How A Budget Changed My Life

Testimony from Tshanina of Thrifty T’s Treasures and Murfreesboro’s Treasures

At the age of 15, I received my W-2 from my employer and wondered what I’d done with all the money I had earned that year. (It couldn’t have been more than $2,000 but it was a lot of money to me). I had worked all that time and didn’t have anything to show for it.

I’d heard a lot about this guy called Dave Ramsey and decided to try budgeting. I was hooked and there was no turning back. Every dollar was spent on paper and if I didn’t have the money to pay for it, I wouldn’t buy it. I must say that paying cash for my first car made me appreciate it a lot more (even if it was a Chevette).

After graduation, I saved up enough money to pay my way through cosmetology school. My fellow students teased me because I always brought my lunch and would only buy a treat for myself once a week (that was all that I had in my budget). They would always say that I was going to be a millionaire someday (wouldn’t that be cool?)!

I was married at the young age of 20. We were debt-free, except for our house, and faithfully worked our budget each week.

A few years into our marriage, my husband decided the “grass was greener” on the other side of the road and left me for his girlfriend. I found myself desperately scared because I worked out of our home part-time. How in the world was I going to be able to pay the monthly bills on a part-time salary?

As I walked down that difficult road, I knew that the only way to financially survive was to continue to work my budget as I’d always done. There were many times when I wasn’t able to go out with friends, could only put a few dollars in my gas tank, or couldn’t get a special treat at the grocery store. Looking back, I’m not really sure how my finances survived but God always provided (He’s so faithful).

Had I not started budgeting at a young age, it’s hard to imagine where I would be and what my life would look like. Believe me, sticking to a budget can be extremely difficult, but it’s so worth it in the long-run. As Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else.”

Now at the age of 32 I am remarried and God has given me a wonderful husband. We continue to work our weekly budget and I’m excited to share that we are debt-free, including our home!

Whether you have $2,000 or $200,000, I strongly encourage you to try a budget. It just might change your life; it did mine!

Tshanina Peterson is passionate about helping people save money and blogs at Thrifty T’s Treasures and Murfreesboro’s Treasures. She works as a web designer, loves to laugh, and truly enjoys the simple things of life.

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  1. Lana says

    Our 21 year old daughter has been just like you. She started a budget in a notebook at age 15 too. She is an accounting major going into her senior year and has done a great job of staying out of debt and being responsibloe with her money. She has taken alot of criticism from her college friend when she can’t go to the movies or whatever but has stuck to that budget faithfully. Good for you for hanging in there and I am glad everything has turned out well.

  2. says

    What an encouraging post! Thanks so much for sharing. Times are really rough for us right now but I have faith that we’ll be back on track soon. Budgeting is the only thing we can do right now to survive.

  3. says

    Great story!
    Not many people can say they hopped on the budget train early in life but for the one’s that do they realize just how important every penny is. We were fortunate to learn about money young having a paper route and responsibility was a stepping stone into who we are today.
    Having a budget has saved us so much money and we are now able to pay our mortgage off in only 4 years whilst saving for retirement and no we don’t make 6 figure incomes. I hope our journey inspires as many people as your’s will and that of Money Saving Mom, truly helping others is a blessing as each person teaches me something new. Cheers Mr.CBB

  4. Tina says

    I loved your story Tshanina iits very motivating Thank you so much for sharing .I’m going to give my budget another try .

  5. Heidi says

    Hey! Thanks for sharing:) I grew up in M’boro so I’ll have to share your blog w/ my two sisters who are still there! Blessings to you!

  6. Jessica Tillett says

    Great post! It was cool to see that you live in Murfreesboro, TN. I lived there for about 11 years and now live in Smyrna. Thanks again for the great post! :)

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