Dear eighteen year old Chelsetia, the one who couldn't wait to be on her own and experience what its like to be independent. OH HOW I HATE YOU! I'm just being dramatic, but I made some irrational decisions at this age that actually made me more financially dependent rather than independent. I would purchase MAC cosmetics every week, and then eat ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. I would go on a guilt trip about my purchases and began to think like my mother. The money I was spending was on frivolous things that added no value to my life. I didn't purchase a passport, travel or do anything that invested in myself, but I looked good.
I believe the root to my financial problems was that I was use to being around people who were getting easy money with no 401k plan. Therefore, once again I compared their situation to mine. I was trying to be in competition with someone that lived a totally different lifestyle. My suggestion for any adult is to plan how you spend your money based on how much you make and your primary expenses. I did the opposite and planned my money based on what I seen others had. The Gucci, .... was distracting me from my reality. I'm not saying don't purchase designers, it's just that if rent or mortgage is the same amount as a a purse or shoe then there is a problem. (Unless extra money is just floating in mid air.)
What made me financially responsible is watching how my relatives managed money. Whether it was in a positive or negative way, I was still able to take away some valuable lessons. I then set a long-term goal, that I would break some generational curses. One of the curses that primarily gets in the way of financial independence is fear. I know you're thinking "What does fear have to do with financial independence?" Well, I noticed that alot of my family members let fear get in the way of career decisions, relationships and other opportunities to better themselves.
Then I watched how my mother manage money and was so disturbed that she would hold on to one dollar when she had five hundred in her pocket. However, I was clues-less to how important just one dollar was. If I am short one dollar for rent, my apartment complex will send a polite letter in the middle of the month asking me to attend court for unpaid rent. If I am short a dollar at a store, then the cashier would grab my things faster than I could say " But I ....". The issue is the cost of rent in Washington, D.C area has increased, student loans asks for crazy amounts monthly and my dog Simba always seemed to have a medical emergency. Therefore, I was oblivious to how much every dollar counts as an adult. I started investing in myself by starting this lifestyle blog,adapting to he pescetarian lifestyle, traveling and reading self help books for spiritual growth. The Art of being financially independent is by not to rushing the process, take time to invest the things you want until you make enough to pay for the things you think you need.