Everything I know about money, I’ve learned on my own. Mostly through mistakes, some through some very helpful people, but all of it on my own initiative. I didn’t grow up with much in terms of a financial role model. Money wasn’t regularly talked about in my house and, like many others, didn’t learn much about it in school.
Having a financial role model can quite literally change someone’s life. Being around a positive financial role model likely means less financial mistakes and more confidence with ones finances. Knowing how to control your money is a very powerful tool and having someone to model after is a great asset. I admire people who seemingly always make good financial decisions from basic home budgets to investment strategies. While I’m 100x better than I was even a year ago, I’m still fumbling my way through it all. I still make mistakes, still overspend (especially on groceries and eating out) and have very limited investment knowledge. Since everything I know is self-taught this is a slow, and long, learning process. Learning about money will always be an active part of my life.
Though I didn’t have a defined financial role model in my life growing up, since starting this blog and interacting with much wiser people, I’ve learned a lot. I continue to learn every day. I’m more often openly talking about money to anyone and everyone, seemingly all the time (wait to you get a drink or two in me- I break out meal plans and receipts from past grocery trips). These conversations often leave me inspired as well. What surprised me the most was knowing I have been surrounded by good financial role models but I didn’t realize it. Since money as a general topic is often kept close to the proverbial breast, we can float through life never knowing as much about our loved ones as we thought.
Since openly talking about money, I’ve learned some pretty amazing things from my friends and family.
- One of my real-life best friends was working three jobs (FT career plus two PT jobs) for a six month period and she was able to pay off almost 15k in debt.
- A close family member lived in their first home and paid off the mortgage before moving again, only eight years after move-in, while getting a Master’s degree and having two kids.
- A work friend didn’t get her high school diploma until her early 30′s (terrible childhood) and managed to go to college, get a good job and two years ago (on her 40th birthday) bought her first home with a down payment she saved for six years.
- Another work friend was a single mom (dad not at all in the picture) and on her own managed to save for a home, pay it off within 15 years and then do full renovation all on a very modest salary.
Though I should regret my financial mistakes, I can confidently say I will be a better person for it. My daughter will grow up in a house that talks about money and she will learn all that I know starting at a very early age. My daughter will have a financial role model.
Did you have a financial role model? What’s the best thing you’ve learned?