What I’ve Learned About Money So Far

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I’m 31 years old and I’m just now learning about money. Growing up, I knew that people went to work to earn money so that they could afford to buy clothes and food and other things that you needed. My mom, dad, and my grandmother all told me to save all of my allowance money. They told me to save, save, and save some more for a big purchase instead of smaller purchases. I listened to them. Indeed, when I secured my first “real” job in my early twenties, the first thing I did was to open a savings account.

Fast forward a few years and I was able to save a small emergency fund. Dave Ramsey (you know, the financial guru) advises having at least a 3-6 month emergency fund. It is only now in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic do I realize how important it is to have an emergency fund.

Toward my late twenties to where I am now, I started realizing that putting money into the savings doesn’t help it to grow. It just stays there. It’s like a car full of gasoline in a parking lot. You can use it but the more you use it, the less you have. I usually try not to use it and try to put as much as possible into the savings.

Putting money into the savings doesn’t do anything except give you a nice little nest egg for emergencies. In order to get wealthy, you have to invest your money. Open up a Roth IRA or a 401K with your employer. Invest in some mutual or index funds. Wait a few years or longer and watch it grow. The only catch is that once you put the money in, you can’t take it out without being penalized.

I wish that I had learned about investing sooner. I wish I had learned about it in high school and college. But they don’t really teach you that. They just teach you how to analyze a paper or how to solve an algebraic equation. They don’t teach you how to file taxes, save, invest, budget, or other things that you need in the real world.

Please help me grow!

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Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

6 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About Money So Far

  1. I really feel this. I too was taught to save, but a string of bad luck, bad choices and honestly just a period of losing hope in my finances left me unable to make any significant savings for years. I wish they taught more about savings/economy at school and not just regurgitating 9×1=9, 9×2=18 et cetera. Maybe then I’d be more financially secure as an adult…

  2. Knowing how to work with money is such an essential skill, but most people can’t do it. I’m so grateful that my parents taught me how to save and not make debt. I have an average income, but I have more saved up than most of my friends who earn three times more than me.

    Also, I have also only recently learnt to invest my money. Here in South Africa we have a cool app that lets you easily buy shares, or even just a part of a share. It’s been really cool to see my money grow.

    Sending good vibes all the way from South Africa. Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

    1. Thank you!! Yes the key is not how much money you make but what you do with the income that makes all the difference <3 I'm learning & relearning this important lesson as I read the book RICH DAD, POOR DAD

  3. That is so cool! I also started investing after I read ‘Rich dad, poor dad’. I think it should be a prescribed book in schools.

    1. Yes absolutely!! My gym teacher in high school actually did assign this book for us to read. She didn’t really discuss it with us though, just had us write a book review on it. I remember reading it then utterly bored out of my mind. I didn’t really understand finance then. I understand it now. but I wish I had known what I am learning now …

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