Staying on Track

Like mother, like daughter. And that’s just fine by Dasha Lundy. Her mother, Carolyn, never paid full price for anything, and she doesn’t either. The money lessons Mrs. Lundy imparted to her daughter are paying off. Three years ago, at the age of 26, Dasha purchased a three-bedroom, two-bath house in Knoxville, Tennessee, for $100,000. Early in life, her mother taught her to save, beginning with coins in a piggy bank. By her teen years, Dasha was putting aside portions of money gained at Christmas and throughout the year into checking and savings accounts. Her mother taught her the importance of saving at least 10% of whatever she had.

Lundy, who is single, earns an annual $53,000 from her position as a physical therapist. She has about $25,000 in her 401(k), and roughly $15,000 in her checking and savings accounts. Other than her mortgage, her only debt is $30,000 in student loans. The 29-year-old has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physical therapy, a master’s in physical therapy, and is on track to earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy this August. Lundy went back to school because she would eventually like to teach physical therapy. The doctoral degree also increases her earning potential and offers options: She might, for instance, complement her current job with a part-time teaching position at a community college. Aside from the additional income, Lundy says she would enjoy sharing her knowledge.

Lundy isn’t afraid to go against the grain. In fact, she refused to let negative talk from some of her peers sway her when she announced plans to purchase her first home. “Some people have the mentality that you should wait until you get married to buy a house. Some even told me that if I had my own house, I would scare men off because they would think I’m ‘Miss Independent,’” recalls Lundy. “Well what if Prince Charming never comes? I have to take control of my life,” she says.

What sparked the idea of homeownership? A few years ago, Lundy attended a church conference that featured a 22-year-old homeowner. “I moved back home with my parents for a year to save, and I was able to come up with $10,000 for a down payment,” says Lundy, who rents out a portion of her house, which brings in $4,800 a year.

Lundy is looking for new ways to hone her financial plan, and seeks some reassurance that she is on the right track when it comes to building wealth. Read more at Black Enterprise

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