Friday, November 13, 2015

No Excuses - Financial Responsibilty

No excuses.  You can't say "Oh, I'm poor because of bad luck". It's not Friday the 13th every day.
Instead it should be  -  Save a Penny or Dollars Saturday or Sunday every weekend.

Ladies - I am talking to you. I was raised by a mother who should have been that housewife in the 1950s-60s with the apron, cooking dinner and raising kid - totally dependent on her husband. Well, yes - she chose to stay home and raise kids in to the 1960s but my mother was a domestic engineer and financial wizard. I give her credit for everything I have today, and no matter your age, you can do it too.

Budget - boring but necessary.  My mother had envelopes with the titles Grocery, School, Utilities and Fun.  She busted up my dad's paycheck into these envelopes and that's what we lived off each week/month.  Nowadays, if you have a fancy phone, you can create the exact same idea in your notes section or with free financial tools.  Pay your bills on time and be sure to plug money into savings or a 401K. If you don't have the money in hand, you won't miss it. If your company matches 401K, then maximize your contribution - that's beyond necessary in this day and age. It's "free" money - do not squander the privilege.

Sacrifice - I'm sure there are things my mother wanted, but she had been a child of the depression. (Don't roll your eyes here. That was a serious time and absolutely an awesome example for how to live today) and knew how to postpone gratification. Whether it's just you or for a family, you do not have to own the latest and greatest thing immediately.  Save and buy when you aren't going to be in debt. You will better appreciate the treat and not be drowning in debt. Set that example for your kids. Nowadays, too many people buy too much and spoil their kids. It's okay for them to have to wait for a treat. They will be better people for it - they will appreciate you, the item, and it will make them fiscally responsible.  It's up to a parent/parents to teach their kids how to respect money. You are doing them a huge favor. Trust me.

Save for the Worse Case Scenario - My mother was sure that my father would be gone by age 55. That sounds horrible, but his father had died at that age. She was very afraid of losing him, but for practical sake she wanted to prepare for her future and for the kids. Thus she made sure to bank as much as possible. As it turned out, she passed at age 60 and he's still going strong at 84. Nonetheless, you just never know.

So - be sure to sock away money in case of death, divorce, ill health, etc.  You need a cushion. It might seem morbid, but it's smart money to salt some away for disaster.

Debt Free - pay off credit cards each month. Use coupons.  Put money in 401Ks or IRAs or something that keeps you from spending every dime.  Constantly compare/contrast and reassess your dollars.

Fun - now I'm going to say spend some money too. Just don't go into debt for it. You have to have some fun - travel, get that big TV, whatever. Life is short - it's all about balance

Ladies - be bold and ask for a raise. Numerous studies show that women are timid about asking for what they are worth. Do not under value your skills. Present your case with confidence and maximize your value. You deserve it. You work hard. Receive the proper compensation.

I truly reflect on my mother's example and admire her and my dad for giving me and my siblings a good life and a good example. Believe me, we were spoiled enough. But I also paid for my own college education. I bought my own townhouse at age 28. I've never been in debt. And my husband and I are partners in a fiscally responsible marriage.

Bad luck is an excuse. Rolling the dice is a gamble. Take charge of your money. Don't let it rule you.

I recommend reading columns or checking out financial tools from  http://www.personalcapital.com

And a friend of mine has a very good blog  http://www.apennysavedisapennyearned.blogspot.com

Good luck.........no, wait. It isn't luck. It's personal choice.  Stay smart and vigilant with your money!!!

18 comments:

  1. Well said. It took us a while to get into the habit of preparing, but now I'm set for retirement and my wife will be taken care of. Sad how many people live paycheck to paycheck at our age. I'd find that terrifying.

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    1. When I met Ray he was a mess - divorced with two kids and a couch. I got him back on the straight and narrow and out of debt. Now he's seeing the retirement light ahead - whew! Have a good weekend

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  2. OUTSTANDING!
    I've always said that Mrs. Penwasser is the brains of the outfit, especially when it comes to saving/spending money. Looks like your dad had one of those, too.

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    1. thanks and kudos to Mrs. P for keeping track of you. My mother loved spreadsheets, etc. She balanced to the penny. Have a good weekend

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    2. She really, really does. I got lucky meeting that one.
      Thank goodness she has horrible taste in men.

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  3. Ab-so-doggone-lutely! Great advise, all the way around. Because Smarticus and I started planning and saving (and sacrificing) when we were in our twenties, we're enjoying a very comfortable retirement. It's horrifying how many friends our age are still working because they never did a single thing to prepare for old age. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Whether we prepare for it or not, it's gonna come...

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Ray and I are seeing the light in the distance and hope to be able to have fun and enjoy retirement. I'm a worry wort by nature, so we'll see if we can pull it off. Kudos to you.

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  4. Good advice here! My parents were careful with their money too. They taught me to live the same way.

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    1. sounds like my blog family are all fiscally responsible so far. I can't imagine living from paycheck to paycheck. Very scary

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  5. I totally agree with you. My mom had an envelope system too and while we did not have many extras we never did without anything. I in turn learned to budget at an early age and definitely try and stay out of debt. Unfortunately we live at a time when most people feel entitled to have more than they can afford. I wish they would teach money managing in school.
    Ann

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    1. thanks. I know you and I have discussed this and agree. I bet those grand kids will be learning a thing or two from you too.

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  6. We started out with the envelope system and gradually evolved into journals and ledgers. All good advice. Savings, responsibilities, emergencies and then fun.

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    1. excellent. So far everyone is on board - I just hope word and example trickles down to the next generation and beyond. Take care

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  7. Hi Joanne - my parents taught me frugality ... and I was fine for a while - I'm still sensible .. but probably not sensible enough. Excellent post though .. it does trickle down .. and I'm sure if I'd had kids I 'd have been distinctly more careful ... well done and good you've written about it. Cheers Hilary

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    1. I think it also goes in spurts. Sensible and then a bit crazy, then rein things in. As long as you're aware, that's the key. Have a good week

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  8. Your mother is a wise lady! Budgeting is a lot of work, but it's definitely worth the effort.

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    1. yep - it's tough, but pays off in the end

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  9. I applaud your advice here...but people DO have bad luck...illness that cleans out banks accounts, for example. That said, I agree with all saving suggestions you have made here...

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