Up until a few years ago, finances and I have had an awkward relationship. Awkward as in, when you see someone you know, but forget their name and its past the point to ask them. Or when you’re in public and you think you see someone you know, yell their name, only to realize it’s not them. Awkward.
Heading into university, I had no savings or really any financial plan to pay for school, I took out a giant student Line of Credit and did not apply to any awards, scholarships or bursaries. After 5 years of school (undergrad and a graduate certificate) plus personal expenses, I was in about $40,000 worth of debt. While I did have debt, I was still extremely fortunate to have my dad help pay for tuition and rent. I know for many people, they were not as lucky, and even 10 years post-university, many people are still struggling to pay off their student loans. For some, this is small and for others this is a massive amount of debt. However, what sucked the most was it took my nearly nine years to pay it off. There were many nights when I would cry myself to sleep; stressed out and panicked about my debt. If you’ve ever been in this place, I’m sure you can understand.
Tolga’s story on the other hand is completely different….finances and he are a match made in heaven. They get one another – similar to finishing one another’s sentences or knowing their partner’s Starbucks order. Tolga sees more than numbers. He can see the story behind the numbers, whereas most people just see digits. This guy can explain finance to anyone; from someone who is financially illiterate to a CEO. Unlike me, Tolga has always respected finances. He was raised to work hard for money and understands it’s a finite resource. You can understand how it would have been a long journey for him when I comes to my relationship with finances.
A reason why we wanted to start this blog was to help people with finances. When we threw out the idea of this blog on Facebook, the response was overwhelming. I am hoping my experience combined with Tolga’s knowledge will bring a balanced point-of-view about the awkward world of personal finance. Let the journey begin!