One day I realized that my parents always had a terrible relationship with money and because of that so do I.
When I was much younger, my parents did quite well financially. Maybe they lived slightly above their means, but we were comfortable.
My parents never struggled with bills. We went on vacation. We did loads of fun things together. It was a very happy childhood.
When the recession hit in 2008 and my dad lost his good paying job a year or two later, I watched my parents begin to struggle with money.
Now, bills were an issue and extra fun was out of the question. Arguments about money seemed to spring up out of no where. My parents were stressed and unhappy. It was hard for them to talk about anything but work and money.
I didn’t realize this until I picked up a copy of Emily Lowry’s Broke Millennial.
I had to read this book to find out that I had internalized my parents’ money struggles.
One of the first things Emily asks you to do in her book is evaluate your feelings and beliefs about money.
And so I learned that:
I view money in a highly negative light.
Money brings me stress and unhappiness.
I am in constant fear of never having enough money and of my own massive student loan debt.
Just being able to admit these things to myself took a huge weight off of my chest.
Emily’s book also helped me to realize just how financially illiterate I am as well. Terms like net worth, debt to income ration, payday loans, and reconsolidation boggled my mind. Because money was such a stressful topic in my house we never talked about it. I never learned the skills to handle it and so I have always mismanaged my own. I went to an expensive college. I bought a new car. I let myself wrack up credit card debt. I didn’t have a savings accounts
Emily’s book was a breath of fresh air, because it explains these super important money topics in ways that are easy to understand. She makes them relevant and applicable to our lives with relatable anecdotes. She explains those hard to get financial terms in ways that make sense.
She covers budgeting (something I knew I should do, but avoided) and offers up several different types of budgets for readers to try, along with tackling credit card debt, student loan debt, how to pick the best financial products, investing, retirement, and more. There was so much information in this book, but I never once felt overwhelmed and confused by it all.
But my favorite part of this book?
It truly empowered me to take charge of my own finances. Before, I had always thought that I was some kind of anomaly. I thought that I was the only one with a HUGE amount of student debt. The only one without a savings. I would be the only one who never retired.
Now I know that all of these things are untrue and that I can conquer my money problems. I can get out of debt. I can have a savings. I can retire one day.
It will just take time.
Emily’s book helped me to understand that. Her book empowered me to make changes, but also served as a reminder that the process will be slow and painful at times, but worth it. Her practical advice makes personal finance seem less scary, a lot less out of my league. These are concepts I can learn and practice and I can put in place until I learn more and grow my skills.
I loved Broke Millennial because it gave me the confidence to tackle my finances in a way that makes sense for me. It empowered me to set concrete financial goals and pick strategies that work best for me.
If you or anyone else you know is struggling with student debt, their savings, or any other money problems I highly recommend this book to you and to them.
And if you’re anything like me and you’re trying to save money, you might start by picking up this book at your local library. If you read the whole thing, you will find out that Emily promises the book will pay for itself in just one chapter (How to pick financial products) and it certainly does. I will be ordering my own, personal copy later and I know it will be worth the $20 I’m spending! (Plus I have room for it in my new budget).