In 2010, Amanda from Amanda Abella graduated from Ave Maria University — a small private school on the west coast of Florida.
She studied English literature and knew her employment opportunities were limited. Actually, they didn’t exist. “I spent the previous four years living on the west coast of Florida while attending classes and there was literally nothing jobwise,” says Amanda.
As a result, she moved back home with her parents. They lived in Miami, where Amanda hoped employment opportunities would be more plentiful. “When I moved back to Miami it wasn’t much different,” remembers Amanda. “I believe at the time the local unemployment rate was about 13 percent. I was looking for any legitimate job I could find — administrative, barista, you name it. I really wasn’t picky.”
Amanda’s parents welcomed her home. They were both born in Cuba and loved the family atmosphere. But she felt a bit stressed.
“Culturally speaking, Americans tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to be independent from their families,” says Amanda. “That’s not the case in Cuban culture. But I’m a bit more ‘Americanized,’ so I put pressure on myself.”
With no real job prospects in sight, one day soon after moving home, Amanda Googled “how to write for money.” She found an opportunity at a “content mill” — a company designed to provide cheap website content for other companies or organizations — and signed up.
“I saw they had open assignments for personal finance articles,” says Amanda. “I thought to myself, ‘Well, I know nothing about money. I’m broke and I need money. If I take these assignments, it’ll force me to learn about money which is a basic life skill while I make some.’”
In 2014, after a few years as a successful writer and life skill coach, she believed her career would take shape as a life skill group coach, helping people with finances, and health and career issues. But things quickly changed.
“I interviewed about 100 people (blog readers, colleagues, past and present coaching clients, etc.) and asked them what was on their minds. Everyone had concerns about money and entrepreneurship in the new economy, and it didn’t take me long to realize what people really needed was a manual, not group coaching.”
As a result, Amanda wrote a personal finance book: Make Money Your Honey. It became an Amazon bestseller and she knew for sure that her career path was settled.
After trading emails with Amanda and learning about her story, I asked her for three personal finance tips we could all use in our daily lives. She happily provided them:
- Meditate: It helps you be less reactive and make better decisions. A lot of bad money moves are made because we let emotions take over. Several of my podcast guests – some who are millionaires – have suggested meditation as well.
- Get a basic understanding of personal finances: No matter how much or how little you are earning this is the foundation upon which everything else is built. It’s what gets you in the habit of saving and changing your mindset. If you don’t get this down first, it won’t matter how much you make because you won’t know what to do with it.
- Find ways to earn more money: Once you have the foundation, work on increasing your income. This is what will really move the needle.
Let’s use Amanda’s story as our own personal finance inspiration.