Long time readers know I’m a big fan of sharing stories of overcoming adversity. Today I’m honored to bring you the story of Shanté Nicole from Financial Common Cents. She’s an autism mom, cancer survivor, and owner of two non-profit organizations.
You’ll love reading her story – and she has some amazing, insightful advice for you.
So without further ado, lets get to know Shanté!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Shanté Nicole. I am an autism mom, wife, cancer survivor, author, speaker, financial educator, I hold a degree in nursing, and the owner of two nonprofit organizations, F.A.C.E. (Facing Autism with Children Everywhere) and Financial Common Cents.
What money adversity did you face?
Not understanding the importance of saving is probably one of my biggest financial mistakes. I’ve been working full time for 20 years, and it blows my mind when I think about the nice cushion of money I would have, even if I only saved $50 every time I got paid.
When I was receiving treatments for cancer, I was unable to work full time, and unfortunately, I was working at a job where I didn’t get paid if I didn’t work. With medical bills piling up, in addition to my standard monthly bills, I relied heavily on my credit cards…because I had no established savings. I also recall times I was let go from a job, and didn’t land another job right away. Which caused me to again, rely on my credit cards.
CMO Note – I relate to this quite a bit. Although fortunately we didn’t have to resort to credit cards when my husband almost died, and when he lost his job back in the Great Recession, both events were more costly than most folks think they’ll be. Relying on credit cards, taking out loans, and draining savings are not uncommon.
How did you overcome it?
I’m now sharing my hardships with thousands of people on a daily basis. I am constantly educating people on the importance of saving money and stressing that credit cards should not be “used for emergencies”. Because I teach this daily, it holds me accountable to myself to practice what I’m preaching.
Where are you today?
Today, I am currently operating my two nonprofit organizations. F.A.C.E. (Facing Autism with Children Everywhere) was born in 2013. My mission was to spread autism awareness and acceptance, and to provide resources and services for families affected by autism and other special needs. A summer camp, after school program, and weekend respite program were born.
I’m very well versed in many financial topics, starting from a young age. Often, I would help my friends develop budgeting strategies, come up with methods to pay off their debts, and educate them on how to build and repair their credit.
In January 2017, I created an online community– a safe and supportive environment for people get help with savings, budgeting, debt management, credit, and more. To date, there are over 68,000 members from over 100 countries.
What advice do you have for others facing adversity?
*It’s never to late for a restart. As long as you have breath in your body, you can make positive changes and move forward
* Too often people say, “Forget the past and focus on the future”. I say REMEMBER the past. Remember the hardships and mistakes, so you can use them as learning tools when moving forward.
*Don’t let what you perceive as adversities halt you. Many times they are simply roadblocks that force you to move in another direction…the path you’re meant to go down.
Where can readers find you?
You can find me on my Facebook Group, my Facebook Page, and Instagram.
CMO Here Again
Thanks so much to Shanté for stopping by to share her story! I love her advice. It’s the first point about it never being too late that really resonated with me.
It’s never too late – and never to little – to start. So many folks think that because it’s “too late”, they shouldn’t start trying to pay down debt, save, or invest. Because they “only” have $5, $10, or $25 per paycheck to spare, they feel like they shouldn’t bother starting to try to invest.
It’s that kind of thinking that keeps you stuck where you are.
Even if you’re in your 40’s, and can only put aside $10 per paycheck, just start! You are where you are, and there’s no sense in regretting the past. If you wish you could invest more, or get annoyed that others your age have more, that’s not going to help you move forward.
The only way to move forward is to start moving.
Yes, you’re probably not becoming a millionaire by 35. Or retire early to travel the world if you’re just getting started in your 40’s. Starting right now – wherever you are – will make you infinitely better off than staying stuck.
If you think you’re doing fairly well, it’s pretty easy to find folks who are doing better than you. Focusing on that, rather than on yourself, is a recipe for disaster. Keep your focus on improving yourself from wherever you are today. Take small steps toward the ideal life you want for yourself.
Be sure to leave Shanté a comment to let her know how much you enjoyed her story – and what you learned!
For more stories on overcoming adversity, check out these prior features:
Overcoming Adversity on the Path to FIRE- Chris from Can I Retire Yet
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