As many of you know, my Dad has taught me just about everything I know about money! From an early age, he didn’t just teach me to save money, he taught me how to think about money AND how to use it! Both my brother and I knew that we needed to save for emergencies, for specific purposes, whether a want or a need, such as a car or vacation, as well as for the future, i.e., retirement.
Teaching me how to think about money and how best to spend it, were just as valuable as the practice of saving was. Dad would tell me things like how to invest now and yield dividends later. Take savings bonds, for instance. That was the first type of financial investment that I ever made. I began purchasing savings bonds for a fraction of the face value, putting them away until they matured. (To find out more about hos U.S. Savings bonds worked/work, visit this site https://www.treasurydirect.gov/).
How I managed the money that I didn’t put in savings or invest was a key lesson as well. As a kid, even though I didn’t know it then, this was my first lesson in how to budget my money. I received $10 a week for my allowance. I put $2.50 in the bank leaving $7.50 to use as I pleased. At that time, all I wanted was ice cream from the ice cream truck, plastic jewelry, stickers and other little items that most kids wanted at the time.
Well, Dad explained the importance of not spending all of my money at once. On the day I got my allowance, I put a couple dollars in my pocket, but was encouraged to put the rest aside for the rest of the week so that I would have money to last for the remainder of the week. He taught me to think about all I wanted to purchase or “accomplish” with the money, and he helped me to plan accordingly!
If the family was planning a summer vacation that was months away, I was encouraged to save, in an envelope, a couple of dollars per week, so that by the time we went on vacation, I’d have $20 or more to spend while on vacation. He also said that I should put a dollar or two away for Wednesday evenings when the ice cream truck came to our neighborhood.
Once my Dad purchased an AMAZING portable record player for me and I LOVED buying music! So, when I’d find out that one of my favorite artists was coming out with a new album, I would put money aside for that too!
Finally, I sometimes wanted to give gifts to people in my family, like my mom, grandparents, friends, etc., so I’d have to use some of my allowance for gifts, which I really loved being able to do with my own money!
Another thing that Dad brought to my attention was that if I didn’t spend ALL of my money during the week, I could rollover unspent money to the next week or put more into my savings account or budget for other things.
Having me look at money in this way not only helped me with budgeting, but it also helped me with planning, prioritizing and to begin to figure out, even as a child, what was most important and valuable to me.
All of these lessons that were disguised as just money management skills training, has served me well at every stage in life – even today as an adult! The way I was taught to think about money is the way I try to think about everything. I try to always consider what I really need versus what I want.
Jennstalk offers one-on-one, money management sessions for people of every age and at every stage in life. If you’d like to give us a try, feel free to sign up for a FREE 30-minute session with us for yourself or share our information with someone you love*!
If you would like to receive a free, one-on-one session with my Dad and me, that will help you on the road to creating a personalized plan, establish goals, or create steps for goals that you already have, please sign up for a session with us at https://calendly.com/jennstalk/financial-management!
*PLEASE NOTE: Children under 18 will need to have their parents present for their session.