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My Gram was an amazing woman! I grew up living 2 blocks away from her. Because of the close distance, I was at her house a lot which meant I was able to learn first hand from my grandparents. As I reflect on their lives and the lessons I learned, I know she taught me to be wise and practical.
My Gram always told me to “Save your money.” I wrote a post about it and what that meant. But as I reflect on her words, I realize there was such wisdom in them. Here is what I mean.
My Gram was wiser than I thought. She took life slowly and loved well. My Grandparents were married for 70 years and they had a long time to figure out how to flow together. Since they both grew up in the Great Depression Era, they had a different view of money, how to save and where to spend it.
My Grandparents had jobs and my Grandpa worked hard as did my Gram. They passed down to a good work ethic. Because of them, I work hard and I strive to do my job well.
Save your money
I covered this lesson in my post, Save your money, the life lesson from Grandma. This lesson is still a learning lesson for me, but I believe that learning to be content and humble will also contribute to this lesson.
Contentment is definitely different from the average person. We are often found striving after things and not being happy with what we do have. When I was younger, it was really hard for me to be content. I wanted everything. The car, the clothes, the hair and makeup, and the whole look. But I wasn’t content. I always wanted more.
I didn’t learn to be content until I learned about Jesus and His teachings taught me what I really needed in life. Once I learned what to love and to love myself, contentment was much easier to embrace.
Live within your means
Since going through unemployment 8 years ago, my husband and I strive to live without credit cards. We pay for everything with cash. The only debt we have is our car payment and the mortgage on our home.
Growing up and watching my grandparents live with a home that was paid off, and having more than enough in savings and being able to pay for the things they needed without a credit card was inspiring.
When my grandparents were getting older, they often had me balance their checkbook. I was able to see how they invested their money and I was able to see how they still saved money even though they were old. Having a close view of their life like that allowed me to be able to reflect on my life and how I wanted to live.
This encouraged me to get out of debt and live more humbly.
Even though my Gram saved money, she often took me and my siblings on trips. She loved us and loved her friends around her so well. She made sure everyone she came in contact with felt her warmth and care.
Be Wise and practical
“Do you really need those designer jeans?” I remember she asked me the summer before 8th grade. I wanted a pair of Guess jeans so very bad. Remember the little triangle on the butt? I had to have them. I just wanted to be part of the “in crowd.” I hadn’t figured out yet that I needed to just be happy in my own skin.
Despite her question, if I really neede those jeans, she bought them for me anyway. I was so happy and proud and I wore them the first day of school despite it being 90 degrees outside. The jeans weren’t practical, but she gave me them because she loved me.
Know who your tribe is
Besides saving your money, this is probably the single most thing I remember the most about my Gram. She had a tribe of women who would have lunch. They would rotate homes and have lunch and play cards.
I remember hanging out with her often and driving around town where she often stopped at the homes of these women. Their love for each other was generous. They stopped what they were doing in their homes and spent the few minutes with each other.
These women knew me too. They kept up with each other and would tell each other what was happening with their kids and grandkids. At my Grandpa’s funeral, some of these women were there. Sharing in the pain and still loving during that time. True friendship, valued friendship.
Financial Tips for you and your Tribe
Entertain at home
Instead of going out to dinner, have your friends over. It’s more relaxing, the music isn’t so loud you can’t hear, and it’s more comfortable.
There is nothing better than a little friendly competition! Plus the conversation around a game is easy and fun.
Don’t forget to ask yourself, do you really need those designer jeans? Do you really need that Michael Kors bag? I know it’s hard to do but it is something to think about.
Life is so busy. Try allowing yourself to slow down and enjoy exactly where you are in life no matter what your situation is. Maybe you have babies right now and all you can think about is how tired you and broke you are. Or maybe you are living paycheck to paycheck and you hope you have enough to cover all the things.
My encouragement to you today is to relax, your life won’t always be this way. I know it’s scary, stressful and exhausting but just try to enjoy your life today.
I challenge you to be wise and practical in your choices today and this week. It may help you have a new found desire to slow down. I would love to hear about it. Join My news letter below and tell me all about how you are being wise and practical.
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Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.