My name is Janeil Pierre, I am an aspiring AFC and this is my personal finance story…
I was born and raised on a tiny island in the Caribbean by the name of Trinidad. I was the first of 3 children and my mom was a single parent. Growing up it was always evident that we didn’t have enough money even though my mom was doing her entire best. I knew back then that I didn’t want us to always live that way, so I pledged to study hard, get a good paying job, and take care of my mother.
At 16, I graduated high school and migrated to the United States that same month; however, it would be years before I was in a position to take care of my mom. After leaving my grandmother’s home in Maryland at 19, I moved to New York, and it was a struggle. But struggling to make it was what gave me the tools I needed to jumpstart my relationship with money. I made very little money, so I lived off of very little money. I was careful to not take on any debt in the form of loans or credit cards, and I budgeted every single paycheck down to the last penny. I shopped only when I needed to, and I was sure to have a list of the items I needed before leaving the house. At that time, living like that was so frustrating, but looking back, I don’t regret it one bit.
At 27, I still wasn’t near where I wanted to be in life financially and I felt the urge to do something that was so much bigger than me. So, without thorough thought, I signed up for the military – the Army to be exact! Once I got to my first unit in early 2012, I realized that a lot of my new buddies weren’t really as knowledgeable in the personal finance department as I was. They were making huge money mistakes, they weren’t using any type of budget, and they typically didn’t know a lot about credit. Now all the years I spent struggling, researching, learning, and practicing all that I can to better myself, I was able to use it to help others. It was such an amazing feat to help others and see their excitement when things started falling into place for them. Needless to say, that ignited a new passion in me to help others achieve their financial goals, all while perfecting my own.
I am now in a position to not only help take care of my mom, but to also help others, and there is no greater feeling than that! I love everything about personal finance and my dream is to continue to help others enjoy some of the same successes I have by being financially literate, responsible, and disciplined.