Man, that is SO SIMILAR to how I got started! I bet there are a lot of us kids who just didn’t want to make the same money mistakes as our parents.
When I was about 18, I ordered The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens off of Amazon, because I wanted to get rich and I knew that compound interest was the only way for a poor kid from the middle-of-nowhere to do that. But I had trouble putting any of it into action, because all of my money was going toward putting myself through film school at the time.
The bottom fell out for me when I started running the numbers on my student loans during my junior year of college. I realized just how hard it was going to be to pay back those loans on the peanuts that a production assistant makes. That it was going to be a choice between paying back those loans, or eating. Then, I got an email from the school that I didn’t have enough financial aid for the current term. Say what? Turns out, Perkins loans are limited to a certain amount, and mine had run out. My options were to either get private student loans (more loans that I wouldn’t be able to pay!) or to drop out, right then.
I dropped out.
The rest is all on my blog, of course, because that’s the moment when I started Poorer Than You (the name was a nod to my fellow film students, who didn’t understand why I couldn’t just ask my parents for help instead of dropping out).