When your finances are working for you it is possible to achieve financial freedom, something I have come to learn means more than any amount of money or stuff! When they are not, there is not a lot that is more suffocating and stressful. This impacts every part of your life even down to your health and overall wellbeing.
If you are a parent, add to that how it affects your children’s well being, now AND in the future, and you can add a whole TON of guilt to the pile, because you are completely responsible for providing for and teaching them. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to make anyone feel bad or stress more, just trying to emphasise how extremely important making your finances work for you is.
I was very fortunate starting out in that my childhood background in terms of learning about money was very good. From the very beginning whenever my siblings and I would receive money for things such as a birthday gift, or Christmas gift, or feeding the neighbor’s cat we always had to save at least half. Touching that saved money was not an option, so much so that when I was young it didn’t even occur to me that it was actually possible for people to take money out of savings accounts.
Anyway, I was 1 of 4 kids. Now that I have kids I really understand that means more ($$), and my kids are not even teenagers! One blessing of being 1 of 4 is that we didn’t get extra stuff all the time, simply because you multiple anything you do x4 children and that is a lot! That was a good lesson in and of itself.
All I can remember about college is that I was in kind of a bubble. I had a good amount of saving built up from my childhood, and was fortunate to have more help from my parents and grandparents. Considering how much tuition was I was extremely fortunate to come out with the amount of student loans I did.
In college I wasn’t a credit card user. I didn’t know much about credit cards. I believe I had one but did not use it. Growing up I knew my parent’s had one, but I don’t remember seeing them use it. It was probably rare, and I remember being told they only have it in case of an emergency. Those days I was all about my debit card and keeping careful track.
Then I got into the REAL world with real bills and real responsibility. I have had my share of ups and downs. Done some things well and other things not so much. In the process I have gotten really in touch with exactly what works for me and what does not. I also know some traps to avoid, and ways of doing that.
When I lived downtown in the very beautiful and very expensive city of Vancouver I was part of a money club started by my wonderful friend Sue. We set goals for ourselves, talked about struggles, learned from each other, and most importantly felt we were accountable to the group for following through.
It was brilliant of my friend to start! Often in life we do things on our own. We don’t let others in, and therefore we close the door to any help, motivation, and support others provide. In the words of my dear blog friend Chef Dennis “Together we are Stronger!”
More to come...
I will open up and share with you some of my success and downfalls, what works for me and what does not. I fully expect that you will disagree with some of my personal financial philosophies about managing money, because each person is unique and above everything you need to follow your own instincts. Sharing my experiences is an effort to help anyone trying to find their way, and also serves as a reminder for myself. I hope one day it aids in teaching my children. That childhood foundation has been a huge help for me in figuring out the world of finances and I very much want to provide the same for my children.