How Plastic Window Insulation Brought Me to AFCPE
April 03, 2017
We all love stories. They inspire. They motivate. They connect.
In honor of National Financial Literacy Month, we asked AFCPE professionals to share their stories. To tell us their "Why" - what inspired them to become financial educators, counselors or coaches. Each story is unique, but they all have something in common - the passion to help others achieve lasting financial wellbeing.
Follow along all month long, as we share a new story each day on our blog and our Instagram. Feeling inspired? Share your story! #MyWhy #FLM2017 #ValueofanAFC
The winter of 1997 in Connecticut was cold. It got even colder after I skipped paying my electric bill. Shopping, eating out and dancing with my friends seemed much more important. Or was it?
After hearing that I had no heat, my older brother gave me the best lesson of my life. He didn’t pay my bill. He sent me plastic insulation for my windows to help keep me warm. My family had used plastic on our windows while growing up. But, when you have no electric, you can’t apply the type of insulation he sent. That type required a hairdryer.
The day I received that box of plastic will forever burn in my head. I kept that box as a reminder for almost a decade. It changed my life. It was my personal rock bottom wake up call. I never wanted to be in this place again. So, I made it my mission to learn about money management, opportunity costs, staying out of debt, protecting my assets and planning for the future. I read everything I could get my hands on and put what I learned into practice.
I was in graduate school then and knew that serving others was going to be a part of my life. My road to AFCPE had rest stops at state and private level service positions that ultimately led to my calling, personal finance and financial counseling. The seed was planted the day I received a box of plastic insulation in the mail. In 2012, I received my AFC® certification and as a private practitioner, I am not afraid to share my story. I share to show others that we are all human and we all make mistakes, but goals are achievable!
Theresa Bailey, AFC®, firstname.lastname@example.org