June 12, 2014

Things I've Learned Starting Out: Money Management

I have had so much fun thinking about this topic of "starting out". Troy and I often reflect how much our lives have changed since college and first getting married. Not that things were ever bad, but life has gotten so much better with many lessons learned along the way. I have learned a lot about money management, relationships, living on my own and careers. Today, I want share about how I learned about money management and what I learned. I am excited to share what I have learned, who helped me get where I am and what I/we have gone through to get where we are now.

I was taught from a very young age about how to manage money. My dad is the biggest role model that I have had in money management. He has taught me the importance of saving and how to get great deals on the things that we need. I use coupons for almost everything, try to be mindful of what we really do need and the things that are just wants, etc.

When I was young, I was given an allowance of $5 per week. To earn those $5, my siblings and I had to keep our rooms clean, put our laundry away and help with chores around the house such as straightening, folding the laundry and putting the dishes away. We were taught to work for our money which is something that I very much appreciate.

Me when I was way young with my sister.

My dad taught me that if I didn't spend this weekly allowance, that it would add up and I would have a lot more money. My siblings and I often received a check from our grandparents instead of (or with) a gift for our birthdays and Christmas. We were taught to spend some but that it is important to save. I remember being able to put a couple hundred dollars away in the bank here and there due to saving.

Also, my Dzia-Dzia and Busia (mom's parents) were/are excellent savers. My grandpa drove a bus for 33 years and my grandma took care of my mom. By saving (and having much better interest rates), my grandparents were able to help my siblings and I out a lot with college. I love telling people about how my Dzia-Dzia saved money on his bus driver income. It does not take a huge salary to be able to save money!

When it comes to groceries and toiletries, we were taught many tips on how to save. I always look for sales on items. I purchase store brands if they are cheaper. I use coupons on many of my purchases. I buy in bulk when something is on sale (ex: I recently got a case of Aldi lime tortilla chips for $0.15 per bag since they were such a great deal). My dad taught me that even if you have the money, why waste it by spending too much on groceries.

Dad and I dancing together at New Year's Eve a couple years ago.

To this day, my dad and I like to get deals together. He will call me if he finds great prices at Aldi and I will do the same if I find good deals. $.25 for a 32 ounce container of vanilla yogurt? Definitely! We have fun shopping together. My dad jokes that there is something about finding items that you are going to use at a great deal and how happy it makes him (I am the same). Also, on Thanksgiving morning, the two of us head out to Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS to get all of the great deals that they have available. It will be interesting to do that this year with baby in tow!

When it comes to toiletries, I use coupons, rebates and register rewards at stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid. When I was young, my dad would go and do rebates at the stores and I loved to come with him. His nickname is Richard Rebate! Haha.
Making stuffed grape leaves together...and probably using rice that was gotten on a great deal..haha!

When I got older and got my first job, I was taught about using a 401k and a Roth IRA. At the time, I was not able to contribute much but my husband and I have made it a goal to max out our Roth IRAs each year. This is helping us to save for our retirement one day.

Besides what my dad and grandparent's have taught us about saving money, I have learned a lot by following financial blogs, reading money articles and just living and learning in the real world. I think that learning about finances is something that continues through your entire life. I will continue to make mistakes I'm sure that costs extra money as well as spend money on stupid things that I don't need (do I really need 5 more shirts, I already have 100...).

I think it is important to learn from our mistakes and continue to push forward to be the most money savvy that we can be. Life is expensive (quote from my dad) and doing what I can to save money is important to me so that I can afford the things that I want and need.

Thanks Dad for teaching me everything! I think that I am much more financially savvy than I would have been without you!

Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm. 

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  1. Love this post! My dad is a banker and I was taught from an early age about the importance of saving too! I saved as much as I possibly could growing up and still do that now, but I have been taught that it's OKAY to spend some every now and then too. It's a good balancing act between my hubby and I :)


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