Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It is all about money, honey !!

I have to accept that I am a financial buff. I like to keep track of what's going on in my bank accounts, have to know on a monthly basis what and where our money was spent, where are our investments and how are they doing and if I need to make some adjustments on that.

I like to read how to make the best use of my credit cards and the rewards points, best deals on online shopping and many many more.
And for the same reason, I do read a number of financial blogs too.

I seldom comment on them, since I consider myself such a newbie to this. I mean, there are all those people talking about the extreme measure they have been taking to build a financial nest for them so that they can retire earlier and to cut down on their expenses.

One of the blogs that I have recently started reading is that of Beks where she writes about her journey to pay off her debt and be debt free.

In one of her recent posts, she talked about the scars, the physical as well as financial and how each one of those taught her something.

Quoting from her blog:
"Next time you look at your credit report and it’s not what you’d wish it would be, you can be a little grateful for the scar. It’s a good reminder of what an idiot you were and how far you’ve come."

And that really got me thinking !! How true it is and such a bright way to look at things.

I am sure each one of you have had experiences that taught you a lesson or two about money in life. I have had quite a few of them and I am listing them here:

a) My dad used to have a business of his own. I remember seeing him at the highest point of his life, and then life,all of a sudden everything just disappeared and I saw him at the lowest point of his life too. I learnt that money is nobody's friend and it keeps changing hands (or as my mom would say: "Lakshmi chanchal hoti hai !!")

b) When everything was gone from my dad, I saw many things around the house changing. The equation of life changed, lots of relations changed and so did the list of loyals, friends and acquantainces. I learnt that money is really powerful and it has the power to change people and their perceptions about you.

c) All throughout his life, my dad has always said that having money or not does not matter and it is not important. But there have been occassions where I did realize that no matter what, money is important and though it is not everything, but it is an important thing.

d) That phase of my life taught me and my brothers and sisters a very big life lesson of saving and thinking before spending. None of us have those lavish shopping spree style habits and we do consider saving and smart spending a part of our life style now.

e) At some point of time, I moved to US with my husband where we both went to school. When we landed in US and went to school, the only money we had was some savings we both had in India and just our skills. We decided not to take out any loans or borrow from anyone. We both ended up working some hours a week on campus and some odd jobs outside the campus, and then took extra jobs for working on weekends too. We had a white envelop where we both used to deposit all our earnings and every time, we took out some money from that envelop for any of the expenses, we used to write on it to keep a running balance of each dollar we had. Each dollar was so precious that most of the time, even if one of us had the desire to get a coffee or a snack from the university cafeteria, we used to let it pass, thinking about all the hours we had put into that hard earned money.Even after being out of the school for so many years, I still have that envelope and it reminds me of the struggle and hard work we both put into to get where we are today.

f) And the same money (or the lack of it) taught me the most important lesson of my life too. When my dad was out of work and life just seemed like endless array of problems, there were days when all 6 of us (my mom, dad, me and 3 of my brothers and sisters) would just lay out on on a summer powerless night in the back porch of the house, munching on 5Rs worth of peanuts my brother would have picked up on his way back from school and laughing and pulling each other legs. Those moments were priceless.

Those moments taught me that money may come and go from our life, but the bond that I have with my family can never, ever fade.

Do you have money lessons that you would like to share?


BK Chowla, said...

In my opinion, every one in lfe goes throuh highs and lows which eventually gtes measured in money terms.
More important is, how did the family handle the situation.
Your family seems a winner in the game.
My best wished

Shilpa Garg said...

Wonderful learnings here!!
Yes, the tough times teach us a lot!!

Dil se said...

@BK Chowla: You are right, and I am blessed to have such a family.
@Shilpa: Thanks. I am glad you liked them.