Long before I decided to write this blog and offer my services to others I have been giving financial advice to my friends. It’s always an eye opening experience for me as well as the friend. Sometimes the advice or bit of knowledge I give is put to use and sometimes it isn’t, that’s the way things go. I am just offering advice or sharing something I learned, I don’t expect everyone to value the information as I do but it’s always great when something sinks in and helps someone move in a more positive direction.
This morning I was having a conversation with a good friend about vacations and such when she began telling me how before talking to me and reading my blog she hadn’t realized she could do more of the things she has always wished to do; in her case travel.
Here is what she had to say:
CB: “LOL well I’m planning a couple! One is the cruise you know about that one. Then there is…Paris!!!! I think I can do Paris spring 2012. I have a plan I’m working on, I’m paying down debt and planning more trips. I have always wanted to see the world and I can if I plan right. I have limited my budget on material things because damn it I’m over 25 and I’m not a Barbie! I don’t need Chanel this and that it will come in due time. So no more weekly hair sessions at the salon. It’s every other week and only one bottle of perfume every four months because it’s 80 dollars a bottle and while I like smelling good y spend that much? Not going to the hair salon every week is saving me 80 – 100 dollars a month! I’d rather be 35 with a great retirement plan than 40 still living in an apartment driving a Benz and carrying a Hermes bag! LOL 2013 Dubai! It’s expensive but I planned it according to what I make now and I know it’s possible! Just feeling accomplished!!!!!”
Me: “I like to hear people our age thinking about the future! People often fail to realize that if you plan, budget, and cut out things you don’t need or cut back...you can do much more with life.”
CB: “Well honestly honey I was inspired by you! I have always been a good planner but never really thought about traveling because I thought I couldn’t afford it. I started reading your blogs and thinking about my future it all made sense. Plan accordingly and you shall have! Things of good taste and quality never go out of style (unless it has shoulder pads! Lol) Taking the time to buy quality items that will get more than one wear are key. I may want this bag but if it’s 250 and I only have 350 to my name y buy it? Oh because I can live off of a 100 dollars for a week or two. If that’s the case why not wait until you have 600 buy the 250 bag; save the extra 250 and still live off 100. I’m not cutting out the stuff that makes me feel pretty I don’t have a buy a new outfit every time I get paid or new shoes or even go out. I can pick up pieces of items and by the end of the month have an entire outfit. Learn how to tweak my own hair to get me through until I can go the salon again and just because I brought these shoes last year doesn’t mean they are not cute. I’m just changing my mindset because I want so much more out of life you know?”
Me: “awww...that makes me soooo happy. I really needed to hear that. it’s not about going without, it’s about doing some planning to make sure u have everything. I really want to help ppl with their money but it’s so hard because people r so ashamed (my last blog) and don’t seek help because they don’t want people to know. I think it’s so important to teach people our age about money and help them get started on the right track. but what you said makes me soooooo happy!”
CB: “Everyone has different issues and yes none of us like to admit we are not capitalizing on our money and investments. I seriously was throwing money away because I didn’t have anywhere to spend it. So instead of saving it I was buy 300 sunshades like I had lost my damn mind! LOL It wasn’t that I was in debt I was trying to make my money work for me and my future and what I want to do. Then not anticipating a raise or pay increase and living off of what I know I am making helps too. I am looking for homes under the 190,000 mark because I can afford it. Scratch the 10,000 dollar down payment, I want 37,500 now and if it takes me two or three years so be it. I want to finish my degree and move somewhere that will allow me to get the house I want and a salary I’m comfortable with. I revamped my 401 k and pension plans to allow me to gain more money. I finally invested more into the stock ownership plan and while I’m not making as much who misses 10 dollars a paycheck when you know it’s going to help you later? Last year my stock earnings gave me $213.66 and I was only investing 5.00 a month. My company will match up to 10.00 dollars your first 5 years invested; 15.00 dollars 10 years invested; 20.00 20 years invested and 30.00 dollars every year after. So now imagine I do 20.00 monthly with a match of 10.00 that’s 30 dollars a month over the course of a year; that’s 360 dollars base every year before interest and dividends. I’m learning… thanks to you!”
Financial independence can be done and you don’t have to totally sacrifice your wants and needs to achieve it!