How Judy paved her own way toward financial stability.

Name: Judy Young

Occupation: Laughter Coach/Health Educator

I was raised by my grandmother, aunt, and great-grandmother at a time when there was only CASH. If you didn’t have it, you didn’t spend it. When I was 12 years old, we lived with friends for three months while we waited for US Savings Bonds to finish maturing so my aunt could pay CASH for the new home we were forced to build, because the highway took our home. Then the house was finished and ready to move in, and the bank was willing to let us do so for a small interest payment. But my aunt wouldn’t hear of it, stating that you “can’t live in a house that isn’t paid for.”

I married a man who NEVER paid his bills. It was really tough for me. After my divorce, I learned the hard way that I had never been taught how to manage money. I knew absolutely nothing about credit. But, at least I could balance a checkbook. There was one excellent piece of advice a bank vice president gave me (yes, there really were days when you could sit down and talk face to face with your banker!). He said that you shouldn’t carry a checkbook in your purse. Instead, only carry one or two checks in your billfold at a time. Plan ahead, and if you REALLY need more than two checks that day, take ONLY what you need.

I personally have been financially destitute far too many times. The book that changed my financial stability was Suze Orman’s The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom. Suze was a real lifesaver. She was featured on Oprah one day and said, “No matter how broke you are, you CAN GIVE to someone who is less fortunate than you. WOW! That was what I missed most. Helping others. I paid attention and began saving my change that very day. She said NEVER spend your change and you’ll never miss it. Always pull out paper money. Put your change in a jar every night. I went a step further and put a slit in the top of a small sour cream tub and kept it in the car. I never put my loose change in my purse. I keep it in my hand until I get to the car and then dump it in my “Happy” jar. When it gets full, I add it to a larger jar in the house. It never fails when that jar gets full, there is an article in the paper about someone who needs the money more than I do. What a great feeling, plus I believe it sends out positive energy into the universe and comes back to me ten-fold.

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