"A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, only a fool learns from his own mistakes"
I do not know who said that, but many people take credit for it. Moving beyond the identity of the mind that said it, it is true.
There are so many lessons I have heeded based on the experiences of others and shared wisdom of others. I don't want to fall in quick sand after someone has alerted me the area is quicksand.
When I was in middle school, I had a schoolmate/neighbor who had parents who lived beyond their means. Back then I didn't know how income or money influenced lives. I did not grasp that some had a lot and others had little to none. I did not know that people struggled or lived bigger lives than their income could afford.
My school mate/ neighbor had horses in her backyard ( our neighborhood was zoned for horses). They lived in an upper middle, perhaps even well off neighborhood, her parents had luxury vehicles and they enjoyed the trappings of monetary success. I will say that most of the adults I knew as a kid, still live where they did, and retired comfortably, so I think stretching to live a lifestyle was not the norm for older generations.
I have no idea how I remained so detached from financial standings of my classmates. Kids knew the cars everyone in my family drove. One of my sister's classmates told her he had his mom drive by our house to see what it looked like and he had saw my sister taking out trash when they passed. I did not care or notice what people had or lacked, I never paid attention to the homes my classmates lived in. I did pay attention to homes the really rich people lived in.
At some point while we were still in school, our neighbor's family lost everything material. The horses, the house, the cars, the lifestyle but they still had each other. I remember discussions about the family overspending and the mother refusing to accept their new financial realities and refusing to cut back.
I completely understand how a family could overspend into ruin. I think about that family and
try to learn from what I know of their mistakes. It feels great to offer your child benefits, perks and luxuries. Those perks and luxuries can easily become a child's expectation. Those perks have to be controlled and financial priorities set.
When the kids finish swimming at the club or sometimes prior to exiting the pool, they make a request for their quesadilla. The quesadillas charged to our account and the money is debited from Mr. A's account.
One day I paid cash and to my shock learned the quesadillas are $4.50 each. An afternoon at the club becomes pricey once we add food for the adults. Lots of people eat at the club restaurant but many others bring lunch. The club has a two grills for member use, so buying food there is not a necessity, it is a luxury. 2-3 days a week, of lunch at the club adds up.
I did a spending plan today and included tuition. Our goal is to fund it early and get the expense out of the way. I want school to be stable. My kids are people I do not want to let down or have in need. I am sure I would weap like a baby to tell my kids we planned poorly and they had to move schools.
I feel awful when they want a specific snack or fruit and I did not replenish that item. It is one thing for the item to be out of season, but when we lack because I did not plan, I feel terrible.
The budget made me realize, that our expenses are quite high. I do plan to make more money, but I also plan to spend less. I want my kids aware of the reality of work and money, but I do not want them needing and we cannot supply, because we have treated luxuries as necessities.
The necessities are shelter, food, essential clothing, education. Priority items are the kids activities.
I think spending plans are simple when a set salary exists. You make financial decisions based on expected income. We work the opposite direction. We have expenses and know how much we need to earn to meet those expenses.
My grandparents and my grandmother's brother were self-employed in the 40's and did well enough to leave inheritance for their grandchildren. They are my wisdom, my road map and they encourage
me. I think about what they accomplished, where they started from and how their success and
willingness to struggle impacted my life. I want to do the same for my kids.
I remember my grandparents foregoing certain luxuries for bigger goals. That is the wisdom I try to follow. Have a goal bigger than a luxury car, vacation or item. Those luxuries cannot get in the way of a larger vision. Consuming can get in the way of building.
Their foundation is the reason, I can work from home andbe with my kids. Their foundation allowed my mother to be home with us and live comfortably after divorce.