2016 is coming to a close, and I am really looking forward to new beginnings in 2017. Even though I have made great strides in my Pay It Forward Challenges over the past few years, I have also endured quite a few financial struggles along the way.
The last really good year I remember having was in 2012. Some of the things I have had to overcome include job loss, lots of car issues which included car being totaled, replacing totaled car with a lemon which led to me having to get a new car with car payments to feel safer. (I hate car payments).
This year alone we endured two Wylie hail storms which caused over $8,000 in car damage and at least $30,000 in house repairs which has yet to be fixed since we rent. In May 2016 the business that I own with my ex husband (I know what???) burnt down and we lost everything causing a personal loss of $30,000. Total fire loss was over $300,000 which included several other peoples losses such as our landlord, nephew, and the business next store. Going through these struggles has made me a little down and out over the past few months.
When going through personal struggles especially as devastating as these, It’s hard to see the positive things that have happened also. There have been a lot of positive things that have happened throughout the year also. I was able to reach another $30,000 in donations which included helping 100 children with backpacks filled with school supplies, and over 50 children have Christmas this year and brings my total donations to 125,000 to my community and still going. I had a storage building donated to me from Morning Storage in Wylie, and I finished my book “Cutting Hunger One Coupon At A Time” on Amazon Black Friday 2016 which shares my Pay It Forward Mission, and teaches everyone how to coupon and other unique ways of saving money even without couponing. Everyone that has read it said that once they started reading, they couldn’t put it down and told me how good it was which makes me really proud.
Now that I have accomplished my mission and shared my story in a book that will inspire others to Pay It Forward in their communities, I will be slowing down a little this year and focusing on myself this year, as I tend to put more pressure on myself than I should. For example, I only wanted to do around 25 children for Christmas, but ended up doing over 50 because they were begging me and I couldn’t say no when in reality, I wasn’t too far off from their situation. I don’t think at anytime this year, I have had over $100.00 in my bank account.
Maybe since I have a Non Profit, people assume that I receive financial donations but since I am somewhat shy and haven’t had time, at this time I do not. I ended up being overly stressed due to a few people telling me they would send me a financial donation and backing out. There were a few other things that happened that was upsetting and left me feeling taken advantage of. This left me looking for ways to continue paying it forward, but relieving the financial struggles and extra stress as it was hard to meet up with people and when I took on more children, I ended up feeling like I let the families down because I got very few Thank you’s when I tried so hard. So through all this paying it forward I have learned a few things, and am happy to say I have came up with a way to continue paying it forward without all the stress.
I will be setting up my storage unit as a mini donation store where people can come pick out what they need, and be using very little if any of my own money. I am only allowed to use what others donate to help others or items I get free while couponing as I have spent between $8,000 to $10,000 of my own money since 2014 to help others which I have loved and would not trade this experience for anything, but know that it is now time to focus on myself and build up some savings for a rainy day. Though I am in great health, I did turn 50 this year and need to be prepared in case of an emergency 🙂
In 2017, I will regroup and get more organized, hopefully learn some ways to fund raise to get back on track to helping families in my community for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other needs when they arise.