Money management or mismanagement I should say, has become so prevalent in our society. It seems like almost everyone I know or meet is in some type of debt. This instant gratification society that we live in doesn’t help either.
I was sitting around looking at my finances a couple of days ago and started thinking about what I was taught about money or managing my money when I was younger. Here’s what I learned…NOTHING! I honestly cannot remember a time when my mother sat me and my sisters down and talked to us about the importance of saving or spending our money wisely. That has a lot to do with her way of dealing with money, she was taught nothing as well. To this day, some of her spending habits bother me to the point of frustration and anger. Some might say that my mother’s finances is none of my business, but I make it my business because when she gets older and into retirement, my sisters and I will have to supplement her income.
Everything I know about money, I learned from experience and stupid money mistakes. The turning point for me was paying off my student loans as quickly as I could. I got so angry at owing that money, I paid off about $10K in less than two years. When people ask me how I did it I used to say “I don’t know, I just got it done”. The truth is, I did a lot to get it done, I scraped together everything that I had, I only bought things that my son and I needed, I didn’t go out to party, eat, or even hang out with friends. As hard as it was, I knew that hanging out usually meant that I had to spend money somehow. I even had to skip birthday parties of my friends for that period of time. I literally made a commitment to myself, and my son that we were not going to live in debt.
Since then, I try to make smarter financial decisions, of course, I’m not perfect so I slip up every now and then and make a purchase that I really shouldn’t have. But I’m learning to control my money and not let it control me.
Had I had a sound financial understanding growing up maybe, just maybe things would have turned out differently. I made the decision a long time ago that I would break the money cycle with my son, and teach him financial literacy. There is just no way that I could sit back and let him go into the world with no idea about the true value of money.
How did you learn about money? Did you have to go through the trials and errors like me?
Learning to live in the moment,