I’m really excited about the growth of this site! It’s gratifying to know I may be making a difference in my readers’ lives, and you can be a big part of that, too.
By commenting thoughtfully, with acceptance and encouragement, you help create a safe space for people to share their questions about money. You can help people re-write their money story!
Here is our money story. . .
My husband and I both worked full-time for most of our careers.
He worked hard as a union carpenter for many years, and retired after a life-and-death situation left him with a permanent disability.
I’ve worn a few different hats over the course of my career, including social work, early childhood education, and teaching herb and aromatherapy classes.
My primary career track has been that of a social worker, but I’ve always had a few side hustles going on.
We usually made pretty good money, but we never saved any of it.
The truth is, our failure to save held us back from winning with money.
When I was younger, I never contributed to the voluntary 401k retirement plans at my jobs. Only one of my social work jobs had an automatic retirement deduction from my paycheck – it wasn’t optional, and I didn’t work there very long.
It was always important to me to take care of myself with nutrition and relaxing, fun activities to avoid emotional burnout as a social worker, so why didn’t I make it a priority to take care of my future financial life?
Luckily, my husband has a pension, but his contributions weren’t optional. If left up to either of us to put aside money for retirement, we just would not have done it. And we didn’t.
Life got in the way.
My husband and I made many mistakes with our money, including taking on quite a bit of consumer debt. That debt really owned us – we were not free to travel or live the way we wanted to.
Along with a mortgage, we financed home improvements. Our property was old, so when we needed a new septic system, a new fence, or had to remove a tree, we paid with credit.
We had a bunch of credit cards, and they were all maxed out.
We had to stay at jobs we were not thrilled with just to meet all our monthly expenses and debt payments.
Our debt prevented us from putting money aside for the future. We started IRAs only to cash them out before they could grow.
Frustrated that we couldn’t seem to save any money, I picked up a copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. Amy and her husband paid cash for their home and raised six children by living a frugal lifestyle.
Some of Amy’s tips seemed extreme, I didn’t know if I could live the same way.
Then I read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. It was surprising to discover that many millionaires accumulated their wealth within their own lifetime by living modestly.
My husband and I both read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. The information in Your Money or Your Life really spoke to us, it planted a seed.
Despite reading these inspiring books, my husband and I stubbornly clung to the deluded thought that we could out earn our stupidity.
We were blindly unaware of the dangerous cliff looming closer and closer.
Question: What financial books have you read that planted a seed to help you take control of your money?