When my mom was growing up, my grandparents would pull off the clown car illusion of stuffing every neighborhood kid into their car to go get an ice cream cone every Friday night. There were days when my grandparents had only a couple dollars in their pockets, yet, they never turned anyone down. They didn’t deny little Timmy down the street an ice cream, rather, they found a way to pay for him. This concept was routinely found throughout the book, “You are a Badass at Making Money” which I sat down to read and thoroughly enjoyed.
I started to read this book because I realized that I have yet to tap into my full financial potential. Growing up in a middle class neighborhood, I am quite used to the “live-below-your-means” philosophy and I think it gave me at least some sense of good financial discipline. If my parents are any indication, it works great. Just like my grandparents, my mom and dad would always find a way to pay for our lifestyle.
My sister was a dancer up until college and holy heck those costumes are not cheap. I was a tri-athlete playing field hockey, lacrosse and softball and my brothers were the gamers who always had the latest and greatest technology gifted to them every Christmas. We even got Dairy Queen every Friday night during the summer (a love for ice cream must run in the family). I really cannot think of a time when I felt like money was ever an issue and can confidently say that I had the best childhood thanks to my parents.
Naturally, however, I started to become more aware of situations as I got older. Now I understand why we went to the dreaded Reebok outlet as a kid rather than get a cool pair of Nikes, why Abercrombie was the bain of my mom’s existence, and why she would croak every time I went over my minutes on my pay-as-you-go cellphone. I started to pay attention to my parents’ qualms and I feel like I’ve almost inherited their viewpoints because it’s all I really know.
Out of my parents, my mom has probably had the largest impact on my financial tendencies. Her favorite saying when it comes to money is, “I never had money growing up so I’m just never going to have it.” I never realized it but because I heard this saying so often, and still do to this day, I gradually accepted it as my own reality. Tale as old as time – if you hear the same thing over and over again, you’re eventually going to start to believe it yourself. Because of this, I have had a similar mindset of “I don’t need a lot of money” instilled in me. My family was never rich and, yet, I’ve lived such a happy life! So who needs money?!
It wasn’t until I was reading this book that I realized how wrong this financial acceptance was. Author Jen Sincero writes, “I see it over and over, the kicking and screaming about how, at the end of the day, what’s most important is spending time with those you love, gazing at sunsets… and other things money can’t buy, and I won’t argue, but I will ask this: Why the hell does this come up when we discuss making money? When did it become an either/or situation?”
At this point, I had a lightbulb go off. Flashbacks of previous conversations with my boyfriend about money replayed in my head when I would just keep telling him, “I don’t need a lot of money. I have lived just fine without it.” And as these conversations flashed in my mind it hit me, Oh god, I sound like my mom.
Now don’t get me wrong, my mom is the most hard-working person I’ve ever met. She is a full-time teacher of 30+ years and is the head of any extra-curricular activity you can think of. She works her tail off to provide for her family and does well in life but the thought of money is always there. Money, to both of my parents, along with most people in general, is not looked at in a positive light. It’s evil, it’s all consuming, people that have money are snobs, etc. etc. Because I’ve been living in a house that sees money this way, I’ve learned to just accept that way of thinking.
At this point, I’m only 14 pages deep into this book having this epiphany I’m describing above. I’m starting to really question myself. Why aren’t I allowed to have a good relationship with money? Since when did money become gross? Why am I settling? Why am I accepting the thought that I cannot ever be rich?
To clarify, “rich” in this context does not solely mean having an endless supply of money. It means, “being able to afford all the things and experiences required to fully experience your most authentic life.” You can have your cake and eat it, too!
So why have I never allowed myself to be rich? Why did I think that I couldn’t experience happiness if I had focused largely on making money? Well, because I’ve never accepted that I can be more than what I’ve grown up with. I’ve always thought that I’ve been just fine in life and don’t need anything more to satisfy myself. Now, I’ve come to realize that I want to be more than just fine. I’m selling myself short if I remain complacent because I know the potential I have within me. So this is where I am at, totally inspired by my self-help book, fully accepting the challenge that is ahead and diving headfirst into the world of finance. Who’s ready to join me?!
Category: Think Pink: A Millennial Perspective
You just got home from your beach vacation. Instead of unpacking, you spend hours scrolling through photos reminiscing about your time away. But then reality sets in when you realize it is Sunday night and you have to work the next day. Your stomach grumbles but the fridge is empty because you haven't been grocery shopping for 2 weeks.
It is officially summertime, you’ve put in the request for some time off at work and you’re ready for some much needed R&R! You finally start to plan out your vacation getaway, and then… you see that the expenses are adding up quickly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize you’re out of money. So how do you plan a vacation without overspending, that also fits your budget?!
Spring is finally upon us! While most people are thinking about spring cleaning their homes, it is equally as important to think about cleaning your finances. Yes, just like that one crinkled shirt hidden in the depths of your closet that you promise “you will wear one day” – your finances need some reevaluating, too! So, where do we even start? Here are a few tips and tricks to start spring cleaning your finances:
Before we start, I already know what you’re thinking, “Olivia, you’re not good at saving money. Is this going to be a huge flop like the ’No Spend November‘ challenge?” And my answer: potentially. I always do my best to be transparent when it comes to money… and I am a work in progress! I cannot guarantee this spending plan is going to be my “a-ha moment” where I get my life and finances together, but it is worth a shot!
Ah, February – the month where love is in the air and, for us single folk, it is the month where we get amazing deals on post-Valentine’s Day chocolates. In February, relationships are celebrated with romantic dinners and roses, however, there is an important relationship that often goes uncelebrated – your relationship with yourself!
When you’re 25 years old, retirement seems so far away. Even though I have at least 40 more years in the work force (sigh) I still know that one day I am going to be burnt out from working 5 days a week- I already am! Eventually, I’ll need to stop working as hard as I am now to enjoy some relaxation except I can’t get to that point if I run out of money prematurely.
When my mom was growing up, my grandparents would pull off the clown car illusion of stuffing every neighborhood kid into their car to go get an ice cream cone every Friday night. There were days when my grandparents had only a couple dollars in their pockets, yet, they never turned anyone down.
The painful truth for most people my age- we have no clue how to file taxes. And what do you do when you have no clue how to do something? Ask your parents!
When I was 10 years old, I envisioned that by age 23 I would be an “adult.” I’d be married and living in a colonial home that I’d raise my family in. Fast forward 16 years. At 26 years old, I am not married, I still live at home with my parents and I couldn’t imagine having kids of my own right now. It seems laughable now but how did my 10 year old vision change so drastically over the years?
Is anyone else confused at how it is already 2022?! Growing up, I always felt that the years were so much longer. However, the older I get the more I realize how quickly each day goes by. I began my career at the credit union when I was young and fresh out of college. Now, I am in my late 20’s and my back pops when I bend over!
Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop.
At one point in my post-grad career, I had to temporarily switch to an Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan. This option stipulated that the loan payments were going to be based on my annual income. I was only on this plan for about one year but I was paying almost $200 less than what my regular payments were supposed to be.
When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe.
According to a survey from CreditCards.com, “47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt.” This statistic would make my grandfather furious if he heard it. He would often say to me, “Vivi, the world started to go downhill once they introduced plastic money!” Following my grandfather’s testament to the downfall of society, he would then tell me the story of how he used to always leave a wad of cash in his work locker for emergencies.
If you’ve been a regular reader of the ThinkPink blog series, you should be well-versed on the importance of a budget. When it comes to saving money and having a plan, a budget is one of the best ways to take control of your finances and reach your financial goals. However, I’ve found that following through with a plan can be cumbersome and while there may be momentum in the beginning, eventually it fizzles out before a goal is even reached. Why is that?
For some readers, the No Spend Challenge could be done with ease and that is awesome! For me, a No Spend Challenge is difficult. It is especially hard when participating during the month of November. Let’s cue the smallest violin here, again. For starters, every store is now fully stocked with their transitional fall into winter pieces, which is arguably the best season for creating outfits.
When you graduate from college, one of the first things that you start to save toward is getting your own place. You just lived on your own for 4 years and had that taste of “freedom.” You could go about as you pleased without having to tell your parents where you were going at 11:00 pm. And if your diet consisted of late-night pizza and mozzarella sticks then so be it. College is essentially a 4-year long sleepover with your closest friends but then one day it ends and before you know it you are back in your bedroom at home.
Since starting this blog in 2020, we've covered a wide range of topics. It has been fun doing deep dives into the world of personal finance. All this big thinking, though, can cause us to gloss over basic financial principles.