I got an email a while back from a reader. Actually I apparently had another email prior to itbut I think I must have dismissed it as spam and it wasn't.She wanted to know if I'd write a post about a female mentor I might have.Someone who I has come up with a novel way to save money!I told her that I doubted that I would be the person to ask to write this but she urged me on.She stated that only 53 percent of women have saved and made a retirement plancompared to 65% of men.
I responded back to this that it didn't surprise me as typically women make less money than men
so therefore don't have the funds to save.
And also, so many times a single woman is taking care of others too. I told her that I had friends who might make for a good mentor on saving money
but ultimately they all have a common factor in their lives
and that was having a husband who helped add to the financial situation. But Marianne, still wanted me to write about a female mentor.
Now, truth be told. My biggest financial mentor isn't female.
His words echo in my head and sometimes I swear his voice still guides me. Whenever I've gotten myself into financial trouble, it's because I ignored his voice and
rebelliously went ahead and did what I wanted to. So, I will include him too, my dad who passed many years ago, even if I'm not suppose to.
But first, I'll start with the only female role model I have who is not married. Now let me take a moment here and make it very clear that I mean no insult towards all my married friends.
I'm very happy that they found someone to share their lives with.
I unfortunately never found that and that's OK.
I'm just saying, I imagine life might be a teeny tiny bit easier having someone help
with the financial load. Therefore the best tip on saving some cash, planning for retirement and all that stuff,
would be to find a good mate, a funny compassionate person with a good job. There you have it. My best tip.
But life doesn't work out as we plan (and I've probably let a good one or two slip away) but obviously it wasn't meant to be. So.... Who is my FEMALE role model?
It would have to be Tammy.
She's worked hard and took care of herself and always kept a very positive attitude. She lives simply but beautifully. She rejoices in minimalism and does not need THINGS.
She's the most caring and giving person and I think that's why she's so happy.
Her wonderful energy radiates out and circles back to her. I'm trying EVERY DAY to be more like her. To let "stuff" go and to just appreciate BEING. To experience real joy from a puppy's face or a good book, a movie or
conversation over a great meal. The woman is a true inspiration and all it takes for her to be ecstatic is for it to rain! That's not to say that she wouldn't like to win the Lottery.
But for her, it wouldn't be about big houses and cars.
It would about seeing friends she's never met.
Or helping out the whales, the elephants, the animal rescue groups... So she's my mentor financially but so much more. She's my reminder that once the bills are paid and the critters are cared for ... Well,...most important things are free or not all that expensive.
And then there's my other mentor, my Dad.
Who tried to be my financial mentor from day ONE and I now regret not following his advice earlier.
It's only in the last few years, I realize how right he was about MONEY.
Maybe not about a lot of other stuff, but money, yeah. He had that figured out.
His tips for saving money are not gender related and I think would be useful to anyone.
Here they are: Buy quality. Buy it once and make it last. Repair don't replace. Don't charge what you can't pay off next month. Don't charge unless it would be foolish not to. - Example: you need a refrigerator but don't have the full amount and
you find the perfect one and its on sale and you can pay it off before the
no-interest offer expires. Then he might say to charge it. But begrudgingly.
NO, now that I think about it,
what he'd really say is that you KNEW that the refrigerator was OLD and you SHOULD have been saving up for it.
More tips - Don't pay rent.
Buy a house you can afford that's nice but not too big and easy to maintain,
in the best neighborhood you can afford.
Take care of your home. Caulk the windows, clear the gutters, be watchful and save for rainy day repairs. Don't pay others for what you can do yourself. Help your friends and they will help you when there are things you can't do yourself. Make good friends, real friends - once again, QUALITY over quantity. Save your warranties. Be polite but firm in financial transactions. Don't let people walk all over you, have a sense of humor but don't back down
when it comes to getting your money's worth. Eat healthy and don't waste food.- he always said to push yourself away from the table
a little bit hungry. That it's not good to be FULL.
(OK, gotta admit I don't do that one for sure!)
And finally the last piece of advice of his that I remember and will always, is.... Time with your loved one is more important than any amount of money.
He used to work all week and go out in the evenings and work some more. He was an insurance agent. In those days he'd go on calls and do sales and also collect money in the evenings! He actually had his own route of his clients who he'd stop by monthly
and pick up their payments. He made a very nice living and we lived in a nice home and then
my mother got Cancer, was ill for long while at home, then hospitalized and then died. Afterwards he told me that his greatest regret was leaving her home alone so much
and how if he had known how life would play out,
he would have spent every moment he could have, with her.
So, my two mentors have helped me to decide a few things about my own retirement.
They have both shown me that life isn't all about having things.
That there's nothing wrong with having a few nice needed or treasured items but
just remember to take care of them so as not to waste money replacing them.
To spend times with those I love and to realize real friends are priceless.
And then I've decided a few things on my own.
I know that we are all told to invest and while that might work very well for others it won't be
happening with me except for how they invest the money in my 401K at work.
A 401K that doesn't have enough to buy a good second hand car!
But someday might be able to replace my roof.
Instead I will invest in myself.
I will work on my Art, that right now isn't a business yet.
It's just me selling a little bit and then buying more Art supplies
but I will keep carving out spare moments and someday it WILL be my business.
And I will never retire from that, I will never want to.
I will work on paying down my debts and repairing and then maintaining my home.
Some day I will be debt free.
I don't think I will move but rather live many places.
I was telling my sister that this weekend.
How maybe I will rent out my home and drive an RV or something
and stay with her in Vermont when they retire there and when the weather is beautiful
and then when it turns bitter cold, me and my current old dog will head south!
Yep, I could do my Art anywhere and just keep moving and having adventures
until the day comes that I don't.
Yep, that's today's plan...but who knows.
I should mention that you can track your personal finances with free apps like those from Personal Capital.
You can check those out here!
This isn't a sponsored post or anything.
I just agreed to do it to make myself actually THINK about it.
So, all in all, this has been a good thing.
It's something that I would kinda start to think about but then push from my mind...
Like last month when I carried out that Golden, I didn't mention it before but,
I messed up my knee.
I really hurt the dang thing and I've been stretching and twisting and
sleeping in weird positions, hoping it will go back to where it was and feel better.
I've been careful and babied it and finally today it doesn't ache.
Yep, I think I learned that from my mentors too.
To try to walk it off, if possible!
But it's also a little wake-up call to me to think about the future.
So there you have it.
That's MY retirement plan.
At least for today.
(On a side note. This text is still wonky! The spacing is weird and... it's got to Blogger.)