In Honor Of
Today’s post is in honor of all the amazing mommies who sacrifice so much for their families.
I don’t think we often realize how much moms undertake in this modern age.
Expectations are significant.
One one hand, they are expected to be career driven and willing to contribute to the family income pool.
On the other hand, they are also expected to be primary home and children caretakers. In addition to the stacks of laundry calling their name, they are also beckoned to become dance and soccer moms, chefs, teachers, and counselors… and that’s just naming a few… whew!
My Mom & Money
So here’s a big thank you to my Mom. She’s no longer with us (miss ya!), but her strength and vibrant adventurous spirit is always a part of me.
Here are a few ways she positively affected my view of money.
Buy Experiences Over Things
As a single mother, my Mom would always make it a point to take us somewhere on vacation every year. We took a lot of road trips and saw a lot of the beauty our national parks had to offer. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend, but we’d make the best of a situation. At the time, I was probably complaining a ton, but now that I look back on those trips, they are some of the fondest memories I have.
Today, I’m continually eager to share some of those same experiences with my children. We definitely have more disposable income now vs. when growing up, yet our family vacations really taught me that it’s more about the interaction than anything. I’m looking forward to another epic vacation soon this summer.
Feeling Rich isn’t About Money
My Mom never had a million dollars to her name. In fact, she struggled financially at times, and that’s okay. Seeing this struggle was a gift to me and my siblings in that we were driven to seek out the comfort of financial stability and freedom. She also showed us that you can enjoy life with whatever you have… joy doesn’t come from money, rather from the meaning we give to things. I was so lucky that our household was always rich in love and support.
Don’t Outsource Your Investments
My Mom never quite knew the complete picture of her finances. And, that’s probably like the majority of most Americans these days. It’s not that she didn’t have any assets, but she didn’t understand them. She was fortunate that one of her brothers was well off and tried to help her invest her money “wisely”. Although his intentions were pure, many of them went awry and my Mom would lose her entire principal.
Observing this first hand was a good motivation point to wanting to understand personal finance on my own. No one else is going to value your assets like you ever will because it’s yours! It should be that way. So, it’s important to take the time to become financially alert and invest consciously with intention. Mistakes are inevitable, but you must understand the mistake you made first in order to correct it the next time around.
My Wife & Money
The second half of this post is in honor of my own wife, and mother of my two children.
She is simply amazing and I know I don’t say that often enough to her.
However, she’s also a HUGE factor in our financial success.
My wife and I have been together for 2 decades (married just shy of 12 years now), so she’s been around when we didn’t have a lot to our names.
Here are some financial lessons that I owe to her.
Money Doesn’t Matter in Love
I would tell her back in college all of my crazy ideas about starting a business, making lots of money, and retiring early. I’m pretty sure she didn’t think I was completely serious about these things, but she always supported me regardless. Some things worked out, others didn’t, but she was ALWAYS there.
My wife is one of the most humble people I know. She is more concerned about supporting me in my endeavors than she is with the balance sheet. This support has had intangible benefits that really gave me the confidence to act when I needed to or laugh when the going got tough. Never underestimate your significant other’s impact on your personal finances directly, or indirectly.
Financial Yin & Yang
My wife is my financial Yin & Yang. Simply put, together we balance each other out well. 🙂
She is NOT a spender by any means. If anything, I’m the one who likes to purchase “toys”. She grew up in a household where money was either booming or in a bust state. My wife did NOT like that volatility and vowed never to live her own life without financial security.
As such, she paid off her student loans promptly out of college and was content to live a comfortable, but modest lifestyle as we saved ~50% of our income for nearly a decade. She would play the devil’s advocate when I had some crazy investment idea, which was helpful in making better investment decisions in the long run.
FIRE is a Team Sport
The truth is that I owe my early retirement to my wife. Her income is able to sustain us with the comfortable lifestyle we have while allowing us to not dip into our investment principal. This allows those investments to grow further and not deplete our assets while we are still relatively young.
I’ve always told her that we could move to a lower cost of living state and FIRE both of us, but she LOVES her job as a teacher… and she’s darn good at it too. So, she’s really the perfect counterpart to the FIRE equation at the moment and provides me the flexibility to spend each day with our kids, pursue other side projects, businesses, and/or investments. My goal is to have her look back one day and realize it was also a good financial decision to let me retire early! 😉
Well, I’m just scratching the surface of how these two amazing mommies made a HUGE difference in my life, but it suffices to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without either of them.
I am forever ever grateful, blessed, and in awe of these beautiful souls.
Let’s never forget the strength and love of our amazing mommies everywhere. Without you, life wouldn’t exist! Happy early Mother’s Day.
Readers, how has a Mommy, Mom, or Matriarch figure in your life positively affected you and your financial situation?