What does it take to go from six figures in debt to complete financial freedom in roughly 4 years? Hustle, a strong work ethic, and changing your mindset around spending. Ava Hasbrook shares a story with her three adopted children.
The following is a letter to my 3 children on how I climbed out of debt and nearly attained Financial Independence.
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Financial Freedom is Obtainable for All 3 of You
To our three smart, loving and beautiful children,
Your dad and I have made every rookie mistake possible when it comes to ﬁnances, and hope this letter will inspire you and others not to do the same.
As you know, we were both raised by single mothers and didn’t live a childhood of luxury. When we ﬁnished our bachelor’s degrees and ﬁnally had decent jobs and credit scores, we purchased everything we never had and ever wanted.
It was justiﬁed by the fact that we “needed” the item. Before we realized it and just one year after graduating, we had way too many loans…
- two automobiles
- a mortgage
- medical debt
- washer and dryer
- a personal loan
- engagement ring
- $10,000 in credit cards
- $3,500 on our bedroom furniture
- $37,000 in school loans
I still think its comical that…My degree is in ﬁnance, yet not one class taught me anything about personal ﬁnance.Click To Tweet
We thought that we were normal and this was the traditional life of modern adults.
We had an extra $900 after paying all the bills each month, so we had to be doing okay…Right? We were so wrong! By our early twenties, we had over $130,000 in consumer debt and another $170,000 on our mortgage.
Your dad and I had good jobs and were making good money, but we couldn’t contribute to our company’s 401k or or build up a savings account. We were drowning and didn’t realize it. After pushing on for a year, I read an article about a couple that retired by 30. I was inspired.
I began researching how to retire early. The most consistent things I read was to have a budget and avoid consumer debt. For the ﬁrst time in my adult life, I went home and sat down with your dad and we drafted our ﬁrst budget.
We began selling and saving everything, working extra shifts, getting better jobs with higher salaries. We were more determined than ever! After 6 months, we had made very noticeable headway and had gotten rid of nearly $40,000 in consumer debt.
This is when the three of you came into our lives. We went to adopt one child and were pleasantly surprised when we were blessed to have all three of you to call our children.
We slowed down our goals, but never lost sight of them. Having children gave us something more important than ﬁnancial freedom, the joy of helping you become successful and happy adults. I want to show the three of you a great example.Set your mind to something and do not stop until it's achieved.Click To Tweet
Situations in life might slow you down but you should never give up.
Our starter home instantly became too small for a family of 5. We sold for a proﬁt and moved into a better school district so each of you could get a great education. We moving into a foreclosed home that we purchased for 20% under market value.
We eventually made a large proﬁt by flipping the property. All the sweat equity your dad and I put in every night and weekend payed off financially.
During this time, Dad stayed home with you to help cope with the adjustment of moving. I ended up changing jobs again for a higher paying one. At this point, we had no car loans and most of our smaller debts were cleared.
I noticed our family and friends spent their bonus and tax return money on various items and fun while ours always went toward debt. There were deﬁnitely times when we wanted to splurge and update the car or buy something nice, we kept our goals in sight. We wanted to become debt free and achieve Financial Independence.
You may have noticed us hustling during this time.
To pay off our Debt and achieve Financial Freedom
- Buying 3 foreclosured homes and flipping 2 of them
- Moved from California to New Mexico and reduce cost of living
- Hosted an Airbnb for 3 years
- Changed jobs 5 times between the two of us
- Sold 3 businesses that started and grew organically
The mistakes we made and how we overcame them is why we try to instill upon you the fundamentals of ﬁnancial literacy. This is why we’ve never given you an allowance, but rather payment on work done.
Our family chore charts included a monetary value for each task to teach you that earning money requires effort in one capacity or another. Similar to the RoosterMoney Experiment.
Your dad and I want to teach you everything we wish we knew at your age. Remember when we gave you the grocery register for Christmas and it came with plastic credit cards and play money?
We taught you the difference between a debit card and credit card. We kept trying to teach you at every opportunity. Don’t abuse credit cards the way we did.
Not only have we tried to teach you how to manage money well, we’ve promoted the importance of quality education in a course of study that is marketable in the workplace. Education may land you a great job that is recession proof with determination, a hard work ethic, and appropriate choice of major. I know you can do it!
My dream for you is to do anything and everything you want. Never, for one minute, let your lack of ﬁnancial literacy hold you back.
More importantly, I want you to learn compassion, to give and have the means to do so. Don’t just throw money at some random charity, but invest yourself in the cause. Your dad’s goal is to be able to give an annual scholarship to high school seniors that were in our position.
Those raised by single parents of low income families may have the grades, but not the financing to further their education without massive student loans. My charitable goal is to be able to write a check to pay a single mother’s electric bill and rent for a year.
Unbeknown to the three of you, your dad and I are 3 months away from complete ﬁnancial freedom. It took us 4 years of sacriﬁce, dedication, hard work, and budgeting to get here. We hope to have your college fully funded in the next two years and help start your adult life on the right foot.
We love you more than anything in the world. We want the absolute best for you and hope that you never ﬁnd yourself being strangled by debt.
Mom & Dad
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Ava Hasbrook is a mother of 3 children who has been married for 5 years currently living in New Mexico. Her professional accomplishments include 5 years in banking as well as an MBA. Ava currently works part time as she is spending more time with her kids and working on her next business venture in social media marketing and guiding others to ﬁnancial independence.