What were your first experiences with money?
My grandmother shaped a lot of my early experiences with money. Around age 7, my grandmother had my sister and me pretend to “buy” stocks. Every day, we anxiously looked up prices for Disney and Marriott in the newspaper to see what our paper gains or losses were for the day. On my 16th birthday, my grandma insisted that I open my own checking account at the local bank. During a college spring break, my grandmother let me attend a stockholder meeting for a publicly traded company. This grandmother also connected me to an internship opportunity with a stock brokerage. It’s from that experience that I decided to focus my professional endeavors in business finance rather than personal finance.
Separate from my grandmother’s influence, I had many other early experiences with money. My parents taught me a lot about money with “tough love.” When I wanted a Schwinn ten speed bike for my birthday, they gifted some money and made me fund the rest of the purchase from my savings. When other parents in the neighborhood bought their family a Nintendo and lots of games, my sister and I had to purchase it ourselves. Thankfully, my sister and I had a thriving babysitting business and we were smart about what we wanted to buy and where we could cut corners (i.e., by playing friend’s games).
What were the key messages around money that your family instilled in you?
My family provided a lot of good examples by living within their means and prioritizing saving for education and other investments. We were the last family in the neighborhood to buy whatever the “latest and greatest” thing was at the time and my parents never let that bother them. As an adult, a lot of the messages that I live by are the same as theirs.
What is your current relationship with money like?
I currently love spending money and I love saving money! I have determined a few small luxuries that I don’t mind spending a bit more on and a multitude of other areas where I tend to be frugal. My long-term goal is to give myself the option to retire both early and comfortably.