I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70m in Tesla, and $10m in Solar City. I had to borrow money for rent.” Elon Musk’s current net worth is estimated to be at about $13.3 billion. No bad at all.

The reality of the matter is the less you are attached to money the more money flows to you. Pay more attention to creating things that move the culture forward. Starting at doing what you love with ultimately position you for financial success and happiness.

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How Much Does College Cost?

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How much does college cost these days? If you’re preparing to go to college and will need to find a way to finance your own education, this is one of the first steps to figure out.  Then you’ll want to find out all of your options and create a plan. Here’s a quick breakdown on the typical cost of college. (more…)

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