They say ‘money makes the world go around’ and unfortunately, that’s often true whether we like it or not.
Righteo. Let’s get right to it and start talking about money (and lots of money related stuff).
The reason I’m starting my ‘Bringing Up Brooke’ blog series with dollars and ‘sense’ (get it! 😉) is because I have a lot of loose ends in this area of my life. The sooner they are addressed, the better.
‘Money’ will be my central theme for the next 3 months and I’ll be sharing my experiences as I tackle each money related item.
The Not So Fine Print
However, I need to get something off my chest. ‘Bringing Up Brooke’ is NOT intended to be a preachy narrative where I make you feel bad or that you’re not ‘enough’. That’s crap! The fact that you are choosing to read this post means that you might also have that ‘ick’ factor I mentioned in my previous post. You’re feeling overwhelmed (don’t worry, I am too) and you want to get back a bit of control in order to balance the scales.
I’m writing this series because I’m feeling genuinely uncomfortable in the current season of my life and I know there needs to be a better way. I’m a huge believer in paying it forward. If I can take away someone else’s uncertainty by sharing my story, then I’ll be delighted. I don’t proclaim to be a guru about money, or health (or anything else I’ll eventually cover in the series) so I am very much learning on the fly. I’ll be drawing on the knowledge of a team of trained professionals (when required) and I would always recommend you seek professional advice before making any material financial decisions.
Further, it might be worth adding that the ‘Bringing Up Brooke’ series might not be for everyone. I’m in my mid 30’s with 2 small kids, a big mortgage and a half-built cubby house so my life state might be very different to yours. If you’re a penniless uni student whose biggest asset is a second-hand buzz box (don’t worry, I’ve been there) or an empty nester left in a big house drowning in stuff (don’t worry, I’ll get there), then some of my posts won’t be relevant to you. If you’re reading the series and something sounds crazy good, tuck that tidbit away until it’s relevant or ‘phone a friend’ and let them know.
The (Money) Truth
I know a lot of people who regularly announce “I don’t care about money”…but…I’m not one of them. I love spending money, but I also love the comfort of knowing I have some in the bank. I’m always thinking of ways of increasing our family’s bank balance. Like most people, I dream about winning X-lotto. There’s no need to be greedy about it; I’d be happy with $50k…or $100k…or enough to pay off the mortgage (but $20m would be lovely too 😉).
But until that elusive lotto win, money is vital whether you care about it or not. It puts food in the fridge, a roof over our head (et al) and it pays for a daily hit of coffee! In my mind, these are the day to day essentials. However, we can’t forget about the long-term essentials that are just as important. These are the monies spent on insurance (all kinds), retirement/estate planning and superannuation.
My ‘ick’ factor rests more with the long term essentials; I would bet a can of coke that I’m underinsured, my will is out of date and I haven’t put a penny into super since 2015. However, I would be foolish to disregard the day to day. I’ve gotten into a bad habit of seldom checking my online bank accounts (read – I don’t know where my money goes) and when I’m at the point of sale I tell myself ‘it’s only $30/$8/$79.95 or 50% off’). This has to stop.
Don’t worry. This isn’t simply going to be a boring blog series about budgeting. Ironically, I’ve had a lot of experience (and albeit success) with budgeting but it made me absolutely MISERABLE!! By the end of my budgeting era, I would be bordering on an anxiety attack every time I spent money because I knew I needed to record the purchase/expense in a tracker. I’ll save all these learnings for another post!
Instead, I hope I’ve got your neurons firing and you’re starting to think:
- Crap! Can I afford it if I need some major dental work??
- Crap! I don’t have a will. Who will raise the kids if I die in a Starship Troopers* style bug attack??
- Crap! I know I want my kids to learn an instrument when they go to school. How much does that cost and do I need to start putting money away now??
I gave myself 10 minutes to brainstorm every money related issue that I could possibly cover over the next 3 months. This diagram is far from beautiful, but you get the idea.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I have no idea how much I’ll be able to cover during the quarter, but I’m going to tackle some of the long-term essentials first. Why?? Because if the shit ever truly does hit the fan I want to know my family will be taken care of. Knowing their future is protected will help me to sleep at night.
What do you think of my brainstorm diagram above?? Is there anything I’ve missed?? I’ll be doing a wrap of one of the big-ticket items on my list in my next post.
Until next time
*another cult classic 🙂