Wow! This is my first money blog. I’ve been putting it off but its time to face the hard stuff and delve into the world of financial planning. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to rip off the proverbial band-aid and open my Pandora’s box of finance; have a root around and see what we find.
I’m going to grit my teeth and be brutally honest with myself and with you as I know when it comes to our money, too many of us glaze over the issues staring at us from our bank statement and tend to push it away, to ‘deal’ with it later.
Are your finances an area of your life that you need to improve? If so, read on then check out my other financial posts as I journey through this area.
Lets evaluate – What does personal finance mean?
While you are reading this with me, trying not to laugh at my financial woe, take a moment to evaluate your own personal finances. A lot of us put our personal relationships under the microscope and dissect every detail. So why, oh why don’t we do the same with our money, debt, bank accounts, savings… The currency on which we depend to see us comfortable in our retirement.
I have realized recently, through a course I took that our attitude towards money comes from our parents. No, I’m not doing that age-old thing of blaming our parents for everything! However if you think about it, it makes sense to look at our history. Lets take my lovely parents as an example. I was raised in a middle-class suburb, my father a teacher and my mother a stay-at-home mum until I was a teenager. Our house was a big average, we had everything to meet our needs but not enough for excess. There were no foreign holidays, no excess of toys or presents and no car until we were teenagers. However, we did not want for anything. I was always aware we had some money but was also raised to understand that you do not talk about money, do not show it off when you have it and should be grateful for what you have. That was their money mindset.
As a consequence, I believe that my attitude towards money is that if I have enough to live comfortably in my everyday life and can save for the occasional luxury then I am in a good situation. However, this is a fairly limiting belief. It means that I do not strive for more money and do not believe I am really deserving of it. I am now re-educating myself into viewing money as a possibility for so much good in the world, not as ‘dirty’ and ‘not for me’. What is your money mindset? How has it affected your life?
My twenties were spent being hedonistic. In Australia and in London. Yes, I worked but I viewed the money I made as there to be spent. For my pleasure. I wonder how many of us had the same opinion. To avoid my son making the same mistake, I intend on educating him on the endless possibilities with money and the varied ways of making and saving it. He already has a couple of bank accounts, so I think that we are going to spend the next year learning together about how to invest. It truly excites me to think that my 11 year old will start his financial life in a better place I was at that age and with far more financial wisdom.
My thirties started in debt. I did the age-old thing of consolidating credit cards and slowly paid it off. I grew up, took a cringing look at my finances and opened an ISA. Then motherhood came along and surplus money that was there was spent on diapers, endless clothes etc. etc. I was a stay at home mum for a period which was fantastic for my children’s mental health and development but awful for my bank balance, which shook its proverbial head in despair. If you are familiar with this situation, don’t panic. Children do get slightly cheaper as they get older and stop growing so rapidly!
Where are you in your money journey?
Now I am in my forties. As much as I cringe to owning up to my age and my financial woes, I am looking forward, not back. I want to stride forward confidently in my life. I listen to financial podcasts, I have daily mantras to increase my self-belief and whilst I work in my day job, I am starting my own business. Earlier this year, I invested in an online course on creating an online business and also created my own website. Small but exciting steps.
What is your money mindset? Do you waltz through blithely ignoring your bank balance, as long as you can do your day to day activities? Or are you money savvy and know your way around investment options? Whatever stage you are at, there is always more to learn. For you, here is a guide for investing for beginners. As a single mother, I would always advise total independence financially. We never know what is around the corner. For example, when it comes to life insurance, it should not just be one partner who has it. My father had life insurance which he paid for monthly but my mother didn’t. Their assumption was that my father would die first. Macabre I know but this bet did not pay off. With regards to my personal history, I would now never want to rely on a partner. Trust aside, it causes less arguments when you are totally financially independent and also will give you a sense of pride in what you earn and save.
In conclusion, I want to put my hand up to the question ‘Are you money savvy?’ My answer is no longer ‘No’, but an ‘I’m getting there’. Independently, I have examined my finances, decided what I want from life and how much it costs and decided to go for it. My confidence levels have increased, my creativity has rocketed and most importantly I’m proud of myself. I’m not exactly a millionaire but I took a baby step, then another and another. As I continue on my financial journey, I will share the highs and lows and the tips I learn along the way.
Where are you on your financial journey? Whatever stage you are at, we can all learn more. Subscribe to my blog and lets journey together.
After all, it’s much more fun if we learn together.