Lessons Learned in 2012 (Part 2)
Posted by Gail | Filed under Money Management
I’m sorry I don’t have space for all your fabulous lessons. I’ve chosen the ones I think also help to teach. So, without further ado, here is the second part of Lessons Learned in 2012.
Crystal wrote: I learned how absolutely important it is to make sure when you are saving for your first home, that you also make sure you are saving for ’start up costs’, closing costs, account set up costs (did you know the gas companies want $200+ upfront?), furniture costs, moving costs and have extra on top of that ‘just incase’, In other words, buying a house needs its own emergency fund! While its very important to do your research before hand and make sure you know all of this before you even find a realtor, there is always the unexpected and you always need to be prepared, even if you don’t need it later, that extra $2000 in the bank is the difference between sleeping tonight or looking like an owl tomorrow morning!
Leah wrote: The biggest money lesson I learned in 2012 was to not bury my head in the sand! Watching your shows, in particular “Princess”, made me realize that I was guilty of some bad habits when it came to my personal finances. My biggest money sins were not looking at my bank statements and not following a budget. I was living paycheck to paycheck and was terrified that I would be carrying my student debt for the rest of my life. But your advice has helped me to go through all my statements to analyse my spending, to set up a budget, and to live on a strict cash budget! I even got the courage to go out and land a way better job!
Sheri wrote: The biggest money lesson I learned in 2012 is to have a “slush” fund for unexpected expenses. IE – flowers or donation for a death, ink for the computer (something I forgot about in our budget as we buy it so infrequently) and the like. My biggest lesson I learned in general is that NOTHING is FIXED. If a person can’t afford their mortgage/taxes/car etc., then they can move or sell their car.
Kathy wrote: I think the biggest money lesson I learned in 2012, is that it is worth holding off on buying things that you want until you can pay cash for them. In the past, if I wanted something, I would buy it right away, usually on credit. I recently separated from my husband and moved to my own little townhouse. I so wanted to buy lots and lots of beautiful furnishings to start my new life. For example, I have no dresser. I am trying to hold off though, until I have the money to buy the one I really want with cash, rather than putting it on credit. I know that when I finally have the money saved, it will be a great feeling that I was able to buy what I wanted, on my own, with my own money. I plan to live the rest of my life this way, thanks to your books and television shows!
Kristyn wrote: Shopping addiction has been one thing which has been hard to overcome. I have had issues with it since I was very young so it has been something hard to overcome. My grandmother paid for my last bill and since then I’ve been trying my hardest to pay her back. Another issue was that my mother was dealing with financial issues due to a recent divorce to my father, who also has a spending addiction of sorts. Despite my best efforts, I have not completely got over my addiction but I am definitely trying to. I realized that I don’t want to live in debt, and I want to move out and be my own person now, and help my family in turn. I made it my goal for 2013 to try to focus on spending on only what I needed, (with the occasional splurge item), and try to help my family. With my new job I have new priorities so that was what I learned from 2012. I am hoping I will be successful in my endeavours.
Patti wrote: The best money lesson I learned in 2012 was the actual budget. I called my cousin who is good with money(make that great with it) and we sat on the phone for 2 hours going over and over the budget. We got the worksheets from your website–thank you!!–and we have been on it ever since. There have been a couple slip ups, but I can proudly say that my husband and I have savings, emergency, fund, debt repayment, all the bills covered and some money left for fun. It has been a huge relief to not have to worry as much.
Courtney wrote: The biggest money lesson I learned in 2012 was to really analyze our needs vs. wants. It is so important to really establish if whatever you spend your money on really is an ESSENTIAL need or a MAKE ME FEEL GOOD want. To help reinforce this, I’ve started to say ‘will this purchase matter a year from now?’ i.e will it be still useful/worn/remembered?? and to also ’sleep on it’ i.e. wait a day or two or week and see if the desire or need is still there. Incidentally, this also works in real life relationships too…will this argument/discussion/need for my 4.5 year old boy to change his shirt matter a year from now? 99% percent of the time it really won’t matter a year from now so why waste the money/energy/fight now? Focus on the positive instead….
Raelene wrote: We’ve had a rough couple years financially. In late 2011 my husband had to declare bankruptcy from financial mistakes he had made even before we were together. Since then we’ve struggled quite a bit as the trustees take half of anything over a certain amount. We are a young family with 2 little girls and that in itself is hard enough for most people financially! So I guess in 2012 my biggest financial lesson was learning that we don’t “need” to keep up with everyone else. As long as are children are fed, clothed properly, taken care of, and loved, that is all that matters, we can save for the other things! I now write a small blog called “Frugalicious Calgary Mom; Frugalicious Canadian Mom,” and I try to help others with couponing, sales, recipes, etc. We struggled for a long time and finally things are getting much better but we now know what matters in life.
Nikki wrote: The biggest lesson I learned in 2012—it’s only a good deal if I need it!! In the past I have purchased items on sale, because they are on sale but I haven’t “needed” them at the time. I have totally reigned in my “it’s on sale” reflex and now only buy what’s on my list and what I need. My biggest vice has been for groceries and household items. 2013 is looking great!!
Natalie wrote: Coincidentally, one of my biggest money lessons in 2012 occurred when renewing our mortgage and having the bank be rather insistent on us purchasing the mortgage insurance. On this renewal, we took our time, did more research than we normally do, and discovered the downfalls of getting Life Insurance (mortgage insurance) alongside our mortgage. After making these discoveries, it became clear that the banks do not always offer what is in the best interest of their client. We have now purchased additional life insurance through our employer’s group plan. We are saving money and will have better coverage!
Karen wrote: The biggest money lesson I learned in 2012 was the importance of having a plan. In 2007 I decided to begin the journey of being a single mom by choice. I took a class to learn about all steps (and expenses) associated with parenthood. Five years later in 2012, I have grown my emergency fund to 10K, I have money in a RRSP, money to begin the process of having a baby and most importantly, no debt! In Feb 2012 I found out I was pregnant and on Oct 16th, I had a beautiful baby girl.
In 2012 I lived as if I was on a mat salary – which I learned from reading one of your blogs. I have created a network with other mamas and we share clothes etc. My baby girl has been lucky enough to get hand-me-downs from birth until 12 months. A lot of clothes that she wears for a short period of time. We’ve even managed to get a cradle, a swing, a little rocker-chair, a high chair and a playpen on loan from friends of mine who don’t need these items right now. All in all, the lessons you’ve taught me over the past year have saved me loads of money and made it possible for me to be single mom by choice!
After all, if I hadn’t learned to plan my little girl would still be a dream instead of a wonderful reality. I’ve already begun a savings account for her at ING and an RESP thanks to the monthly baby cheques from the gov’t!