It all paid off in the end
By Kimberly Hammond
One of the most rewarding life experiences is accomplishing personal, realistic goals. My objective was to gain financial independence through job security. The journey alone required daily commitment and well-thought-out plans with much patience. I struggled financially as a divorced mother of four and substitute teacher, 21st century worker on weekdays and Macy’s beauty consultant on weekends, bringing home just $1,640 a month after taxes. In addition to my already complicated schedule, I attended Tarrant County College and later enrolled in the University of Phoenix to obtain my Bachelor’s in Psychology, which is still in progress. Bouncing back and forth between these jobs in certain seasons, not to mention the complexity of situations beyond my control, was not satisfying. What I needed was a real profitable change. I needed to purposely transition to a better paying job as soon as possible.
I began working for Bloomfield selling homes and making $12 per hour but only part-time jobs were available. I decided to sign up for the Family Self Sufficient Program (FSS). The very first thing was to become familiar with the program offerings and resources so I could take advantage of all the opportunities. Faithfully I made myself available for the workshops and financial education offered by FWHS and the Center for Transforming Lives. I basically utilized what was right in front of me, making no room for excuses. I knew that if I wanted to be successful I had to be utterly dedicated to obtaining my specific goals. I found a job through Cornerstone Staffing and started as a temp, then a few months later became a full-time loan processor at a mortgage company.
Once I began this process, along with completing my short-term goals of building my savings by taking advantage of basic matching programs, I knew I was on the road to financial independence. I also paid close attention to my hourly wage, negotiating the best pay-grade per position as I moved through the company. I always knew that if that I made more, sure, my rent would be higher but more funds would be deposited into my escrow account by the FSS program. Now everything was falling into place. I was so focused that I inadvertently restructured my life with new patterns, a new norm and new hopes to win.
What encouragement to have an opportunity to match my savings, build an escrow account and more importantly become less dependent on government agencies. It was one of the best choices that I have ever made. What I found beneficial was the education and training on budgeting and managing my income, saving money, becoming debt-free and networking – all crucial to be successful.
Now five years later I make more than all my previous jobs combined. It was a challenge indeed, but I was able to fulfill my goals with the help of my loving family and the FSS specialist. I had to learn how to eliminate limited thinking and excuses, understanding that if I wanted to be successful in completing and graduating from the FSS Program I had to be utterly dedicated to obtaining that specific goal. I learned to respect the process along with being uncomfortable, uncompromising and strategic. It all paid off with a sweet $9,600 in the end.