One of the (many!) factors, of “being ready” to have a kid is financials. That’s not to say that good parents are wealthy parents, by any means. Or that debt should hold you back from any emotional, physical, or uncontrollable factors.
The inspiration to learn more about finances may ebb and flow throughout your life. I remember as a little kid asking my Grandpa to please teach me about stocks and bonds. He pulled out a section of the newspaper and genuinely tried. But the messaging didn’t stick. I tried again in college and, despite my Humanities major, took Accounting 101. It was all about putting things to the right or left columns. Crediting and debiting. I found it hard to extrapolate into practical application in my own life. A boyfriend once set me up with a small Vanguard Fund. I knew nothing about it and pulled out a year later when money got tight.
I’ve always been rather frugal, and “a saver”. But I also decided to work for a local art nonprofit after undergrad. Then I went to a graduate school that doesn’t offer scholarships. Those choices still haven’t put me financially “ahead”.
So now, I’m on the journey of financial literacy again. I’m extra motivated by motherhood. It’s not even the thought of “saving for my son’s college” per se. But more like I want to set a good example for him. I want to be a good steward of money.
I want to be open with him about it. My family culture was such that income and expenses were never directly discussed. My sister and I just saw all the coupon clipping and drew our conclusions. We felt the pressure to perform well academically to earn a place in the university. Neither of which are negative things. But... it was a little confusing.
I liked the story that Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama’s brother talks about on her podcast. He asked their father one day if their family was rich. Mr. Robinson said well, “What do you think?” Craig’s answer was a tentative yes. So then Mr. Robinson showed his son, concretely, their family finances. He put his whole paycheck, laid out in dollar bills on the bed. First, he took $20 and said “This is what we put into savings.” Then, he set an amount aside for each bill until it was all gone. Mr. Robinson put the question back to his son, “So, do you think we are rich?”
Craig went on to earn an MBA in Finance. He became VP of a bank and became a managing director at a boutique investment banking firm for a while.
Here’s what I’m tapping into for smart-money ideas, suggestions, and resources.
(I’m honestly not a huge app person, but if you are, this one is interesting!)
I love Cleo. It’s a sassy app that helps you save money by holding you accountable for your financial goals. If you’ve been struck by COVID-19, it even has a feature that can detect if you’ve had a sharp drop in income. If you qualify, Cleo will deposit $250 into your account through their Random Acts of Relief Fund! (Via crowdsourcing donations from those who can afford to give). I LOVE this concept because it promotes both transparency and generosity. Here’s the blog about it! In their words, “Cleo is like the accountant big sister you never had.”
What I love about the blog is that it offers both big and small suggestions. He'll teach you what tax loss harvesting is. Then, in the next post, he'll suggest eating regular candlelight dinners. You'll add ambiance to your life... and save on your electricity bill.
She’s got a few free minicourses. And a list of 12 incredibly inspiring self-made financially strong women. I plan to learn all I can from them.
This is a female-centric blog and news source. I love how they actively synthesize current events into what it means for you and your wallet
A Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.
This one is like your grandpa giving you sage financial advice. He spends a lot of time encouraging listeners/readers not to micromanage their investments. I listen to him because it’s worked for him.
Why Didn’t They Teach Me This In School? by Cary Siegel.
First of all, Amen to that concept! It’s bizarre to me that I went to decent public schools. I took AP classes. I went to college. But never once was there a lecture on investing. Anyway, that’s what opportunities for self-teaching are for! This book resonated with me because it has listed out advice. Lists work for me.
My financial health is important to me. But so is everyone's. High-quality anything shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy. All humanity deserves good quality products, food, healthcare... everything!
This is part of the reason why I structured the services of Train4Birth how they are. Traditional Physical Therapy is expensive, even with insurance. Copays are higher, large clinical PT settings are push for patients to come in 2-3 times/week. Gym memberships and high-quality personal training add up too. Having a healthy body, and training your body for its optimal birth experience can save you from much higher hospital/ medication bills later. It can take away from adding to your savings.
So, that’s how I decided to create a hybrid model. You get essential education about protecting and activating your changing pregnancy body. Plus my knowledge and attention. For a fraction of the cost of traditional PT or fitness coaching.
I’m always looking for efficient, win-win situations. This one felt right for both supplier and consumer.
If this type of program and prenatal support resonates with you, but you aren’t sure you can swing it financially...please reach out. I will do my best to see what we can do.
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