Have you ever done something that you weren’t proud of? Or been in such a bad place that you didn’t know how you were going to crawl your way out? I have.
My name is Tahnya Kristina. I am a certified financial planner™, and for a long time I kept a secret that almost cost me more than just the interest charges on my mounting debt.
When I was 25, I graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. I had a full-time job working as a financial advisor at a bank and within just four years I found myself over $50,000 in debt. I couldn’t talk about my debt with my co-workers and family because I was ashamed that—especially given my career choice—I couldn’t manage my money responsibly.
When you are working with money and giving financial advice to clients, it is expected that the financial advisor has a better-than-average financial situation. No one wants to take financial advice from someone who can’t even manage her own money—so I kept my debt a secret.
I became a financial planner because I was fascinated by money. I spent four years of university and two years of additional financial training learning how to advise people to manage their money and achieve their financial dreams; unfortunately I was too naive to take my own advice.
How I Got Into So Much Debt, So Fast
Some people may say I accumulated so much debt in such a short period of time because I was young and didn’t know any better; but the truth is, I did know better. I had a university degree, and every single day I saw the damage that using credit irresponsibly can do to a person’s life, yet I still spent money uncontrollably.
I know you’re wondering why. I wish that I could say that my $50,000 of debt was well spent, but that wouldn’t be true. I started accumulating student loan debt while I was still in university; after I graduated and started working full time at the bank, I also started accumulating credit card debt for no other reason other than I wanted to go shopping. I thought that having a lot of credit made me credit worthy, and to a certain point it did, but it also added the temptation of wanting to spend money on anything and everything.
RELATED: Confessions of a Trust Fund Baby