When I look back at the start of my college years and into the early years of my career, I really wish I hadn’t been so laissez-faire.
I know that what I’ve accomplished so far is far beyond what I could have imagined when I was 18 and on my own, but it still makes me think: Damn. I could have done better, if only…..
If I was smarter, I’d be $60,000 ahead in my net worth.
$60K! That is not a small amount of money by any means.
I look at my friends who had very frugal, financially-savvy parents, and I see all the GREAT choices they made with their life.
They stayed out of debt, they were frugal and very careful with their money, they didn’t shop like crazy without thinking about what they were sacrificing by doing so.
Some even had up to 8 roommates in college living in a house, and even though they wanted to kill them at times, they stuck with it because it was saving them a lot of money.
I went shopping with Fabulously Fru-Girl before I left, and she had waited something like 2 years before finally buying a pair of jeans she had been eying. I wouldn’t have lasted 2 minutes….!
I also have about 4 real-life friends who have their lives together and are extremely financially stable, some having started at buying their first starter home at 19 while earning minimum wage so they could start building equity, and others, about to pay off their $500,000 home before they even hit 30.
These people are true financial role models for me because they think before they spend (especially on clothes), and I am the total opposite (see picture above :P!!)
Compared to these people, I am a hot financial mess if you think about how conscientious they are.
For me, I have to FORCE myself to think about my money and coax my brain into not spending, because it is not my nature to save.
When I see a bag at $100 I think — “Oh yeah $100. That’s the price of a nice bag, at a minimum.”
They think: “$100? ARE THEY CRAZY? What is that? Like $5 in materials? I need a deal. Where are my coupons?”
They worry about spending and probably had budgets nailed down long before I knew what the word even meant. They’re even taking care of other people in their budgets by giving their parent(s) money every month, or otherwise, being awesome children.
Now, I feel like I’m on the same page as they are — budgeting is (now) therapeutic for me too, and I am being more generous with my parents, although I am careful not to spoil them with unnecessary purchases because they are like children sometimes (they want everything fun and don’t want to eat their financial veggies).
I’ve also started getting better by finding ways to stop myself from shopping, with space being a problem, but also that I want to buy quality over quantity now, as well as choosing consignment shopping (secondhand doesn’t scare me for clothes or jewellery).
This post had no real point, except to say that I am happy to have financial heroines in my life to look up to, and I hope everyone has the same kinds of people in their life to guide them — they’re more valuable than gold.
So.. thank you! 🙂