Budget: A Love Story of My Least Favorite Word
The dawn of what would be known as my “least favorite word” began in 2010, when I moved in with my first college roommate and now one of my closest friends, Ashley. While I can’t remember exactly what I asked her to do with me that day, I clearly remember the phrase that followed:
(She didn’t emphasize that word, it’s just how my brain received this particular message.)
And so it began. Just like that, the first time I heard that word in that sentence would seem to forever follow the request of grabbing a Starbucks coffee or avoid dining in the cafeteria and hitting up the Taco Bell down the road.
All too frequently that word haunted me—mostly because we shared a room.
Why did I hate that word so much?
We didn’t really talk about money or monthly budgets in my parent’s house. I think part of that reason was because my mom wanted my sister, brother, and I to enjoy our childhoods.
I even loved taking trips to the bank with mom because the nice tellers would give us lollipops or stickers. As we drove away I would hear, “That’s it—now we have no more money because I paid the bills.” Which very quickly went over my head because we would get McDonald’s on the way home.
And I get it. As a new parent myself, the last thing I would want to do is deny my son anything he asks for simply because we don’t have the finances.
It’s every parent’s choice to make when it comes to teaching “how to be an adult”. But one thing is certain: learning as you go is a difficult road. I look back now and wish I had taken a financial introductory or budgeting class in college instead of cringing at that word.
What I plan for my child’s financial future:
My son is just over 7 months old. His dad and I are living with family members so we can afford daycare, pay student loans and regular bills, as well as save money for moving out. We work hard, just like any other family and I still find myself learning more each day about being financially responsible.
I want him to know that it’s okay to talk about our money—because it’s when you don’t talk about something that it becomes scary or taboo. I want him to ask questions and learn to save and donate to worthy causes, and that won’t happen without financial direction from us as parents. I feel like it’s our job to get him as ready as possible for his future.
If I could go back to college and take a financial class, I would.
The care-free, 20 year-old I was had opportunities in college and I wish I would have grabbed them. Whether you plan to live a conventional life-style or backpack through Europe after graduation, it’s important to know how you’ll pay for all of it. And budgeting is the most important piece (See? I’m not even afraid of that word anymore.).
American Eagle Credit Union understands.
American Eagle Credit Union (AECU) partners with Billiken Athletics at St. Louis University to educate current college athletes on the importance of budgeting and overall finance through a program called Free Throws for Tuition.
What are your budgeting dreams or fears?
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