I have suffered at times from making poor choices when it comes to money management, there I said it its out in the universe. For as long as I can recall money and I have had a touchy relationship. We have our good days we have our bad days. We have our ups we have our downs. I've been working since H.S. none stop except for maternity leave and money has always been a driving force somewhere in my mind.
Growing up no one in my family ever really "taught" me the correct way to handle my finances this took years of trail and error for me to get it right and still today I sometimes trip on a rock or two. Case in point the reason I'm sharing this with you today.
I don't know about you but I think some of us can agree we come from a society that believes "I work hard I deserve it" and to some degree that is so true, I certainly believe that myself but to what extent are we going to fall for that line and end up hurting ourselves more than we help? How deserving is the quick gratification over the long term stress?
illustration by rifuture.org
One of the major things I've learned about finances and running a household is learning how to analyze your needs from wants when it comes to household shopping and labels and brands. When I first moved out on my own and I've spoken about this in the past everything I bought was because that's what my mom use to buy. Charming toilet tissue, Bounty paper towels, Glad trash bags, Downy fabric softener and so on. What I wasn't conscience of was that her household income wasn't mine.
I was 18/19 years old starting to build a life with a small income.
Slowly I started to change and when I started living with my daughter's father and then when I had my daughter those early behaviors continued to be tweaked or removed all together. Getting to this point in time today I have learned the following in order to do the right thing by my money:
-bulk stores are not economical unless you shop carefully and split costs with family or friends
-you don't need numerous cleaning products to clean around your house, baking soda, Clorox, a gentle wood cleaner, vinegar and a nice light scented oil is all you need for clean house and laundry. We have Google now and Pinterest soooo many DIY ideas look them up.
-ladies we don't need allll these anti aging, exfoliating, blemish control blah blah blah products Coconut oil, Tea tree oil, Green tea, cotton balls, brown sugar, some essential oils is all we need for great healthy skin again Google and other research tools will help you cut these costs. I don't even buy any type of shaving products I use Coconut oil for just about everything
-Family Dollar, Dollar Deals, CVS and Walgreens are great family budget places to shop at
-don't be cheap on paper towels or toilet tissue it will cost you more in the long run
-big ticket item sales aren't always sales so use caution
-just because there is a sale doesn't mean you have to make a purchase
-just because you have a few extra dollars doesn't mean you have to spend it which bring me to....
When I chose Reason over Impulse.
Last year I read a post on a blog I follow about the 52 week Money Challenge. This Blogger was going to use it to go away on vacation with her hubby and two small kids. I said oh great I can try that and buy this bag that I wanted. Yes I love myself some handbags not that I need more I just want more. I wasn't thinking at that moment about long term goals or long term gains I was just concentrating on my beautiful new bag was going to "add" to my collection. Collection I say because again we are conditioned to think we need to add more, upgrade to better, variety is key.
So every week I saved my money checked each week off with pride keeping my eye on the prize, until my daughter made a comment that woke me up and busted the Impulse bubble.
illustration by freelogovector.com
It made me stop and recall years I could have been building a better nest egg for my family had the impulsive idea we deserve it right now had not gotten in the way. But after I allowed myself to go through those emotions I gathered my thoughts and decided to use Reason. I finished my 52 week challenge two weeks ago and decided to walk myself over to Chase talk to my account manager and open a Brokerage Retirement Fund. Maturity means learning to do what is best long term. Thinking things through and using rational thoughts.
As a mother, as a parent these are lessons I have always taught my daughter so why just because I am the adult would I not be listening to my own advice? I am proud to say I have a few baskets each with a few eggs in them and that is long term reason my short term impulses can be satisfied to some degrees with certain returns and that works just fine for me.
illustration by sheelagoh.com
How about you, are there things you desire that you feel you have earned only to later realize the lack of importance? Do you have issues balancing your financial responsibilities at times? What tricks or tips can you share that have helped you stay on safety net course? Share your comments with me.
Always stress free xo.