I left home to come to college when I was 17 years old. One of the first things I had to do was setup my very first checking account at the bank. Up to that point I had never had my own checking account. I had always had jobs and worked throughout High School but my Father handled my bank account for me. The problem was that I didn’t know anything about having a checking account, and sadly, without knowing how it worked, I just made the assumption that if I still had checks in my checkbook that it was just fine to use them! I had no idea that you actually had to have money in the account to cover the checks you were writing…I suppose I never even thought about it…And in a very short amount of time I managed to bounce an incredible volume of checks which resulted in the bank contacting my Father because I was only 17 years old and still a minor. My Father had to get on an airplane and fly out to Utah and go with me to meet with the bank President to apologize and promise to fix it.
After our meeting at the bank my Dad took me back to my apartment and asked me to go and get my bank statements..“Bank statements??? OOOHHHH, THAT’s those letters I keep getting from the bank every month???” I went in my room and came back with a drawer filled with sealed envelopes from my bank. I had wondered why the bank kept sending those letters to me every month 🙂 . Up to that point I had no idea what the envelopes full of canceled checks were supposed to be used for.
If you are wondering if that story is true, the answer is YES – it is a 100% true story. And as humiliating as it is to share publicly, I share it because I want everyone to see that no matter where they are starting from THERE IS CLEARLY HOPE! Let’s face it, if I could go from being that 17 year old girl without a clue how to even handle a simple checking account, to becoming a successful entrepreneur who was able to start, grow and exit a company for over $377 million dollars than clearly anything is possible!
Never underestimate what you are capable of accomplishing!
(PS. remember to teach your children how to use a bank account BEFORE they grow up and leave home 🙂 …)
~Amy Rees Anderson