Finding Financial Confidence by Paying Off Debt

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*This is a sponsored post by Sun Trust Bank; all opinions are my own.

Debt. We all have it. Some of us have more of it than others. Regardless, paying it off is something we all have to do. When you’re a recent college graduate, much of that debt comes in the form of student loans. While you’re still busy celebrating your achievements, the loan companies have already sent you your first payment notice.

I remember going through that process. When the stress of college was done, the stress of finding a job and paying off student loans took over. It felt like it was going to take forever to pay off all of that debt. My parents told me to make the payments on time and gradually it would be paid off. So, that’s why I did…for ten years. The day I mailed my last payment was almost as gratifying as the day I received my degree. I felt like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt confident that if I put my mind to doing something, it would get done, no matter how long it took.

Paying off student loans or any debt for that matter shows you have the confidence and ability to make sound financial decisions. This financial confidence was something that I learned over time, and am probably still learning today. As life shifted from paying student loans to supporting a family, I started thinking about financing my children’s education. This means having the financial confidence to start saving for them at a young age. With the skyrocketing cost of a college education, many of us (myself included) won’t be able to save enough to cover it all, but at least we are doing something to help our children as they get older. This is not something that comes easy with all the curveballs life throws at you.

That’s why you should think of saving like paying off a debt that you receive a bill for each month. You would do everything you could to pay it on-time consistently, right? Well, the same should be said for saving. Even if you can only put away $50 a month, at least it’s something. Over time this will add up if you’re saving for your children’s education. As your children get older, you can have them join in the process. Perhaps you take half of their birthday and holiday money and tell them they need to save it. This helps to teach them financial responsibility as they get older. It’s never too early to start building financial confidence.

Sun Trust Bank is also working to build financial confidence with its onUp Movement. This movement is aimed at inspiring us all to take steps to find our own financial confidence. You can take a mental wealth quiz to see where your financial stability lies and check out money management tips. You can also share these with your family to build financial confidence as a unit. Raising awareness of family expenses and the family budget is a good way to get everyone on board with becoming more financially fit. Let 2017 be the year your family regains its financial confidence!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.