A personal triumph – one piece of my story

Written by Briana Cavanaugh

October 22, 2010

My work with finances come directly out of my own personal work and struggle with money, relationships, and self-care.

When my son was small, his dad left us and never looked back. We received not a cent of childcare or support and eventually cut off all contact. So I attempted to raise my then 5 year old on my own.

As any single mom will tell you, it’s a lot of work.  But there’s more than that. It’s really expensive and exhausting.  We had to do many, many things in order to get by from going to food banks to being on welfare for a time. We asked for lots of help and worked really hard to create the changes we’ve needed to overcome total and complete poverty.

The other thing that happened is that I went into debt. Credit card debt, debt with friends and family (I don’t know if I’ll ever pay my parents all that they contributed), and student loans.

Last week I started paying on my last credit card and yesterday I finally got my last student loan on a payment schedule. I started out with about $15k in debt and I’m down to about $6k in about 5 years.

There are two reasons to mention this: one, this principles that I’m using, work. I don’t recommend things that I don’t use myself. The other is to dig deeper into releasing the taboo about money. In the US at least, we don’t talk about money – how much we make, how much debt we have, how we feel about money or what we do with – except with a partner or sometimes under duress. I think that’s a mistake.  It’s hard to celebrate successes or have support of community without speaking your truth.

This is my truth. Thank you for listening.

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