MM’s Money

September 6, 2008


Filed under: Debt,History,Planning,Relationships — mmsmoney @ 3:36 pm
Tags: , , ,
So my mom & my sister are AWESOME. I knew that but didn’t take advantage of several points of their awesomeness until I took advantage of letting Mom lend me money to keep from being homeless as noted above.

Big Sis is a financial genius. Seriously – she had her debt years in college where she racked up debts, but after graduation with a finance/business degree, she got on it and paid it all off. But they were ED LOANS not CC debt like me – even then she was smarter! Since then, she and her DH have built a very strong financial house and I really admire that. While I knew they were doing well and had some ‘mad skilz’ in the PF world, it was too embarrassing (i thought at the time) to solicit her advice/help on getting our junk in order. If I had talked to her in 2002/2003 about our amazing ability to spend 8K per month with nothing to show for it but parties on the lake and hangovers (ahem, I am all growed up now and we don’t do that with our baby in tow!), how today could be different!! But I didn’t get over my reluctance to show my knickers till it was too late. Then mom & sis stepped in & bailed me out.

We lost my dad in several years ago – when he and mom were way too young to think they would ever not be there for each other. They had a relatively stable financial world prior to his illness and death, but he was seriously UNDERINSURED for the responsibilities my mom was left to handle alone. She was/is a teacher, making a lot less money than she deserves, and at the time, my brothers were still young. So she had to figure out how to keep them all afloat on her income. Dad’s insurance after the payment of medical bills and other debts was less than 100K – she put money into her house & into her retirement. She then put chunks into college funds for brothers 1 & 2 and $7500 into a wedding account for me (Big Sis had gotten married the year before dad died and $7500 was how much they had spent on her big affair – seems inexpensive in todays Wedding-Industrial-Complex terms!).

By the way, Our family doesn’t PAY for kid’s college – mom & dad paid the tuition bill, but both sis and I paid for all else – room, board, books, spending money, transportation, etc. So both brothers had a good amount after the power of compounding interest for 6 years and got themselves educated at State U. So some future planning was performed. My sis and Brother In Law (BIL) then stepped in to help her budget and plan for the future. She received payments from Social Security for each of my brothers til they turned 18 – but mom lived on her salary alone, putting that money aside in savings, investments and retirement. she amassed a fair amount in a relatively short time so she was in a position to help us out.

Since my sister is a savvy PF/Investment sort – oh, and BIL too – she and mom and DH and I sat down and figured out my financial world and what it would take to not be homeless, not default on the HEL and other collections. Did I say how awesome they are?

While mom didn’t set an interest rate on the 10K, I plan to get from my sister the rate of return on average investments so when I do get to pay her back, I will match the rate of return on her portfolio (of the period til I do start to pay her back).  Some might quibble with this, but both DH and I insist on not shorting HER retirement because we are stupid stupid people.

So that’s the family background – – and hindsight is 20/20 I can honestly say I am very very very sorry I didn’t take note of the talent in my own family while we were sinking in big debt and bad choices.


1 Comment »

  1. Visitor from Frugal Dad

    A very interesting and candid story. I’m sorry about your father, but you’re doing people a service: people need to know not to be underinsured, at any stage in life. The insurance needs will grow as life goes on, but appropriate levels of insurance are needed at any stage of life.

    Good luck on your journey. Definitely take advantage of big sis’s knowedge: you’d usually have to pay $100 an hour for that sort of advice!

    Comment by — September 14, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

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