When you first go out on your own is exhilarating…the freedom, the fun, the parent-free life. You want to do all the things and experience everything. For me, it was also the first time to have a real job off the farm. A weekly paycheck that didn’t come from my summer show circuit. I was also blessed to have parents paying for most of expenses so that real job paycheck in my head was money for the one thing I have always held near and dear to my heart….SHOPPING!!!!!
Let me be honest…I probably should have earned a degree in shopping during my collegiate years and looking back I wish I wouldn’t have. It really wasn’t until I hit “real adult life” that my 20/20 hindsight had me wishing I was more of a money hoarder like my sister and less of a dolla dolla bill ya’all kinda gal. (Not inferring I was a stripper but that I threw money around like a rock star). By “real adult life” I mean mom and dad shutdown the bill paying, Justin and I got married and I got handcuffs on my endless shopping sprees.
See my husband is a very financially driven person who pays careful attention to where money goes both in and out of the account. And while I am so thankful for that (or I would probably be homeless) it also is very hard for me to understand that dreaded B-word…BUDGET!!!
If I could go back in time I would have better managed my funds in college, been more frugal and set forth a monthly budget for myself. I have since learned that just because I have money doesn’t mean I need to spend it, or at least all of it haha. Real life hits you after college and you will be money ahead if you saved as much as you could. Especially, when you have to start thinking about buying a house, health insurance, paying your own car insurance, gas bill, etc. I realize that I can’t complain too much as I am very lucky to have parents that supported me through college and many young adults have to learn these lessons way before me and for that I will forever be grateful.
But I digress – Lesson 2 is learn to live within your means and always create a budget. Give yourself grace with your budget similar to being on a diet as no one is perfect, but have a plan, set a goal and keep yourself honest with it. Life throws a lot of curve balls and you never know when that financial smarts will have your back in a time of crisis. Home repairs, unexpected health issues, car repairs, you name it there is always something that through financial planning you will be able to handle.
It’s also important to note that just because you qualify for the credit card doesn’t mean you should sign up for it. That however, is a story for another day. Let’s just say credit doesn’t mean free money, so don’t abuse the plastic.
Don’t get me wrong I am still learning how to be financially smart (the hubs will tell you I have a long ways to go), and I still have a love and passion for shopping (thanks mom), but I do realize the importance of planning, budgeting and living within your means. While its not a fun thing to do, do it! Your older self will thank you later.
Last but not least- if you are in the need of some help or looking for financial advice from a smart lady- Shameless plug for my rock star sister-in-law who is the bomb.com when it comes to being a Financial Advisor! Lauren Jackson Financial Advisor with Edward Jones!