Is #ThrowbackThursday still a thing? Well, on this page, in this very moment, it certainly is. Welcome.
In order to celebrate this socially driven day of reflection, I would like to go into my forever file and unlock the most important money tips taught to me by Mimi, Poppi, Grandpop, and Grammy. Enjoy!
1. There is Always a Cheaper Solution to Every Problem
We will start off with the most practical advice, and that is this: When a problem arises, be it a last minute school project for the kids or an unexpected accident on the carpet thanks to your best kitty friend, there is always a cheaper way to solve the problem.
This is a lesson that was brought home to me care of my Mimi and a bar of Ivory soap. Allow me to explain.
Once upon a time I was making dinner for Mimi and Poppi at their house. I used a cookie sheet, and lets just say that I made a pretty significant mess of things. I scrubbed and scrubbed, but I couldn’t get that thick layer of brown off the dang cookie sheet.
Cut to me giving up too quickly: “I’m sorry, Mimi. I’ll go buy you another one.”
Her: “Go buy a bar of Ivory soap instead.”
Me: Whatchu talkin’ ’bout look on my face
Her: “Trust me.”
Not being one to disappoint my Mimi, I did as I was told. When I returned home from fetching a bar of Ivory soap, at around $1 for a 3 pack, she taught me this bar’s magical powers. If you take said bar of Ivory soap, run the bar of soap over your bakeware (or pots and pans), then use an abrasive cloth and the tiniest bit of elbow grease…it becomes brand spanking new again!
So, this Ivory soap lesson was a very big lesson wrapped up into a small one. When a problem strikes: 1) just take a breath, 2) do some research, and 3) you will always find the least expensive solution to the problem.
2. Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees
We have all heard that money doesn’t grow on trees. While I’m certain that every grandparent in the history of time has stated this lesson (like a lot), I’ll credit Grammy with this one. She was the most skillful master of horticulture in my wild pack of grandparents, anyway. Fortunately, this is also two lessons wrapped in one. Those grandparents clearly valued value by two-plying these lessons for us.
The first lesson taught here is to not take your resources for granted. That’s the one Grammy was undoubtedly referring to when she said this line. Money isn’t easy to come by so don’t go out spending it as if you are always certain there will be more to follow. You’re not. Even more, money is given to those that respect it.
However, there is actually another lesson hidden among these branches. This lesson is the one I wish was taught in high school math class. Time value of money. While money certainly doesn’t grow on trees, it does grow on time. I wrote all about this in Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees. Find Out Where it Does Grow. It is, by far, the most important lesson on money you will ever learn.
3. You are Capable of Anything
You are capable of anything as long as you are curious to learn, willing to put in the work, and not afraid of failure. I remind myself of this on a pretty regular basis. This is, far and away, the most valuable lesson taught to me in this history of ever, and it just happened to be taught to me by Grandpop.
The beauty in the teaching of this lesson is it wasn’t a lesson taught through words. There was no sit down talk. Instead, my grandfather taught this lesson by example and through his infamous projects, and that was supremely more effective.
You see, Grandpop was the first in his small town to have a color television. This wasn’t because he was rolling in money and could send out for one via Sears Roebuck. He was the first to have a color television because he built it himself. Why? Because he knew he was capable of it as long as he was curious enough to learn how televisions work, willing to put in the many hours of work that it required, and wasn’t afraid of early failure if his first attempts still turned up in black and white. He was also capable of making parts for antique cars that didn’t exist, building his own house, and becoming a township politician. Even more, through his example, I knew I was capable too.
I have a lot of hobbies that I am actually quite good at. I draw. I paint. I do much of my own plumbing. Same with electrical. I do carpentry work. Heck, I built a second loft in my office, which now houses a guest bedroom. Then there are my career explorations. I write blog posts on owning your resources. I give keynote speeches for non-profits. I am a digital strategist for well known healthcare brands across the country. I’m a speaker at our industry’s largest events. I also just happened to have grown up homeless. I went from a first college job of mopping floors in a laundry mat to the six figure salary I enjoy today. That, quite simply, was all because of this lesson.
What Lessons Were you Given?
An important part of learning is continuing to reflect on the lessons we are taught and evolving them for our current state. I’d love to learn the great lessons in money taught to you by your grandparents. Comment down below!