I can recall a time where it was considered perfectly normal to get paid and spend all the money that you earned on fun stuff like clothes, shoes, and your weekend festivities. 20 years later and as a responsible adult it is spent on a mortgage, car payment, utilities, childcare, gas, 401k, life insurance, and if there is anything left we take the extra step to put some into our savings account. Adulting is not as much fun….is it?
Growing up I watched many women find themselves in situations where they had to stick around for less than ideal relationships due to their financial needs and I always vowed to myself that I would never remain in any relationship due to financial dependency. As I grew up I learned that they did not desire to be on those type of situations either, they were just not taught anything different when it came to their personal finances. They were also not given the opportunities that women like myself are afforded today to access information and gain knowledge about acquiring wealth for themselves and their families. I have learned so much over the last year from reading books such as Women and Money by Suze Orman, and listening to podcasts such as The Clever Girls Know by Bola Sokunbi , Redefining Wealth by Patrice Washington, and MyTaughtYou by Myleik Teele. The knowledge that I have acquired from these women have flipped my financial world upside down!
The more you know…the more you grow!
The valuable lessons that I continue to learn from these amazing ladies about how to manage my personal finances and build wealth for my family have been life changing. It allows me to make better decisions on how to spend wisely, the importance of eliminating debt, and the value of saving for the future. I once read that a woman’s income and wealth are directly tied to her health. Consequently, wealthy women have better health outcomes than women with little or no assets.
When my husband and I initially got married, for the first year my husband lived in a different state than I did as he finished his last year in the military. Therefore, we had two households of bills and we also had different spending habits. We continued to spend like two single people, however over time we had to learn how to channel our spending to accommodate our new status as a married couple. Then, once we got that down a year later he joined us in our home in Texas which led to more changes. Then, another year later we welcomed our youngest son to our family which led to even more changes.
The most important lesson that I have learned about personal finances is that the more you make, the more opportunity you have to mess up when it comes to managing your finances. Therefore, you have to decide what means the most to you and your family and make sure that you identify a strategy that works for you all. Our current strategy consists of us splitting our bills into two buckets, the bills that are due day 1-15 of the month and the other are the bills that are due day 16-31 because we are each paid bi-weekly. We have our 401k and savings contributions deducted automatically from our paychecks, then we pay all of our bills for that respective pay period before we do any leisure spending. We also try to use any extra pay or bonues to take big bites out of our debt. This has allowed us to take control of our finances and has given us both peace of mind. Please know that we do build fun for our family into our spending as well because that is important to us, but we plan ahead to get the best deals and we keep it within our budget.
If you can relate to my money story, check out these resources to help get you on the path to financial wealth and success in life.