Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Advice I Never Got

Why didn't anyone ever tell me that money, and managing money, is such an important part of living a full and rewarding life?  No one ever told me that one day I would be 74 and arguing with my 76 year old husband about whether we could attend his nephew's funeral because we have no money.

That's not actually true.  We each have our Social Security checks coming in each month.  That's a total of $1925.  Our expenses are $65.00 more than that each month.  And, believe me, we do not live lavishly.  He makes redwood Adirondack chairs which sell for $100 each, when they sell, and I have an Etsy shop which brings in an average of $200 per month.  I also do some baby-sitting and dog-sitting for extra money.  We have some savings, but according to the Social Security folks, it's got to last us another 20 years.  

I just wish my parents had seen fit to educate me about investing money when I was 17, that they had shown me the numbers.  But it's my experience that kids don't really understand the numbers until they start buying diapers and paying for pediatrician visits.  I don't know what I was thinking back then, or even when I had three kids and was working full-time to pay the bills.  I argued then that there simply was no money left over to save, but, of course, there was.  I just didn't choose to do it.

Here's what I am going to do for my grandson: make a picture book showing (a) the car you can have if you have money, and (b) the car you have if you don't; the trips you can take if you save money, and (b) the road trip to Wally World if you don't; (a) the house you can give your family with a college degree, and (b) the low-rent apartment you'll have with a GED.  You get the idea, right?  Maybe that will work better than talking numbers.  

But how do you tell them that the working years go by so fast and in a blink, you're 74 and arguing about money.
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