I've mentioned before that every single woman that I highlight on this platform has inspired me one way or another. I've known Edyth since college and one thing about her is that she's relentless. When she puts her mind to something, she will do it. Read more of some of Edyths' practical steps that she took to pay off debt. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!
Name: Edyth Adedeji
Based In: New York City, NY
#MadeInNigeria: Lagos, Nigeria
Tell me a little bit about your educational/career path?
I studied information systems in undergrad and worked in consulting for about 5 years. After 5 years of being on the road practically every week, I decided to get my MBA with a concentration in Finance and from then on started working in Finance in the airline industry. After 3 years in Finance, one of my mentors mentioned that I should explore Sales because he thought I had the personality and skill set for it. I was skeptical but after networking with some of our Sales leaders, I fell in love with the division and jumped on the opportunity when a great role opened up. Today, I am a district sales manager in New York.
You love helping people get out of debt, why are you interested in this? What inspired you to start?
If you are like most people, you were never thought how to manage money and your experience of managing money probably started when you moved away for college because you had to pay rent, buy books and for the first time in your life, feed yourself. At the same time, this is when most of us discovered credit cards and student loans.
Post my MBA, I moved to Atlanta and then I met a couple around my age who mentioned they had paid off their mortgage and they literally had no debt in their name. I thought for sure they were making it up. After all, everyone had a 30 year mortgage right? So they shared information about Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and I decided to take the class. And I can say that this class definitely changed my life.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get out of debt?
1) 1st take stock of everything and everyone you owe money to, sort these in order of smallest to largest balance and identify the due dates of all your bills.
2) Then create a thorough budget per pay check that includes your living expenses and the minimum payment for every bill you have. Be sure to assign every dollar to a budget line item - this includes gifts and events. If you are a person of faith be sure to include your tithes/offerings to your budget.
3) Do a reality check on your budget to make sure you are not overspending in any area - For example is your eating out allocation too high? Do you need cable if you watch TV one hour a week? If you have an accountability partner, have them review your budget with you as well.
4) Once you have paid for your living expenses and have paid minimum on all of your bills, apply all the left over funds to your lowest balance bill. This way you are attacking your lowest balance bill with all the funds you have left over and you can make a major dent in the principal.
5) If you are a fan of excel, you can duplicate your budget so you have a full year's financial plan.
I asked Edyth if this was a difficult change and she said don't think about it all at once. Have a goal and a time frame. For example, for your 2018 birthday, have a goal to have something paid off AND reward yourself when you meet that goal (withing budget of course!).
If a little girl walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
For children, I will say, make sure you start saving early!!! Never spend more than you make and make sure you give to those that are less fortunate than you are.
Read: The Richest Man in Babylon - there is a kids "story" version out there.
What words/quotes do you live by?
Honestly there are so many but a few financial quotes
1) Never invest in anything you don’t understand - The Richest Man in Babylon
2) Never spend more than you earn - The Richest Man in Babylon. Sounds like common sense but somehow we supplement our income with our credit cards. Remember when you can’t pay cash for an item, you can’t afford that item
3) You can’t win a war by divvying up your soldiers to many different battles - Focus on one at a time (I honestly cannot remember where this one is from - I think from Machiavelli's The Prince)
Anything else you would like to add?
- Imagine what your life would be like if you've paid off all of your credit cards, student loans, and mortgage. A life where every dollar you earn is not being pulled to bills or interest rates. What would you do with your life? How much can you give to those that need it? When you realize that you work too hard to be paying interests for the rest of your life, I hope this wakes you up to do something about your financial situation.
- Don't Stress.. Make a realistic plan and stick to it. You too can get out of debt!
- If you can, take Financial Peace University. It covers so much more than the get out of debt. It includes so much more like - planning for retirement, saving for college, what to think about when you want to buy a house, and insurances - life and health. The beauty of this program is that it teaches in very simple terms so that everyone can learn and apply them.
"Wisdom is sweeter when shared" ...Are you ready? Plan, Set A Goal, Focus!! - Thank you, Edyth!