Our Journey – Lessons Learned Reaching Our Financial Goals

Our Journey - Lessons Learned Reaching Our Financial Goals | The Loaded Pig

In our early 20s, we learned about the ins and outs of personal finance by taking big life steps, like getting a credit card, opening student loan accounts, buying cars, and purchasing a home. With each new account on our credit reports, we discovered so much about applying for credit accounts and the relationship with your credit score that we didn’t know about before. We learned by doing and not always by doing so well.

Student Loans

My student loans had an interest rate of 8.7%. I didn’t know that was a high interest rate when I was in college, nor did I know that I shouldn’t have waited to start paying off my loans until after I graduated. I didn’t shop around for the lowest interest rate and the best terms that I could find – I applied for financial aid and accepted the loans my school said I qualified for. Looking back after paying them off years ago, I wasted so much money on interest – if only I had known more back then. Lesson learned.

Credit Cards

Luckily, a few years later we were better informed when we got our first credit cards after college. Watching my growing student loan interest, we knew better than to rack up interest on credit card balances. We were able to pay off our credit cards in full each month, sometimes even twice a month to keep our credit utilization low. We knew better than to spend more than we had, but we were still missing out on some credit card perks. A few years later, once our credit scores improved, we were able to get a credit card with better rewards. Cash back from purchases really adds up.

Buying Cars

When we set out to buy our cars, we had learned much more about our credit and how lenders determine credit worthiness. We comparison shopped and we knew how to negotiate the price of the car as well as how to use our high credit scores to get a low interest rate on the loan. We had learned so much in the last few years, but we learned by getting burned before.

Buying A Home

As we went through the process to purchase a home and get a mortgage, there was so much information that we learned online, but not quite enough to prepare us for the stressful process. There were countless guides to home buying and the mortgage process, but it almost seemed like they were written by people who had never bought a home, they just researched it online. What was missing was a touch of personal experience.

Settled in our new home, we reflected back on the grueling process of buying a home with a mortgage. Learn more about the good, the bad, and the ugly of our home buying experience in our article. We ended up with an exceptional interest rate and a low monthly payment, but I was exhausted from talking to our representative every day for 2 months.

We thought back to applying for our first credit cards, paying off student loans and buying our cars. We realized we had amassed a plethora of knowledge about budgeting, credit scores, loans and personal finance in general and we were able to use that to get to a place in our lives where we had reached our financial goal of buying a lovely house in a great area.

So we set out to help others achieve their financial goals as well.

The Loaded Pig

The Loaded Pig Logo | Personal Finance Simplified

Our idea when we started this website was to provide helpful information for people looking to improve their finances or take major life steps, plus to use our experiences to complement the facts. We wanted to be the resource that we were missing when we researched home buying guides, how to improve our credit and how to create a budget.

Now our goal is to achieve financial freedom working for our own company and help others to learn and achieve their goals as well. Many of the articles we write were relevant for us at one point in our lives or were relevant to our family or friends.

We were very fortunate to have received guidance and endless support from our family. Everyone is dealt a different set of cards. The point is learning how to use your cards and your resources to get to a place where you’re better off financially so you can relax and enjoy yourself and your family. Our recommendation is to set a goal in order to keep yourself on track, whether that is a financial goal or a general life goal, set it and learn how to reach it. Commit to it, take action and have patience because reaching your financial goals will take time.

Thank you for reading,

Rebecca & Tiago

Financial freedom begins with good habits.

Rebecca & Tiago, theloadedpig.com

Rebecca co-founded The Loaded Pig with the goal of helping people achieve their financial goals. Her passion for financial freedom has landed her on US News & World Report, CreditCards.com, Cheapism, and many other sites. Rebecca earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami. She is currently a professor in the business department at Broward College.