Growing up in an upper-middle-class family, I didn’t really pay attention to my family’s finances. My parents were always very financially stable and, within reason, we were able to afford the things I wanted. The ability to afford new clothes, makeup, and fun activities never really crossed my mind. Even though the things we are given in life aren’t all that matter, it’s nice not to have to worry. I knew my parents were more than willing and able to support me. However, the reality of being out on your own and supporting yourself after living at home can be a rude awakening. It can be a particularly tough lesson when it is challenging it is to make ends meet. Budgeting for rent, utilities, and extras on a new teacher salary wasn’t easy. It was one of the biggest challenges of early adulthood.
When I was 21, I applied for and was approved for a credit card. I was so used to being able to buy the things I wanted, I didn’t think much about what a high-interest rate might do to my bank account as well as my credit score. I charged hundreds of dollars on frivolous things that I didn’t actually need. The first month was fine. I used my income to pay my bills and my credit cards to buy all the extras I couldn’t actually afford. The months that followed was when the situation all came crashing down. I suddenly had credit card payments that were nearly half of my income. I had payments that piled up for months and months beyond what I could dig myself out of. I spent the days before my credit card payment was due tossing and turning trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet. I felt lost, confused, and alone.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you pay more than you’re bringing in, you know how hard it can be to finally see the light. For a year or more of my life, I neglected my health and my well-being while I was worrying about getting on top of my finances. I’m not alone. 70% of American’s are stressed about money and a full 32% of adults say their finances keep them from living a healthy lifestyle. My credit card debt had consumed so much of my life, that the thought of affording a copayment for a doctor visit, medication, or even, at times, healthy groceries made me a nervous wreck. Eventually, I faced reality and made a step by step plan to dig myself out from under my payments so I could have the financial freedom to live (and enjoy) my life.
In the thick of a financial mess it can feel like you are all alone and like things will never get better. After working through my own financial difficulties, I’m happy to partner with SunTrust to help others do the same. SunTrust’s onUp movement is here to help you move past your financial stress one step at a time. Using the OnUp platform, you can take quizzes to direct you to customized advice and information about how to get a handle on your finances. You can browse information, checklists, planning guides, and budgeting tools to keep you on your feet while reducing your monthly debt.
With SunTrust’s tools, you can take the steps to become financially stable again and ultimately get your life back. For me, that meant finally being able to save money, pay off my debts, take back control of my health, and splurge responsibly. If you’re ready to follow my lead, visit onUp.com take the pledge and join the movement. Now is the time to get control of your finances and gain financial confidence so you can pursue a life well spent.
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.
The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.
Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.