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Why this blog? Why another personal finance blog?
My name is Nicolette Alger and I started my journey into personal finance when I was newly married, with a bachelor’s degree (in Therapeutic Recreation, about as opposite from finance as you can get) and working full-time at an insurance company. My husband was just starting his undergraduate studies was attending school full-time and working part-time. We had enough to get by, but did silly things like used a credit card, and took out student loans – because doing these things were ‘comfortable’ and let us do things we couldn’t afford. While our situation wasn’t terrible, we certainly didn’t understand much about money, how to grow it, how to live within our means, and how to bless others with it.
Two years after we were married our first daughter was born. What a blessing! And I realized what I had always known-I wanted to be home with her to raise her. But, with my husband in school full-time we weren’t sure how to do it.
Long story short, I began reading every book on personal finance I could get my hands on. I began delving deeper into the world of finance, mortgages, loans, investing, budgeting, and psychological aspects of money. I worked on finding work-from-home jobs and my husband worked on finding flexible, higher paying jobs. In 2010, shortly after my second daughter was born, I began a Masters degree in Family Financial Planning. (My husband told me that as long as I was reading all of those finance books, I might as well get credit and a degree for it! So I did.)
5 years and 2 babies later I graduated with a Masters degree in Family Financial Planning. And, an idea. I realized that there was a population that was underserved when it came to financial education. As an LDS woman myself, I had not been trained in finance. I knew basics from watching my parents, from having an allowance and from being a college student. And luckily, I hadn’t made too many big mistakes.
But, through personal experience I have learned about credit card debt, car loans, building a house, short selling a house, destroying my credit score, building my credit score, budgeting, whittling my expenses down to the bare bones, earning money while being home with my children, paying tithing, having faith, seeing what financial stress does to a marriage, the joy of having enough and the frustration and fear of want and not being able to provide for my children.
While we are still not where we want to be as a family, I have a sound understanding, both of the ‘worldly’ concepts of money, as well as the spiritual concepts of money, and I know how to get where I want to be. Through this blog I seek to educate LDS women about why personal finance is important, how it relates to our spiritual selves, how it can help our families be stronger, and how we can bless others because of it. I will teach financial skills, as well as enlighten readers on the spiritual aspects of finance, wealth and abundance. And, together, we will overcome want, debt, lack and perceived barriers and become abundant, free, create more opportunities and be able to help others and further the kingdom of God.
I hope you will join me on this journey.