What were your first experiences with money?
My parents gave us change for doing household chores and I babysat starting when I was 11 years old for a neighbor’s son. It taught me how much things cost relative to income at an early age. I also worked every summer in college. For me, not working was not an option because my family didn’t have a lot of disposable income with four kids and two in college at the same time…
What were the key messages around money that your family instilled in you?
Saving, thriftiness and thinking about the future. I was told all the time that debt was bad for anything but a home. My Dad always paid our family’s bills in full- if we couldn’t afford to pay for it, we didn’t buy it. My husband and I have parallel values around our financial risk aversion and we’ve taught our kids the same thing. The older ones (23 and 20) have worked since 8th grade (babysitting, dog walking earlier then internships later.) The younger one (13) is a dog walker and babysitter as well since she was 12.
What is your current relationship with money like?
Confident but cautious. I have a lot more financial security than I ever envisioned but I am still very careful around buying things on sale, comparing prices, not buying things that I really don’t need. I always think how lucky I am that I was able to have work that a allowed me to save and have a good life. It is a blessing.