Welcome to our inaugural HTWMPC Blog. To us this is more than a blog about money and finance, it’s a reflection of our belief in how to manage money well while saving enough money to secure a future where we can pursue the things that matter to us. So how do we manage and save enough money? Well, we have to have a plan – a solid plan that includes saving, investing and goal setting. As we continue on this journey together we will cover all these topics and more. However, since this is our first, let’s start with getting to know us.
MONEY AND POLITICS WITHOUT THE POLITICS
Most of us grew up with the mantra “don’t talk about money or politics”, right? We also had other great gems like “don’t cross your eyes, they’ll get stuck that way” and “never swallow gum because you will have a great big glob in your belly” and my personal favorite “always wear clean underwear in case you have to go to the hospital” which really confused me but of course I practice to this day. So how did we learn that these adages were incorrect? By growing up, having life experiences and lots of trial and error (your eyes actually don’t get stuck!). But when it comes to talking about money it is still ingrained in our collective psyche that it’s too personal, too nosy or it’s no ones business. But what if we actually did change course and made “talking about money” a family goal?
Like most kids of my generation my first lesson into money management was having an allowance. While this is foreign to most of the new kids on the block (NOT the band folks) there was a time when you could get one dollar a week for taking out the trash and washing the dishes. Boy what a fortune that was, but what to do with it? It wasn’t long before I realized that the coveted item in the storefront window was well beyond $1.00. However, the following week, with $2.00 in my pocket the item was now in reach. Saving became a new concept my parents had not explained to me (see the first sentence in paragraph one). Yes, I heard the oft used ‘it’s too expensive’ statement but I thought that was reserved for steak and raspberries, not a 12 pack of Bubbleicious. In its rudimentary form this was my first building block of money management.
I believe kids are never too young to learn about money. I have known people that are quite open about their family’s income and expenses. From the basic “here are seven apples and we just gave eight to the landlord” to “let’s put the $50 bucks from grandma into your brand new savings account” example. These lessons lay the foundation for smart money habits. Modeling smart fiscal behavior in a family and bringing kids into the conversation about how money impacts the family can translate into lifelong habits.
As an adult the value of money is in a constant state of change, from having and spending to saving. This is just a fact of life. Adulthood has its own set of challenges and money management is one of the biggest. Maybe now you have debt, a family or live paycheck to paycheck. Conversely you are a newly minted graduate with a job that pays better than UberEats or Door Dash and has a 401k plan and health benefits and boy, now I can actually afford a new Tesla. These types of topics may not have been open for discussion in your family. The good news is that it is never too early or late to find a mentor or financial professional who can teach you how to identify your goals, design a budget, set up a savings plan and investment strategy.
In all its iterations money reflects our values, successes, and opportunities. It represents freedom, security and a means to an end. Our principles and behavior around money is an indicator of what is of importance in our lives and what value it brings to us. If we can’t overcome the long held taboos about talking about money then we do a disservice to the next generation who face an even more complex monetary world.
And always remember the most famous adage of all: “A penny saved is a penny earned” which turns out is actually true unlike the “Fish and visitors stink after three days”!!