My first financial mistake and wake-up call
After landing on US soil at the age of 16, I began navigating life on my own in another country. I got my first credit card and of course I never paid it off for years. I didn’t know better. My wake up call came after I graduated with honors, but I was left with no job, and bills to pay. I settled into a factory job making light fixtures at $10 per hour and created my first budget during that season of my life.
You don’t need a fat salary to create your financial plan. Start where you are. My first budget was handwritten and it was inspired by the world of personal finance bloggers I found at the time. Since I had no one to talk to about my financial situation, those blogs were everything! Those bloggers had circumstances different from mine but I made the best of everything I learnt. I opened my first high yield savings account and remember feeling excited when I saved $1,000.
- After one year as the most educated person on the factory floor (story for another time), I got accepted into a top graduate program on a full scholarship!
- I was able to secure a full time position after my graduate studies and
- I made a 2+ year debt payoff plan andI did it! I finally paid off all my debt about 7 years after I got that first credit card!
However, I didn’t have a community to share this journey with.
I paid off my debt but my money mistakes were far from over. I wasn’t reckless with my finances but silly money mistakes and a healthy dose of plain ignorance had me missing out on simple ways to build wealth.
We need to have more money conversations with our friends and family. The absence of these conversations is costing us!
You don’t have to make the same mistakes
The immigrant journey has its unique set of challenges and my path is one that has been filled with a few of those challenges. A lot of things have not worked out for me, but other things have. My journey navigating the immigrant experience is rich and in parts hilarious. From working in a factory to make ends meet after undergrad to being nominated to represent my firm abroad, it has been one heck of a ride.
Today, I have some bold financial goals for the next decade. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’ve been doing better for a few years. I’ve grown professionally, I have lived and worked on four continents, I’ve been to more than 50 countries, I’m deeply engaged in my community, and I’m now taking on this new project for immigrants, by immigrants. The Rich Immigrant was created with you at the forefront.
Often times, as immigrants we are so thankful to be in whatever space we’re in that we forget to actually occupy that space with all that we are. I believe that we can thrive where we are planted; we just have to do the absolute most with what whatever it is what we have in our hands.
Beyond my professional career and my role here, I’m faith-fueled, and relationship driven. Curious about my travels? Check out my travel blog, and follow along on my personal instagram page here.