Saturday, August 4, 2012


{A letter to you both}

One thing I feel very lucky about is that your dad and I are and always have been on the same page about money.  I have been a money hoarder since I was young enough to realize it was something you could save. When I was in middle school, my grandmother made a deal with all her grandkids. It was that whoever saved the most by X date, she would double it. My 12 year old brain went into overdrive thinking of saving money and then getting a reward.  I took on pet sitting job after pet sitting job. My poor mom driving me all over the place taking care of random dogs, rats, cats and birds.

In the end, I won by far and saved $500, so my grandmother gave me another $500. I still had that $1,000 when I graduated college (yes, I have a problem) when it was spent on a business endeavor (when I was a newly graduated 21 year old- went through in 3 years- I started a business where I teamed up with other financial professionals to teach classes to young people about how to save money and budget).

Your dad was always a bit more of a spender than I was but he saw the value in saving.  When I was working, before I had you Elle, we saved almost my entire check every month for years. I was hilariously protective of it, your dad had to do a lot of work to get me to spend it on anything! When I would get birthday money, it was saved...never, ever spent. But it allowed us to buy a car with cash, fully fund my maternity leave and start a land fund.

When everything happened with the house (as in we could not live there anymore because when two police chases end in your yard, it is time to go), I refused to touch that fund because I knew that if we did we would not be able to save that amount of money for a long time with me not working and two young babies. So glad we did not as with such low interest rates, we were able to use the funds to get that land and now we are well on our way to our dream.  When we sold our house, my parents understood the value of that land fund and what it mean't for me: a dream I had been saving for 6 years.  We owed the bank (meaning we sold our house for less we owed, thank you crap economy) and they helped us so we would not have to use that money to get out without any detriment to our credit.

I hope one day I can do something like that for both of you. I am so lucky to have parents who were able to help us. I am looking forward to paying them back.

These days, your dad and I cannot save a ton with his one income, but we have been so careful not to have any debt. We have no car loans, no student loans (thank you fire department for paying for your dad's degree! ) and a very small amount of credit card debt. If I could teach you one thing about money,  it would be stay away from debt! Yes, that means that until you are established you will not be able to go on expensive vacations on the fly or buy expensive cars with huge payments, but I promise you will not regret it.  Yes, have fun, save for trips, go on adventures but I see so many young people completely bog themselves down with debt that they can barely afford to live their dreams.  Of course, some debt is necessary, like student loans and of course mortgage stuff but make sure you have something to show for the money you spent.

Because I am an extremist weirdo when it comes to saving, I am sure we will talk about this a lot in the future. And my head will be spinning as you spend (gasp!) your birthday money on shoes (gasp!) like normal people and you will roll your eyes at me. I hope you both have dreams that are worth sacrificing. Because when we closed on that land last week, it felt 1,000 times better than anytime I bought a cute pair of shoes.

Dream big & be smart little girlies.


  1. Oh I wish I had your way of thinking, and your willpower! What a sweet note xxx

  2. Such a great example you are setting! Congarts on your land purchase, what a wonderful journey you are beginning.