In early 2007 I was living the life.  I had a financially stabled husband, I worked as a customer service rep II at a major bank, I had 2 cars, bags, shoes, clothes, etc … but in early 2008 my bank account balance was -$3.12.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was like DAMN, how did I get myself into this situation and more importantly, how could I get myself out.


Although it took a ton of prayer, crying, a pending foreclosure and a bankruptcy, looking back I can honestly say that being broke and hitting rock bottom made me a better person in the end.


Here are 5 things that going broke taught me:


  1. If its on your ass it’s not an asset:


When the bankruptcy attorney handed me the paper work to fill out there was a section that asked for my assets and guess what?  The shoes, clothes and bags I had could not be listed.  Yes I could have sold them on Ebay for a lot less than what I bought them for but the bottom line was that in the eyes of the United States they had no value.   If only I had invested the money that I purchased those items with instead of trying to “look like I had a lot of money” I possibly would have had money in my savings and not have been in that financial bind.


[bctt tweet=”If it’s on your ass its not an asset !!!” username=”nikkis_payne”]


      2.  To be compassionate to people:


When I worked at the bank I would cringe when people came in with long drawn out stories as to why their checking account was overdrawn and why I should return their overdraft fees.  I had the attitude that they were just over spenders, bad budgeters or just plain out mismanaged money.   But going inside the bank with my held low hoping that someone would help me by returning fees made me look at things in a different perspective.  I realized that sometimes its not that people are bad with money but sometimes “life” happens.  Being broke humbled me and allowed me to have a compassion for people that I had never had before.


[bctt tweet=””Life” happens. Be compassionate to people and their situation.” username=”nikkis_payne”]


     3.  Base my lifestyle on my income and not the income of others:


Again, life happens.  People die, jobs get lost, salaries are slashed, etc., but the best way to position yourself incase these things happen is to be able to cover your bills and expenses based on your income alone.   My mistake was owning a home and cars and maintaining a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford without the income of my husband.  I now live below my means and I am perfectly happy with that.  I don’t feel that I am missing out on anything by not “balling” and I know that in the future when I get remarried I will not allow myself to get into that situation again.


[bctt tweet=”Dont base your lifestyle on the income of others” username=”nikkis_payne”]


     4.  I found out who my real friends were:


I had thousands of friends on Facebook and Twitter but none of them were there for me when I needed a true friend.  They were just social media friends.  The people that mattered the most that I could count on were the handful of people in my life that called, came by and genuinely cared about me.  I found a new appreciation for the people in my life and not just the ones that retweet and shared my posts.


[bctt tweet=”Your real friends are the ones that stop by and check on you. Not the ones that only retweet and share your posts.” username=”nikkis_payne”]


     5.  Everything that glitters isn’t gold:


At the time that I was broke I lived in a beautiful five bedroom house that sat on a hill.  From the outside looking in it seemed that everything was going good for me but it wasn’t.  People couldn’t tell that I was boiling water in the microwave to bathe or that when i stepped out the house in my fancy shoes and hand bags that I barely had enough gas to get to where I was going.  It was all an illusion.   I learned that people often put up a facade and that I should never be envious of others because everything isn’t always what it seems to be.


[bctt tweet=”Everything that glitters isn’t gold.” username=”nikkis_payne”]



Would I want to be in that financial situation again?  No.  But I am thankful that I overcame it and learned valuable lessons from it.  I hope that you use these lessons that I have provided to better yourself and help you avoid getting into a situation like I did.


Much success to you,


Nikki P.








How A Negative $3.12 In My Bank Account Made Me A Better Person

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