How Hurricane Katrina propelled this woman’s journey to financial independence

After Hurricane Katrina introduced devastation to New Orleans in 2005, Sylvia Corridor threw out every little thing besides her books, household pictures and garments and packed it up in her Honda Civic alongside along with her canine. 

She couldn’t afford her house as a result of she not had a job to go to, and he or she was pressured to eliminate practically all of her belongings. “I used to be fortunate sufficient to nonetheless have issues from the hurricane however nonetheless needed to eliminate them,” she mentioned. “I felt a vulnerability I by no means felt earlier than.” 

This expertise was the start of a journey to monetary freedom. She remembered when she bought her issues — similar to her train tools or her furnishings — as she was selecting all of it as much as throw out. 

“It made me consider the issues I purchased,” she mentioned. 

Corridor had simply handed the bar examination in Louisiana and was six figures in debt from regulation college. She was solely per week into her new authorized job when the hurricane hit and the scholar mortgage grace interval was coming to an finish. 

However since then, she has reinvented herself. She moved to Seattle in 2008, amassed 25 instances her annual bills and an actual property portfolio and plans to retire someday subsequent yr (she initially supposed to retire on the finish of this yr, however might postpone her date to complete court docket instances). 

Corridor began by paying down her money owed and constructing an emergency fund. She labored her authorized job throughout the day after which took on a facet job working nights and weekends at Domino’s to extend her revenue. 

“It saved me grounded, I used to be so comfortable to work it,” she mentioned. “I used to be enthusiastic. Others thought [of the job] as a final resort.” 

Hitting a $0 web price was a second of pleasure for her, as a result of it meant she was not in debt. 

Corridor approached monetary independence in steps — first having one month of financial savings put aside, then two months, then a yr, then two years. She at all times considered her financial savings as a strategy to shield herself if one thing occurred, like a misplaced job. 

“Now I’ve the flexibility to be OK indefinitely,” she mentioned. 

Corridor’s perspective applies to what she buys as properly. A lot of consumables are disposable, and after experiencing such a loss after Hurricane Katrina, she’s extra conscious of her purchases. Corridor now spends extra on experiences and journeys than she does on materials issues. She was additionally conscious of how far more loss was surrounding her — individuals who had misplaced their houses and every little thing in them, in addition to family members, to the pure catastrophe. 

“I wasn’t materialistic to start with, however if you recall shopping for or accumulating one thing it makes you understand these items is simply stuff,” she mentioned. “It may be gone in a blink of an eye fixed.” | How Hurricane Katrina propelled this girl’s journey to monetary independence


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