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From Sleeping in a Parking Lot to Building a Brand New Home

“From money troubles to money coach, Anthony O’Neal went from thousands of dollars in debt, to financial freedom and success.”

Anthony O’Neal speaks to students throughout the country about how to manage money.

“So have your plan for your money” says Anthony as he speaks to an auditorium of students.

It’s a message he wishes he heard fifteen years ago, when he was a college student racking up debt trying to deck out his apartment.

“It (a credit card) empowered me because now it was like all my friends – I’m thinking, all of my friends went ‘yo, you got some money’” recalls Anthony. “And before you knew it I was in about $25,000 worth of debt within six-to-eight months.”

He thought it was okay because he was still able to make the minimum payments each month.

“I’m not even looking at the interest and none of that” said Anthony.  “So I just thought, ‘okay, as long as I just make a small payment, I’ll be all right.’"

Then Anthony lost his scholarship, and had to leave school.  Soon after, he lost his job as well.  As for those friends he had tried to impress, they were nowhere to be found.

“The frat brothers that I tried to please and tried to be a part of their fraternity, they wouldn't call me back” said Anthony. “My father and I, we got into an argument and he was like, ‘no, you made this mistake, so you're going to fix this.’"

Before long, Anthony was sleeping in the backseat of his car.   

“I’m homeless, I’m in the back of my car, and the reason why I’m here is not because of my peers, it's not because of my parents, it's because of me” said Anthony solemnly “I'm sleeping in a Walmart parking lot because of me. And I remember washing myself in the back of my car, and that's when my whole life just shifted, right there.”

“Then one day I just said, ‘you know what?  It’s not the world’s fault, Anthony. Your friends didn’t force you to do that, you walked into that.  You wanted to please them’” said Anthony.

Anthony went home and made things right with his parents.   He got a job in collections, and stopped spending frivolously.  Within a few years, he paid off the debt. 

During this same time, he learned about tithing.

“And if you really want to live a prosperous life, you will give 10% and you will sow into others” instructs Anthony. “And the Bible says, ‘it's best to give, then it is to receive.’ When I started giving that philosophy and just really teaching that philosophy and living that philosophy, I started seeing god open doors, a lot of doors.”

That’s when Anthony says he found his true passion, teaching people how to manage money.  And in time, he joined Dave Ramsey’s team.

The Dave Ramsey Radio Show: “Anthony O’Neal joins us this half hour, answering your questions...”

In the past few years, Anthony’s income has tripled.  Now when he speaks to youth he makes sure to stress wise choices, and generous giving.  Today, instead of living in the backseat of his car, Anthony is building a home of his own, and hopes to pay it off within eight years.

“You need to give your 10% so you can be blessed” teaches Anthony “And I believe that when you're obedient, giving God tithe, it opens up doors to bless you throughout your entire life.”

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