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My good friend Lauren Koster of Lauren Koster Creative, and I are rolling out an IGTV series called Money Talk where we have candid, open conversations about money. We lay it ALL out there for your when it comes to our financial situations.
We share our stories about HOW we got into debt, how we plan to get out of it and what are financial goals are. Moreover, we are talking about important things like how we were raised impacting our relationship with money and how we handle money with our spouses.
I grew up in an upper-middle class family, but until age 13, I was going back and fourth between my mom’s house and my dad’s house every other weekend. These families were completely different in terms of financial situation. Today, I look back and I see that my money habits mimic my mother’s to a “T.”
We Are Only Here for a Short Time
My mom lives by the, “You are only here for a short time mentality.” We lost my grandpa, her father, way too early. It instilled a “live now,” mantra in our family. Grandpa’s passing made all of us realize that God could call us home tomorrow, so we better make the most of today.
I was Pretty Spoiled
When I was in 10th grade, my mom took my brother and I out of school for TWO weeks to travel around the Hawaiian islands. We always wore name brand clothing and had the latest gadget. I played in expensive travel soccer leagues and wore $500+ prom dresses. To say I was spoiled would be an understatement.
As a kid, you don’t really question your parent’s spending habits. I never remember my parents fighting about money, but I know that my mom was in control of the family finances. She was the main breadwinner in the family, so if she wanted to go on a vacation, my dad just went with it. To this day, she makes a lot and spends a lot. I find myself in the same pattern.
Talking About Money
I don’t think I really talked about money with my parents until I went to college. They took out loans to help me pay tuition and it was a stretch for them. There was a lot of stress and tension around this, and I always felt immense guilt that they were helping pay for my schooling. Even with their help, I still came out of school with at least $30,000 of student loan debt.
After graduating, the conversations started opening up. Being an adult, paying all my own bills, and buying a house, I could relate so much more to my mom. We have conversations about money almost every time we are together. I think it’s so healthy and important. I just wish we had started having these conversations sooner!
Breaking the Patterns
There is a pattern happening that has been passed on to me. Make money, spend money. Live now, don’t wait (even if that means taking out a loan or going into debt). Work hard, play hard (you deserve it). This is a pattern that I’m ready to break. The cycle ends now.
I’m currently reading 4-Hour Work Week, and Timothy Ferriss flips this pattern on its head. It’s like the money we are spending in extravagant ways is partially tied to working ourselves to death and needing a break, an escape from reality.
What if we could just work less and mold our reality into something we actually love day in and day out. So instead of “living” two weeks a year while we are on vacation (that we charged to a credit card) and waiting to retirement to do all the things we want to do, we create the space for these things NOW. In a way that fits in with our work, lifestyle and most importantly, budget…
Leading by Example
It’s easy to let our choices and current financial situations get us down, make us feel defeated and force us to give up hope. I’ve made A LOT of money mistakes. I’ve let how I was raised impact how I manage and spend my money.
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I wish I could say I have my finances together, but I’m just getting started on turning this ship around! I pray that my journey can inspire and motivate you to do the same if you are in a similar spot. Be encouraged, have faith, and don’t give up. We can get through this mess together.