At the end of my comeback story of a lifetime, I will mention my accomplishments, but first, the details of how I overcame the biggest obstacles in my life.
Health is wealth they say.
With the deterioration of my health also came a downtime in my business.
Just as my health issue crept in, I began to rack up debts, which later accumulated to $65,000 that was not feasible to pay.
I would have given anything just to be able to own a business again, just as I believe everyone understands the challenge of overcoming a health issue.
I requested a free debt analysis in my quest to get out of debt.
My conversation with a counselor gave me the courage I needed to face the debt and get out of it.
There was credit card and other debt of approximately $65,000, which was from medical bills, loans, and a nasty repossession judgment.
The most dreaded failure was losing my full-time job with the nation’s largest employer.
However, I knew I could get on my feet again and pay off my debt.
I strategized a debt management plan and got to work.
Even though most days were spent solving my health issues, searching for a new job, and trying to build a micro business, I was still able to get my plan going.
One other thing I did was to stop all irrelevant spending, all those things that you can do without.
I also learned to do personal services, which I used to pay for.
So, by doing them myself they became absolutely free.
Then I started clearing the debt after I eliminated the judgment hurdle.
I was able to settle about $45,000 from the initial $65,000.
This was the plan I followed as I became free from all debt.
Instead of sitting around in the house doing nothing about your debt, why don’t you get a debt settlement, or debt consolidation at your local United Way?
The road to where I am today hasn’t been an easy one.
My most recent challenge dates back to September 2016.
I passed through so many phases without money, no job, almost lost everything I have.
However, I never imagined being where I am today back then.
I was close to being homeless and living on the streets, again.
You see, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and going to college was very challenging.
Although 2016 is a time, which will live in infamy, I made it somehow with part-time employment …
However, my misfortune came calling again when I was laid off.
I never got another job because in September I became terribly disabled.
And, the unemployment insurance stopped without prior notice.
I was almost useless for about three months, but I never stopped my blogging activities because I enjoyed keeping my readers happy even through pain.
Even with my tenacity in online activities, there was a limitation to what I could do.
As a result of this, my online source of income dropped drastically.
Paying my bills became a big problem and this affected my health in return, as I was unable to pay my medical bills …
The pain became so severe that I couldn’t have a moment of relief every day.
I almost gave up until a friend informed me about a financial solution to earn additional income online.
This got me up as I thought that was what I needed to get back on my feet.
Though at first I didn’t believe it; and I wasn’t sure something as simple as that could get me back on my feet.
Nevertheless, the more I got acquainted with it the more convinced I was.
And then I thought to myself I had nothing to lose.
Not long after, I stopped worrying about paying my bills because the income started making up for that.
I never thought I would be able to pay the medical bills … as I’ve been recovering for over ten months, even though I’ve not gotten another job yet.
Financial Update As of 10/17/17: All medical bills are paid, thank God!
Now I’m happy to have enough money to live comfortably: and I have all the time to myself to work on my website, RuralMoney.com.
This is really my comeback struggle number one; but I debated with myself about including it in my comeback story.
Nevertheless, I felt compelled to give you the backstory, the whole story, and nothing but the truth.
Over 25 years ago, I was literally homeless and sleeping on the streets of Atlanta, GA before I found acceptance in a women’s shelter that would help me to turn my life around.
“Would you believe I tried to sleep in the Police Station during the day because it was too dangerous to sleep alone on a park bench at night?”
I tried, but they ran me out.
This shelter for women, which will remain anonymous, decided to help only five women make a new start with a home of their own.
This information was revealed to me, for which I will always be grateful, and I applied for the assistance.
Fortunately, I was selected. To The Lord be the glory!
An anonymous family helped me financially through the shelter.
I’m almost in tears thinking about my homeless experiences…
They provided all the money I needed to pay the deposit and first-month’s rent, including all utility deposits.
They even gave me a bucket filled with cleaning supplies.
I am crying tears of joy, Job and gratitude…
Fast forward, I sent them a thank you card through the shelter; and they replied!
I told them that I was living in a one-bedroom apartment in … (the slums).
With the help of the local furniture bank, I had a bed…
They knew my background, what I went through to become homeless and how resourceful I was because I was working while in the shelter…
When I left work, my employer and other employees knew I was going home to the shelter.
When I moved from that apartment to a better one… still in the slums… I still didn’t have living room furniture.
My guest and I sat on the floor, but we shared some good, happy times there… cooking and eating on the floor.
But, at least I was in my own apartment home where I could cook for myself and have real privacy.
Writing through my tears … The Lord has brought me so far…
You see, I remember standing in long soup lines at St. Luke’s Church that wrapped around the block… and having to almost fight to keep my place in line because others didn’t think I belonged there with neat finger waves in my hair, a nice purse and wristwatch.
Those were the only traces of my former work and lifestyle that I was trying to hold onto for my dignity and self respect…
I had my first heart attack in the shelter due to stress!
My homeless journey was wrought with more pain, heartache, trials and tribulation, but The Lord said he wouldn’t put more on us than we could bear… I Corinthians 10:13
I’m still here!
After I left my second apartment home, I bought my first real home in another slum.
The article above is a true story, but I think I threw all of the photos away because I was ashamed of how low I had sunk.
I am no longer ashamed.. I know now that it was all meant to make me stronger to achieve and keep the blessings I have right now.
RuralMoney.com was created out of all of what I went through struggling to make it financially before, during and after homelessness.
I was much younger then… but it was an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone—at any age!
I guess I’ll never understand why I went through it… or maybe I already know… but I stopped asking The Lord why and starting thanking Him for keeping me through it all…
Now, as of September 2019, I am still the hardworking, sensitive, generous person He made me—and I’ll keep working to help others until the end.
During my disability, I became a Grant Writer and expert at finding “hidden money” and saving money at home.
I hold a business management degree from Georgia Military College; graduated from Fort Benjamin Harrison Defense Information School; Specialty: Military Public Affairs and Photo Journalism.
After graduation from the Second U.S. Army Public Affairs Internship, the Fort Benning Marksmanship Unit recruited me as Public Affairs Officer.
Because of early onset RA that affects the body equally, I chose to join the slower-paced world of SunTrust International Services, Inc. as Executive Assistant to the President; Accomplishment: Formulation and monitoring of annual $3 Million Personnel Budget.
As an author and publisher, my published credits include Disability Empowerment: Free Money For Disabled Americans To Make Dreams Reality, a highly regarded book about disabled people using the Social Security Administration Plan for Achieving Self-Sufficiency; How To Survive During Recession And (What If) Depression; Layoff Survival Resources: Making Ends Meet When Others Can’t commended by First Lady Laura Bush and former Georgia Governor Roy E. Barnes, Estate Sales Marketing Success, Estate Sale Contracts Kit, and other Kindle eBooks. All of my books are available on Amazon.
Since 1998, I have worked as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
My hobbies include reading, writing, permaculture gardening, valuing antiques and collectibles.
Paralyzed Veterans of America featured my Disability Empowerment book in the May 2008 issue of PN Magazine: Your Financial Future.
“In her new book, Tonza Borden educates and inspires other disabled Americans [and others with low-income] about how to find the easiest, least expensive, and direct-to-the-source alternative resources in conjunction with other strategies to obtain gainful employment and home-ownership. Disability Empowerment: Free Money for Disabled Americans to Make Dreams Reality is reportedly a simple guide to finding financial assistance to achieve a work goal and buy an affordable home, as Borden did. The book includes detailed instructions and writing samples. It supports disabled people who fear for their financial future. Borden reportedly wrote Disability Empowerment to help other disabled people who are dreaming of operating a successful and profitable business or getting a college degree and working in a specific career field, as well as becoming homeowners.
Borden does not just write about disability; she experiences it with back problems.”
“My goal was to become self-reliant again and get my life back,” she says. I did not have a clue about how I would get the money needed for a micro business startup.”
Gary Sullivan, Managing Editor, The National MS Society
Martha King, Associate Vice President, Publications Periodicals
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Blogger’s Info: Tonza Borden is a 20-year finance and digital marketing expert with a passion for training. She is also an advocate for people with disabilities and the working poor. Visit her sister website at RuralIncome.com for exclusive training and online resources and strategies for your financial future.