Move over, Nancy! Money Relations is here!
When Nancy first approached me to do this guest post, I… shuffled my feet at the opportunity.
What was she saying? Blog about my baby steps towards investing…? Was there a hidden message somewhere – that any idiot can do it?!
Good thing I’m not that easily offended by the truth. Below describes my financial story with notes of insight along the way.
My first investing experience came when I was a kid banking at the Bank of Mom . I had saved my birthday/Xmas monies and I had deposited it with BMOM at separate installments. Little did I know that the bank did not keep good accounting records and when it came time to withdraw, I got an NSF.
As you can imagine, that was the last time I banked with Mom and I opened an account with a CDIC institution member.
Note to self 1: Keep track of own dang money.
Things went swimmingly after that, I had my own pocket money at an early age with a paper route and I could afford my own things.
Note to self 2: Lugging newspapers in winter sucks. Need to retire from newspaper biz. Save money.
Later on, I puttered around in university but I have to admit I really didn’t find my calling until I was hanging in the computer labs. Unfortunately, I hadn’t signed up for any computer courses. As a result, I flunked the courses that I was registered for and I enrolled in college instead for computer engineering. I had already blown 2 years of tuition in university.
To this day, it nags me that I don’t have a degree as I’m pretty bright (really, I swear). I graduated from college and Mom bailed me out of tuition debt.
Note to self 3: Thank and forgive Mom for BMOM fiasco.
I got my first real job in the tech field during the dot com meltdown. It was with a small company and I considered myself lucky that I could even find a job. During the interview process, I said my expected salary was 42k. I started at 28k!
Luckily, after my 3 month probation, I got what I had asked for (which was unexpected). At my year end review, my salary was raised to 52k (which was also unexpected as I didn’t even negotiate nor was it requested).
Note to self 4: Get foot in door. Shut pie-hole and work. Project positivity – rewards will come.
It was rough times working with this company as all the R&D money had dried up to go to defense contracts after 9/11. Still, being in such a small organization I learned a lot. And Mom was at it AGAIN nagging me to save.
Note to self 5: Look towards future. Start saving and investing for real. Begin with mutual funds.
After 3 years with the company, my hours were reduced in half. It wasn’t unexpected as bodies had started disappearing (in a non-murderous way). During my off days, I started to look for work elsewhere.
Note to self 6: Financially stability rocks. Don’t live paycheque to paycheque.
Within three months, I got a job at my current organization. I earn a good living and it’s secure with a great pension and health benefits plan. The chances of career development are low and I’m not sure if I want to put in the same blood, sweat and tears as I did with my old company.
Note to self 7: Don’t live for job. Nice to have choice to work or not. Seek financial freedom.
So here I am today. I’ve done my due diligence with savings and I’m debt free. I don’t own a house and I rent. I’ve reached the step in my financial progression where I want my money to work for me.
I looked into my previously invested mutual funds and I realized that their performance trailed comparable funds that track indexes – with much lower management fees. Now why would I pay more to people to screw up for me? I can do that very well on my own, thanks.
And that’s exactly what I have been doing… investing by myself and screwing up here and there but it’s okay. I’m learning from my mistakes and my good decisions have outweighed my poor ones. I just need to do this more consistently.
Note to self 8: Start small. Get in the game and learn. Motivation: don’t lose money.
I started my blog to write down my journey in life as it relates to money. It helps keep my finances on the front burner but I don’t obsess about it. Making money for its own sake is meaningless. I am lucky in that I grew up in a family that stressed financial prudence but I don’t let its influences dictate who I am.
Note to self 9: Need to find own investment style. Gather information from internal and external sources. Make decisions best for self.
So there you have my financial story up to now. We each tell unique stories with different chapter emphasis on budgeting, savings, investments, etc. It just depends on your life circumstances.
Now go write your own fairy-tale by finding out what works best for you.
Note to self 10: Tell readers to write their own dang notes.