My father frequently tried to teach me practical money lessons, but as someone who labeled herself as bad at math, I simply wasn’t interested. Not to mention, I told myself there was plenty of time to figure it out “later.”
As a young adult, I got married and continued my lackadaisical approach to finances. We lived outside of our income and didn’t budget. I mostly worked commission-based jobs, which made it feel even harder to apply a budget to our lifestyle. We moved often in the first years of marriage, and while we paid off our debt with each move, the cycle would just start over again. As the “spender” in our marriage, I see now that my overspending and lack of a money plan put a strain on our relationship and goals.
Today, our finances look very different from when we first started. We’re able to give more freely, our relationship is stronger, and we have peace knowing we’ve done our part to plan for the future. In my earlier years, this financial reality didn’t seem possible for someone like me, but I’ve learned that anyone can “do money different” and change their financial picture.
I’ve spent a lot of time with our young adult children and their friends talking about money, and for me, that was the springboard for starting Do Money Different. Banking has changed a lot over the past 25 years, and through these conversations, I could see how much young people didn’t understand or hadn’t been taught about fundamental money practices and principles. I started in my own backyard and have now continued to teach hundreds of people about making smart money choices, and I can honestly say it's the most satisfying work of my life.