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January 3rd, 2013 is a day that will be burned into my memory forever.  It was the last day of a 2-week visit home during Christmas break of my Master’s degree. 

 

My father asked me if I wanted to go to lunch before the airport to talk. This filled me with an immediate sense of dread. I don’t remember a time in my adult life that my father had ever asked me to go for lunch and talk 1-1 that did not end in him asking me for money. 

 

So, him asking to go out to lunch, just the two of us on my way to the airport could mean nothing good. 

 

We sat down in the restaurant booth and made forced small talk until our meals arrived. Those were some of the most uncomfortable moments of my life.  I knew the hammer was about to drop and everything was about to change. All I wanted was for him to spit it out and get it over with. 

 

Finally, he blurted it out.  

 

He was 3-months behind on rent and needed $5,000 by Monday (it was Thursday) or he and my Mom (who had no idea about the unpaid rent) would be evicted. 

 

Not what you want to hear when you are getting on an airplane in 4 hours.

 

It’s also not what you want to hear when you absolutely do not have $5,000. Since I did not have $5,000 the only way to avoid my parents getting evicted was to borrow $5,000. I spent the next 3 days negotiating an extension of my student line of credit.

 

I’ll never forget having to call my boss while he was on vacation, asking if he would write a letter to the bank confirming my employment, position at the company, and annual salary. 

 

Somehow, someway I was able to get the $5,000 to my father by end of day Monday and (temporarily) avoided catastrophe. 

 

This was the moment I realized two things.

 

  1. Achieving Financial Independence was the only way I would ever be able to sleep soundly. Which meant learning everything I possibly could about money.

  2. The only way for me to truly help people would be to share what I learned about money along my journey to financial independence. 

I spent the next 5 years continuing my journey of educating myself about money. This education was both formal and informal. 

 

On formal education, I earned a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Finance & Economics. 

 

On the informal side, I consumed every book, video, blog post and podcast that discussed personal finance.

 

Education was nice, but it wasn’t until I began implementing what I learned that I began feeling more hopeful about the future. 

 

Before long, I had paid off my first loan. Then the next. By 2015 I was debt-free. 

 

By 2016 my wife and I bought our first house. 

 

Then we started investing. We bought another house and began building real wealth. 

 

As our wealth grew the memories of January 3rd, 2013 seemed further and further in the rear-view mirror. My stress and anxiety began to melt away and I was able to sleep at night without my mind racing and problem-solving.

 

By 2018 I knew it was time to start sharing what I learned about managing money and Making of a Millionaire was born.

If you have any questions, you can send me an email at info@benlefort.com