Pulling out my debit card to pay for my oil change, I told the young man behind the counter who my employer was and asked if I qualified for a discount. He acknowledged that I did, punched a few buttons and said, “Looks like that saves you 8 bucks.” Up until this point, our conversation had been standard small talk, but here’s where it got interesting.
“Every little bit helps, right?” he continued.
“Absolutely,” I responded.
“My girlfriend has me going to this financial peace thing,” he stated.
“Oh, you mean Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University? What baby step are you on?”
His jaw just about hit the floor in disbelief that I knew what he was talking about. He went on to explain that at first he didn’t think he needed to go because he was young and didn’t have nearly as much debt as other people his age. But his girlfriend convinced him to go, and he was sort of glad he did because he was learning a lot.
“That’s awesome,” I said, “take care of your debt while you’re young, before it becomes a real problem. Trust me on that one.”
Walking out the door, I realized I had a strange feeling throughout our brief conversation.
I’m one of those people that doesn’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that people are brought into your life when you need them. I have some friends that entered my life when I desperately needed help and support on my journey out of debt. They’ve been walking along with me ever since, and I will never be able to thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me.
Taking about your debt is a very difficult thing to do, I know that from personal experience. Why did this young man decide to have this conversation with me? Was he just one of those people that is extremely conversational, or was he looking for some kind of validation or assurance that he was heading in the right direction, and for some reason thought I was the right person to open up to? If there’s one thing I can speak with authority on, it’s the consequences of not paying attention to your finances, and waiting too long to do something about it.
I honestly feel like I was supposed to be at that place, at that time, to have that conversation.
Maybe this young man will never think of our exchange again. On the other hand maybe it will provide him with just that little extra push to keep going to his FPU sessions, giving him the chance to develop the tools to get his finances on track for good.
Do you believe in coincidences? Do you ever feel like you’ve been put into a situation specifically to learn something, or to have someone learn something from you?