The Winner of the February 2015 Call to Action!

The Winner of the February 2015 Call to Action!

AmberThis February at LearnVest, love was in the air.

To celebrate, we covered all things love and money: from the good (how to get on the same financial page as your partner) to the bad (why couples stress about money) to the epic money-management battle of the sexes.

And with love on the brain, we simply had to ask in our February Call to Action: What’s the one thing you love about your finances? And how did you come to love it?

We received 80 great responses, from the woman who finally learned how to talk about her debt to the sweet story of the couple who’s working together to secure their financial future. Thank you to everyone who shared!

And congratulations to this month’s winner, who will receive $100 to help her achieve her financial goals: Amber Davis, an IT specialist from Minneapolis!

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Below, check out Amber’s surprising financial love story—and see how she went from stressing about her money to finally feeling in control.

“I absolutely love paying my bills.

My friends think I'm crazy, but it thrills me when it's payday and I can pay all of my bills or look to ensure my automated payments were made.

I did not always feel this way. There was a time when my stomach felt queasy and I wanted to lose myself in anything that would distract me from crushing debt. I struggled and juggled and waited for the brief respite between paying a bill with a late fee and having to pay it again in less than a month. While I could imagine a life being debt-free and wealthy, I never thought I would experience any financial happiness while my debts remained.

One day I sat down and recorded all of my outstanding debts. I then calculated how much I had paid in interest the prior year. Seeing those numbers made me realize how much more money I could save if I paid off my higher interest credit cards and student loans.

I did not immediately know how I would do it, but I started to schedule monthly check-ins during which I reviewed my financial situation, recording what I did and could pay. I picked up more work, and thought even more carefully about where I spent my money.

Eventually, I was able to get my bill payments in control and start chipping away a little bit more at my debt—sometimes even paying extra. Then I bumped my monthly financial check-ins to every other week. I found myself weighing the short-term joys, like going to the movies or eating out, against my long-term goal of being debt-free.

The more I have invested myself in my finances, the more in control I have become. I still have a ton of debt, but now I approach paying it off with excitement and dedication. Because I started automatically saving a little from each paycheck, I also now have an emergency cushion and I am putting away some money for retirement.

I love to pay my bills—I love that I have the money to do so and the knowledge of how to ensure I always can.”

Thanks for sharing, Amber!

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