Game download

How former waitress Jennifer Welsh paid off $30,000 in credit card debt

Jennifer Welsh wasn’t always the savvy investor she is today. While working in the hospitality industry in Chicago, Welsh racked up more than $30,000 in credit card debt, with no serious thought about saving for her future. But in her mid-thirties, she took a hard look at her financial situation for the first time – and got to work.

She paid a fee to transfer and consolidate the balances of her five separate credit cards onto a new credit card, which had an introductory interest rate of 0% over a two-year term.

“So I took that 24-month expiration date as my deadline.” said Welsh. She ran the numbers to figure out how much money she should pay each week. “And every Sunday I would log into my single credit card platform and pay $320 a week.

“So I broke this big goal down into smaller goals, but I also had a deadline,” she added.

Welsh fully paid off her debt in 2015. She and her husband started working with an investment advisor the following year, finally taking long-term saving and investing seriously.

Learn more about Investing in You:
How this risky strategy can make retail investors vulnerable
Here’s how to invest your money if you’re saving for your next vacation
5 money-saving tips from a TikTok lawyer who reads the fine print

“I used to spend $300 a week paying off my debt, putting that money into my debt,” she said. “So instead of saying, ‘Oh, we have $300 more a week now,’ we started investing that money.”

But after the stock market crash of 2020, Welsh parted ways with her adviser, feeling newly empowered to make investment decisions on her own. As the world went into lockdown at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Welsh devoted herself to stock market research.

“I didn’t want to pick stocks willy-nilly and I didn’t want to buy stocks that I wanted to sell anytime soon.” she says. “So I was very dedicated to research, and it was Covid and we were locked in the house anyway.

“So I was baking bread and learning about the stock market.”

Now, Welsh has created a digital personal finance course for new investors, and she’s passionate about sharing how her past mistakes have helped inform her current investing mindset.

Watch the video above to learn how you can jump-start your savings by investing.

REGISTER: Money 101 is an eight-week financial freedom learning course, delivered weekly to your inbox. For the Spanish Dinero 101 version, click here.

TO VERIFY: Super saver who cashed in 78% of his income and no longer has to worry about money: how I did it with Tassels + CNBC

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in tassels.