#IAmProtective of My Family’s Financial Future #CollectiveBias
Growing up, my family struggled with money. My parents divorced when I was only 7 and they split up our family. My brother went to live with my father and I lived with my mother. As a single parent, my mother struggled a lot to manage our money. We had to use food stamps and I was on the free lunch program at school.
I felt different from the average kids in my neighborhood. We lived in a small one bedroom basement apartment. Most other kids in my area lived in a house or in the nice apartment building across the street. Mom kept a “family budget” envelope on the kitchen counter. It had slots for different expenses for the week. When the envelope was empty, we were out of money until next week.
I knew early on that this was not an experience I wanted for my future family. I worked hard to get good grades and get a scholarship to college. I worked multiple jobs to help pay my expenses. I learned to pay myself first and minimize external expenses and credit card bills. When I met my husband, I was actually the one making more money. I paid for the down payment on our first home. I was so proud of myself.
This is the experience I want to pass down to my children. We now live in a lovely middle-class home in the suburbs and for the most part, my kids want for nothing. That said, I also want them to know where I came from so that they can protect their own financial futures. They need to know that life can change easily and that you need to be prepared. My husband and I work hard to protect their futures. We try our best to plan for emergencies, but have we done enough?
Recently, our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. It is one that our public schools were not able to manage to help her keep up with her peers. We decided to move her to a private school. This was an expense we had not officially planned for, but we were lucky that we had an contingency plan to cover these expenses.
What may come next? We’ll never know for sure. Hopefully it’s healthy kids with college in their future. My husband and I visited the Protective Insurance Learning Center and found a wonderful resource for all sorts of financial planning. We especially enjoyed the “Teaching Your Children About Money” section. We want my kids to feel confident about managing money for their future. My husband and I feel better about making the many important financial choices for our family as well.