My Financial Story and the Money Lessons I’ve Learned

From my recent poll, it seems readers want me to talk more about business, entrepreneurship, and money -so here it goes!

Since I will be talking more about personal finance, business finance, and other money matters I thought I should tell you more about my personal finances, lessons I’ve learned and my loving relationship with money. Here it goes:

Let’s start with when I was a little girl. My parents were good role models when it came to money. I often saw my mom using coupons and my family never went out for dinner unless it was a special occasion like my parents’ anniversary. My sisters and I received an allowance but the allowance came with rules. My mom would take us to the bank where we each had to deposit the majority of our allowance into our personal savings accounts. I still have the bankbooks from when I was younger and a lot of the deposits were for $5.00. We were allowed to buy ourselves something small with the remainder of the allowance or choose to keep it. Being a little entrepreneur, I liked saving my money to invest in having a lemonade and cookies stand where I could make a return on my investment haha 🙂 Anyways, usually once per year we would use our saved money to buy Savings Bonds which I later used towards university along with money I had saved from part time jobs as a teenager.

Lesson Learned: With patience, money grows and even small amounts (like $5.00) are worth saving.

During my first two summers of university I worked at the local Toyota plant in Quality Control. Car sales were at a peak then and we worked a lot of overtime. It was a tough job but paid really well. I did three things with the money I made there: paid for university in full with no student loans (I also had the money I saved as a teenager), started my business, and opened a brokerage account to buy stocks and funds.

Lesson Learned: You’re never too young to start investing and planning for your future. In fact, the best time is when you’re young. Check out this Motley Fool article about the magic of compounding.

I come across a lot of blogs about people in debt, chronicling their way out. This won’t be me because I don’t have any consumer debt. I never have. Although I haven’t been in the trenches of debt personally, I can still relate to those of you who are. My boyfriend had about $30,000.00 in consumer debt when we started dating and I helped him pay it off by crafting a financial plan and budgeting. With his permission I’ll share his whole story and get-outta-debt formula in a future post. It is important to me to be with someone who shares my financial goals since money issues are among the top reasons why relationships don’t work out. Now, still together and debt free, we’re working towards financial freedom and growing our net worth.

 

Lesson Learned: Choose a partner who shares your financial goals. I need to be with someone who cares about money in the same way I do. I by no means deprive myself but I need to stick to a financial plan and be with someone who will do the same.

I’ve heard numerous times that you shouldn’t buy a house that costs more than 2.5 times your annual income. I know a lot of people who have broke that rule and are struggling right now. BF and I bought a condo that cost roughly the equivalent of our annual income. It’s small but that forces us to eliminate clutter and to be honest, we don’t need something bigger. We try to live below our means so that we can save and invest. If we don’t have the money to buy something, we don’t buy it.

 

Lesson Learned: Don’t spend more money than you make. This is a simple rule but still hard for a lot of people, especially in a society that often judges you by what you have.

I am by no means a financial expert. Through managing my personal finances as well as my business finances (which I didn’t even get into yet) I’ve learned a few things that I think can help others. That’s why I want to share. I encourage you to share your stories too and I welcome guest posts. By openly discussing our finances we can help each other make better decisions with our money and live more financially prosperous lives.

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3 thoughts on “My Financial Story and the Money Lessons I’ve Learned

  1. I think you’re onto something. I really think that having a partner who shares your sense of “how to spend money” is great. I also think that saving up, and living below your means is much easier when you have the support of your spouse or family.

    Way to go!

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