Cashtoons

Money Goes to Work!

December 10, 2020

First things first… Where to start when we are talking about money?

saved money

In Alice in Wonderland, we are told to start at the beginning and when we get to the end, stop. Makes sense.

The only problem being that we are all at a different beginning: Some of us are seven-year-olds counting out our birthday money. Some of us are single dads in our thirties looking to save for our kids’ college. Some of us are 40-year-old married ladies with a love of traveling. Whether, like nearly half Americans, you are dealing with credit card debt or whether you are dreaming of the Lego set you are going to buy after saving your allowance, it’s useful to learn about investing. Investing is when you send your money out into the world, so it can make more money. It is not just for people who had butlers growing up or mini-fridges in their tree houses. Investing is for everyone. Investing is for you!

If you are thinking, “Easy for you to say! I don’t have money to invest!” This is the perfect time to start thinking about your dream investments. Ever imagined what you would do if you won the lottery? What would be your dream car, dream house or dream job? It can be fun and even motivating to dream. The more clearly you can picture what you will do with your savings, the more motivated you will be to save!

Take a trip with me… Think of the day when you will have saved a few bucks. It could be today or sometime in the future:

First of all, take a victory lap! Show us your end zone dance! You are officially doing better than most Americans.

podium

Ahhh, look at all that money…

stack of money

Now what?

Time to invest that moolah! But what the heck is investing?

What do we think of when someone says we should invest? Maybe you’ve heard that investing is when you make money work for you.

money working

Umm… No.

money at the gym

You want your money to grow!

money godzilla

Hopefully, Not like this. Investing means you use the money you have to make more money.

money couple

Now we’re just getting silly.

ameoba

The first thing to keep in mind is that none of this is magic. When people pour their hard-earned cash into something without understanding how it will earn more money in the long run, it can turn out badly. Look for more about this in my next post.

Sources:

sources

Source 1:

About 20 years ago, my sister gave me my first, and for many years my only, book on how to handle money: All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi.

I entered adulthood with no idea how to budget or what things cost. I came armed only with a deep fear of debt and distrust of credit cards, which served me well in my 20s. I have come back to this book several times over the years, and it continues to inform my choices. I’ve posted it here because this was the first source I found that outlined the financial position of so many Americans:

“Owing a bunch of money has become normal in this country, right up there with playing baseball in the summer and eating turkey on Thanksgiving. In fact, more than 80 million Americans now owe money on a credit card…The average family that carries a balance now owes more than two months’ income on their credit cards.” (Page 132)

Source2:

In The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs, Jill Schlesinger devotes the very first chapter to what she designates as “Dumb Thing #1, You Buy Financial Products That You Don’t Understand.”(pg.3) It is easier to do this than you think.

Source 3:

Here is a link to Million Bazillion, a financial podcast for kids (and their parents too): https://www.marketplace.org/shows/million-bazillion/saving-money-is-really-hard-to-do/

This episode is about how hard it is to save and how we can make it easier on ourselves.

I will explore this and other sources more in later posts. Goodness knows, there is a lot of information out there, and it can be hard to separate the diamonds from the rough.


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