If there is anything that had a powerful effect on how I handled money, it was becoming a parent. When are the stakes ever higher than when your decisions and actions directly influence the most precious people in your life? The irony is, I learn just as much from my kids as they do from me. That is why I’ve put together a list of ways parenthood will teach you about money.
4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money
If you already have kids, then you know the truth: We appear to the world as teachers, but when it comes to life with kids, we’re students.
Parenthood offers free, daily lessons (whether you want them some days or not) in things like:
Patience Problem solving Intentional living The ABC’s according to Dr. Seuss Mending ailments How to communicate feelings How to talk your child out of watching anymore Caillou . . . → Read More: 4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money
Do you think it’s possible to truly feel financially empowered while you’re living on a small income? Does more money equal more power over your own life? I would argue that it’s never that cut and dry. The breakthrough in my financial story wasn’t the day I doubled my income. It was the first big shift in my mindset.
Broke Vs. Poor
“Being broke is a temporary situation. Being poor is a state of mind.” – Mike Todd
When my husband and I agreed to transition from a dual-income to a single-income family shortly before our second child was born, we lived on $36,000 for the next year. Sure we were glowing with adoration for our newest bundle, we were out of debt, we had an emergency fund, and we were glad to have one parent at home full-time with the children, but living each month on $1,600 . . . → Read More: How to Feel Financially Empowered on a Small Income
Getting out of debt sucks.
I’m a math nerd, I like depriving myself of stuff, and I really like to live simply…and getting out of debt still sucked.
BUT – it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
In case you don’t really know my story, here’s the sequence of events:
Graduated from college, had $18,000 of student loan debt Got married (yay!) Together, we paid off the $18,000 and built up an actual net worth Got divorced (booo…), kept the house, and therefore was thrown back into debt because I owed my ex $22,000 of our equity Paid off the $22,000 in 6 months (whew!) Paid off the remaining $54,500 on the home mortgage in just 12 months!
In other words, I’ve been in debt, got out of debt, was thrown back into it, and then came out of it faster and stronger than ever. . . . → Read More: The Absolute Best Tool For Getting Out of Debt
Many of our grandparents were born between 1910 and 1925. This is what Tom Brokaw dubbed “The Greatest Generation” when America was developed and defended on the backbones of its hard-working citizens. Anyone with silver hair, no matter their birth date, has spent an entire lifetime making choices and reaping consequences. It is our choice whether or not we will learn from our grandparents’ experiences and advice. That is why I’ve comprised a list of frugal habits I’ve learned from watching my own grandparents as a child.
It only just dawned on me that I’ve been learning from their example all of my life even though they’ve all passed on.
Even my grandpa “Big John,” who passed away from a heart attack when I was four, left a legacy in his community as a reliable and trustworthy man others looked to for business advice. Things like that, 25 years later, . . . → Read More: Grandma’s Top 10 Frugal Habits That Were Right on the Money
Want to get out of credit card debt? It really isn’t that hard, people. Suck it up, follow the steps, and ditch your debt.
Start living on less (split rent, buy cheaper groceries, etc.) Each morning, visualize your fantastic life without credit card debt Increase your income (second job, side hustle, etc.) Sell anything you can and put the cash into savings (for future unknown emergencies) Put all of your extra earnings toward the smallest debt Pay off the smallest debt. Since you now have that monthly payment freed up, put it toward the next smallest debt. Repeat #5-6
And there you have it! A rock solid get out of credit card debt plan that anyone can win with, and in less than 100 words! Now stop reading about how to get out of credit card debt and start actually doing it!
. . . → Read More: How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt (in less than 100 words)
You have more power than you realize when it comes to paying off debt. Much of the time it is the “wants” we don’t like giving up in order to get out of debt faster (not always, but in my experience, more often than I’d admit). Creature comforts like cool air conditioning all summer long are much harder to give up than buying a generic brand of cereal versus something name brand.
But it’s time to get radical. Think about this question: What’s in it for me? The faster you pay off your debt, the less money you’ll pay in interest this year, the sooner you’ll free up the money going toward monthly payments, and the more disciplined and less stressed you’ll be with your wealth in the years to come.
We may not be the generation that grew up walking three miles to school in snow up hill both . . . → Read More: 5 Radical Ways to Get Out of Debt Faster
I first learned about using “debt as a tool” in my job at a bank, but there were some major pot holes in my new “road to success.” I used things like credit cards and car loans to “get ahead” and establish my credit. Sounds pretty normal, right? The problem was, I didn’t do anything else. Using debt trumped the importance of saving for emergencies, budgeting my monthly expenses, investing while I was young, and spending less than I made each month. Becoming debt-free was not on my radar. How did things go for me? Well, I spent the first half of my twenties working hard with very little to show for it. I had no budget, no long-term plan, no debt-free plan, almost no savings, and a glowing credit report. I was missing some MAJOR pieces to a healthy financial foundation (basically all of them) and headed for disaster. . . . → Read More: How Becoming Debt-Free at 25 Changed My Life
In 2012, my husband and I both worked full-time with no children. By 2014, we were a family of four living on a single income of less than $2,000 a month. It wasn’t an easy time for us, but I’m going to share with you the lessons we learned and applied to help us make it on our own two feet. By the end of this article, you will have a clearer understanding of not just how to survive a loss of income, but how to thrive afterward.
7 Ways to Survive a Loss Of Income
In the following steps, I’m going to outline what you can do today to prepare for a future income loss or how to survive a current loss. Many of the techniques my husband and I used were lessons we learned from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Whether or not you follow all of Dave’s . . . → Read More: How to Survive a Loss of Income
Only 59% of college students actually finish their degree. Of all college students, the average debt load when they finish (or quit) is over $30,000 and their unemployment rate is 8.5%, far greater than the 5.5% average unemployment rate of the entire nation. More so now than ever, college attendees are actually finding themselves left behind economically, rather than getting ahead like the past generations. They have seemingly done everything right, but many are jobless or underemployed, and sinking under a mountain of debt.
Source: Institute of Education Sciences
I thought going to college was supposed to lead to a head start in life! Apparently it’s just a way to get behind? What is the correct path for getting ahead these days?
14 Steps to Get a Head Start in Life
With tuition rates on the rise and an ever-increasingly saturated marketplace, what can students do today . . . → Read More: 14 Steps to Get a Serious Head Start in Life
Financial Independence – what is it really? Is it when you finally rid yourself of all debts and can actually afford to buy some bling with cash? Or is it when you finally have enough money socked away for that inevitable future emergency?
There are many different opinions about financial independence. Some of them are blatantly wrong (like the emergency fund statement above), while others are close but are stretched a bit so that financial independence becomes more achievable for them.
A little advice for you. Don’t dumb down financial independence just because you’re not even close. Learn what it truly is, decide if it’s for you. And if it is, then work your butt off to get there in the least amount of time possible!
What is Financial Independence?
Surprisingly, I think Wikipedia did the best job defining financial independence:
Financial independence (FI) is generally used to describe the . . . → Read More: Financial Independence: It’s Not the Final Chapter