All About Me

Welcome to Growing Her Worth!

I started this blog in early 2013, as a single girl in my mid-30’s trying to get my financial life together. At the time, I didn’t know what direction my life would end up taking. Would I get married someday? Have children? What would my career path be?

What I did know is that I needed to do some serious work on my financial situation. I’d spent most of my adult life blindly believing I was doing just fine financially. After all, I was doing exactly the same thing as everybody else! It turns out, following the crowd led to a lot of mistakes. Eventually, everything fell apart. It took me many years to pick up the pieces, and I’m just starting to feel like I’m making real progress.

Since February of 2013, I’ve paid off $7,670 of student loan debt (the last of my loans from my undergrad days). In May of 2015 I sold my house, and officially moved in with my boyfriend, Bryan. My last remaining debt is my car loan ($18,724 as of Jan.1, 2015), which I’m planning to pay off by early 2016. I paid off my car loan in April of 2016, and am now completely debt free!

My overall goal is to build a happy, care-free life with Bryan. At this point, we don’t know exactly what that looks like. We likely won’t be following the “traditional path”. But, then again, we aren’t your “traditional couple”; There’s a 20 year age gap between us, and we’re both coming from very different places in life. We’ll probably get married someday. We’ll likely never have children. Maybe we’ll travel? Buy a house? Become snowbirds? We’re still figuring things out and creating dreams for our future.

The last few years have been about reconsidering everything I thought I wanted/needed in life, and figuring out what really makes me happy. I’m learning to dream big, take risks, and finding the courage to change. Bryan and I are learning that happiness isn’t measured in dollars; Having a fulfilling life doesn’t really have to cost a lot.

My goal with this blog is to share my journey from financial insecurity to financial independence. It is my way of holding myself accountable, and tracking my progress. I also like the idea of talking through my next step with the financial community. I have a vague idea of where I’m going, but I frequently change my mind about the steps I’m taking to get there. I’m still surprised by the idea that I can set big goals and actually achieve them; That’s opening up a world of possibilities that I never considered before. Every year I set bigger goals, and I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to accomplish.

Please remember that in no way am I an expert, and am therefore not capable of advising anyone else financially. Part of building a better financial future is owning the choices we make. This blog details the choices I am making, but isn’t a recommendation on what others should do. My hope is to provide entertainment and inspiration, that maybe you might use this blog as motivation to begin following your own path to financial freedom.

– Cindy W.

Please feel free to email me directly any time at growingherworth[at]gmail[dot]com with questions or comments!

Updated 6/03/2016


  1. Hi Cindy. I read one of your comments on Financial Samurai and I have to say you have a great attitude about your life. I applaud you for working to turn things around for yourself and look forward to reading about your progress.

    1. Thanks Jeremy! It’s gonna be a long road, but I think it will all be worthwhile! Hopefully I won’t disappoint anyone.

  2. Hi Cindy,

    I also came from Financial Samurai based on one of your comments. You certainly deserve a big applause for admitting the mistakes you’ve made. I also made several major mistakes myself based on certain financial decisions. So just like you, I am trying to learn from my mistakes and slowly walking down the right path. Hope we both will make good progress in 2014.

    I do have something that I’d like to point out based on your latest Net Worth Update. How did you conclude that you need to have a brand new Ford Escape?

    1. Hi Anthony,
      Thanks for stopping by my blog, and especially for leaving a comment. Your question is a very good, and very valid, one. I should probably clarify first that I definitely don’t feel that I *need* a brand new Ford Escape. Nor do I feel like I *deserve* one.

      There are a variety of opinions in the world of personal finance on purchasing a vehicle. I think there is a lot of validity in buying a used vehicle, and paying cash for it. Dave Ramsey, MMM and Sam would all shake their heads in disappointment with me for choosing to buy, and finance, a new vehicle (and an SUV at that!). But I have to admit to being human, and that not every decision I make is strictly financial. There was a lot of thinking, calculating, and reality checks that went into this decision, along with two failed attempts at better decisions (the Versa and repurchasing the Honda).

      Honestly, I want a car that I can drive for the next 10 (but hopefully 15) years, in all types of Midwest weather and road conditions, without having to worry. I spend a lot of time in my car, and tend to lug a lot of large items, and many people, around. Experience told me that I needed to find something I could love, but that I didn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. I knew that if I bought a vehicle I loved, I’d have no problem driving it for that long (I drove the Honda for 10+ years, and would have driven it longer, had it not been for a cross-country move). And I knew I’d deal better with buying 1 vehicle, and driving it for 10+ years, than buying multiple vehicles over the same time frame, and dealing with more “end of life” issues. Yes, I did take out a loan. But I do have a plan to have that loan paid off early (In 1-3 years, depending on what happens with my house). From there, I hope to have things organized in such a way that, if and when I need a new vehicle, I won’t need a loan to purchase it.

      So, basically, I’m owning up to the fact that, financially, it may not have been the most ideal thing to purchase a new vehicle. I weighed the pros and cons, and did the math, and decided that this was the decision that I was most comfortable with. Net worth wise, it was definitely a setback. I don’t regret my decision. But I’m not going to pretend that it was the best decision from a strictly financial aspect either.

  3. Well said, Cindy. Certainly wish you the very best for your net worth growing plan and holding Escape for 10+ years as I am trying to keep my 5 year old Accord (135K miles now) to 10+ years with over 270K miles!

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