Our Thankful Financial Moments
In celebration of Thanksgiving week, we asked the Johnson Bixby team to share a few financial moments they’re thankful for experiencing in their lives. We thought you might like to hear a few:
I’m thankful for parents who showed me good financial habits. Money was always tight, but they never carried a balance on a credit card and always saved toward their retirement at work. From a young age, we knew there was a budget. We didn’t eat out much or even have soda at the house because those things add up, especially in a family with 5 kids! We each got a small amount of money for clothes before the new school year and it was up to us to decide if we wanted that one pair of jeans from the expensive store, or 4 shirts and 2 pair of jeans at the less trendy store. Just as importantly, there was always money set aside for a family vacation. No matter how thrifty the vacation was, it was special and important enough to make it in the budget!
I got my first job during senior year of high school. It was a great life lesson on a small, manageable scale. At the same time, I also joined a credit union and got my first checking account there. This was a formative and foundational experience for me because I learned how to manage a paycheck, use and reconcile a check register, and file my first tax return! I saved most of my money so that I could pay for books and fun during my freshman year of college.
A life-changing financial moment was receiving funding for my college education. I had been working at Starbucks for many years and never imagined more for myself. After being encouraged to apply for financial aid, I received generous funding from the state of Washington, grants, and other scholarships. I graduated from WSU Vancouver in May 2018 and now do what I love every day and have a deep connection with my community.
I was fortunate enough to have parents and others who taught me the very rewarding principle of giving to others out of what I’ve been given. This applies not only to my money, but to my time, skills, a smile, love, etc. There are some well-known statements that can seem trite, but I’ve found them to be true:
- It’s more blessed to give than to receive
- Give and it will be given to you
- Give with a cheerful heart!
And often it’s not giving out of my extra that ends up meaning the most but giving when it costs me something personally. Of course, wisdom applies to how and where we give, but I’m guessing most agree that there’s nothing quite like knowing that because of something we’ve offered, someone’s day or maybe even their whole life has been made a little or maybe even a lot better than it might have been had we not shared some of what we’ve been so blessed to receive.
I’m so thankful my parents paid for my college education. I grew up in a family where education was valued, and it was an expectation you went to college after high school. It honestly wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I realized the expectation of going to college was a lot easier to understand and accept when you didn’t have to worry about the financial burden.
I am thankful for parents who taught me the importance of saving for the future. Although they didn’t give me a lot of tools on how to save, the message was clear: save, save, save!
Through my early adult life, I didn’t always successfully follow their advice, because honestly, I wasn’t sure how to save. Hearing the word “save” is one thing but practically doing it is another. When I became a single mom of a special needs’ child, the desire to start saving and a build a financial plan started to take shape. I worked to obtain the guidance and tools so I could follow the wise advice of my parents and save for my son’s future and mine. Now that he is entering adulthood and has his first job, I am teaching him the skills I’ve learned so he can build his own strong financial future.
All of us at Johnson Bixby are thankful for the privilege of partnering with you. While we love what we do, we also recognize it wouldn’t be possible without the willingness, trust, dreams and challenges you share with us. From marriages and divorces, changing or retiring from a job, we know life isn’t always easy or what you have planned. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of yours during your important moments.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a terrific holiday season!
Written By Heidi M. Johnson Bixby, CFP®