THE PENNY PINCHING BOSS
MY NAME IS TAREKA PEARSON,
but as a financial coach and educator I am known as “The Penny Pinching Boss”. I may not look like it, but I am a financial, rock bottom survivor.
I know everyone's financial rock bottom looks differently so I am going to share some details about what mine looked like. At the time, I was an unmarried mother to a toddler. I was working multiple jobs that paid me enough so I didn't qualify for EBT (I have received the benefit in the past), but I could get Medicaid for my daughter. Oftentimes I was not even making it paycheck-to-paycheck and it was not because I was out here buying ridiculous things rather it was that I had an income problem and expenses that I honestly could not reduce such as daycare and my car payment.
I'm sure many of you have experienced or are currently experiencing the stress that comes with financial burden. I definitely had tons of it prior to hitting my financial rock bottom. My rock bottom came when I got up one morning and my car was not outside. I was really upset because I had talked to my lender and told them that I would be making a payment on the very day they came and got my car; I'm assuming in the wee hours of the morning.
I was really upset because I had over 2 years of great payment history and then I had a moment where I lost my job and then my daughter was born so I was struggling to get back to where I used to be. When my car was repossessed, I was in the last year of paying on it and just 5 months away from getting my tax refund and I was going to pay the car off after receiving it.
I remember trying to negotiate with the lenders to give them $3,000 (a family member was lending it to me) and letting them know I would take care of the remaining balance within 5 months, but they would not budge. I ugly cried because it was nothing that I could do about it and I needed a vehicle. After I cried, I suddenly felt a sense of peace come over me and I accepted the fact that my car was gone.
It was a struggle to not dwell on what all I had invested into it or how people would perceive me getting my car repossessed. Experiencing that financial ROCK bottom was pivotal in redirecting my financial journey. I told myself that I would never be a slave to a lender again (yes, I still have debt) and I wanted to make sure I was in a position to have an emergency fund because my daughter needed me to be whole and stress-free.
Did things change for me financially overnight? Of course not, but I can look back today and see how far I have come.