I had a garage sale last weekend, full of mounds and mounds of baby clothes and toys that I had no qualms about parting with. In fact, I couldn’t believe we had amassed that much “stuff” in four years.
For my son, however, it was tough to understand why we were getting rid of his things, even though he hasn’t played with most of them in years. I tried my best to explain that if we sell these “old” things, we can make money to buy new toys.
This event presented yet another opportunity to teach a lesson in money management.
Growing up, I encountered many financial lessons as the daughter of a career banker. My dad has always been my “go-to-guy” for financial advice.
- At 16, when I got my first job, he encouraged me to put half of my paycheck in savings. The other half I could spend.
- When I graduated from college, he handed me a pamphlet about budgeting and helped me understand how to manage the funds from my first adult job.
- He would use simple tools, like salt and pepper shakers, for instance, to teach me complicated financial matters. It came in handy in my college economics class!
- For Christmas one year, he gave me the book, “ Common Sense on Mutual Funds.” Sorry Dad – I still haven’t read that one!
I’m so thankful for the solid foundation I was imparted thanks to Dad’s good advice. The best tip I’ll share with my son someday is this – Pay yourself first. Contribute to your 401K as soon as possible. Start at your company match (or more!) and increase it by at least 1 percent every year and/or every time you get a raise. You won’t miss the money you never felt like you had.
It sounds like my colleagues have met good advice on their paths to financial success as well.
- Shannon’s mother was an inspiration for her ability to make a little go a long way. And she encouraged Shannon and her brother to save most of their birthday money, make deposits at the bank and help contribute to big purchases like first cars and class rings.
- Patty is teaching her children to start saving early and often. There are two ways to save – first you have to earn the money, then you have to try not to spend it!
- Chuck pays extra on his mortgage every month with the goal of paying it off 7 years early!
- Rob, Benjamin and Barbara agree that 401K contributions are key.
- Nicky uses separate bank accounts for bills, emergency savings and fun stuff to help the budgeting process. It’s another tip learned from Dad.
Deidre recommends creating a monthly budget to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it all went!
Now, let’s hear from you. What financial adages have guided you along the way?