Decision Making Income Millennial Personal Finance Work-Life Balance

Dear Kids, Check Out These Millennial Bloggers. Love, Mom. P.S. No Book Report Required

Dear Kids, Check Out These Millennial Bloggers. Love, Mom. P.S. No Book Report Required

Photo from Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash.

To My Dear Millennial-era Kids,

I downsized my career and worked part-time for you. You didn’t ask me to. You were only newborns. I did it for me. For us.

I’m not blaming you for the change in my career plans, nor am I apologizing for my choice. It’s what your dad and I wanted for our family.

By the time the first of you arrived, we’d been out of college for several years. I really enjoyed my job at the time and wasn’t ready to give up my career entirely. Your dad was doing well with his career, climbing the corporate ladder, and earning annual salary increases. We’re a team, and while his income was increasing nicely we decided to voluntarily decrease mine.

Earn Income and Don’t Spend It All

Income is the tool that funds your life.  Save a portion, as much as you reasonably can, ahead of your needs, and you will buy yourself future freedom. Freedom to make career changes. Freedom to help fund unexpected challenges. Freedom to fund your dreams.

You, along with your future spouse if you marry, will figure out what’s best for your family. And until you marry, or if you don’t, it will be just you designing the plan for your future.

Personal finances: your management of your income; your living expenses; your debt; and your savings, investments, and charitable giving choices.

Your dad and I are always happy and willing to mentor, advise, and coach.

Ultimately, though, you grew up knowing you would fully own the responsibility once you cross the stage at your college graduation. You both stepped up to the plate and started owning it before that milestone.

We didn’t know everything we needed to know about personal finances when we graduated from college. We had learned some from our own parents as we grew up, we read various books and magazines, and we learned from our own experiences as we lived.

We’ve done just fine in most areas and could have done better in others. Most people make some mistakes. I may write about some of ours in the future.

Know that you will likely make some financial mistakes, too, and that’s ok. Better to be intentional with your finances and make mistakes than to be ignorant and careless.

Fail Forward

Do you remember that summer when I wanted you both to read Failing Forward by John Maxwell? The overall lesson of that book is an important one, and I wanted you both to read it and present a book report by the end of the summer.

Remember that? I’m still waiting on your book report. Just kidding. Half kidding.

At this point, maybe you can just ponder the title to get the gist of the book. Fail forward. Don’t let mistakes, or fear of mistakes, paralyze your thinking or hold you hostage.

Sure, you might hold money too long in a low-interest savings account. You might forget to pay a bill on time, incurring a late fee and some interest charges.

You might pick a poor performing investment. Perhaps you will panic and sell when the stock market is tanking instead of investing more with a buy low, sell high strategy.

I hope you won’t lease a car, get wooed by the shiniest new car/truck on the sales lot, or buy too big of a house with too big of a monthly mortgage payment.

Become a Student of Personal Finance

There are many ways you can err financially. One way you can minimize mistakes is to become a student of personal finance. It really is a fascinating topic.

It’s good for young adults to hear wise information from peers in addition to their wise parents (ha! it’s my blog, I can say that). I think you’ll enjoy reading some personal finance blogs from people who are about your age.

What really caught my attention about those I mention below is that they are closer in age to you than they are to me. I initially set out to list those in their 20s. Some older millennials in their 30s made the cut. Some work in high-paying industries, some don’t. Some have debt, some don’t. Some are single, some are married. Some have kids, some don’t.

This is not a case of “Why can’t you be more like Sophie or John down the street?”  I’ve never done that with either of you, plus you have both already proven that you are talented, amazing, and successful young adults.

Instead, this is a case of parents never have enough time to teach their kids everything they want them to know. The 18 years from the birth of a child to the day you drop him or her off at college really do pass quickly.

Check these millennial bloggers out. The links are to their About Me pages. They are writing some great content about optimizing income, living frugally, taking on side hustles, investing in real estate, paying off student loans or other debt, planning to retire early, traveling the world, and much more.

Find those with a writing voice you like, a career path or other demographic you match, an investment goal you share, or an informative and inspiring website that draws you back for more.

Hear their perspectives, which dad and I can’t provide. Talented writers are sharing experiences that are different than your dad and I gave you.

Most of all, continue to enjoy the journey of life!

Love, Mom

P.S.  No book report required.




 

Check Out These Millennial Bloggers

Angela at Tread Lightly, Retire Early is the mom of a preschooler and she works part-time (like me) but is much younger. She posted the well-received post titled Meet the Women of the Financial Independence Movement.

Emilie at Wise Mind Money is married and tackling her student loans with a great attitude.

Erik at The Mastermind Within is 25 with a math background/job and side hustles, including his blog.

Gwen at Fiery Millennials is 26, invests in rental properties, and has a blog and a podcast.

J. at Millennial Boss is doing well in her tech industry career. Her blog has some great articles for young professionals. She cohosts a podcast with Gwen.

J. Money at Budgets are Sexy might be the best at coming up with nicknames and website names: BudgetsAreSexy and Rockstar Finance.

Jillian at Montana Money Adventures has an inspiring story of financial freedom with mini retirements, global travels, and several kids.

Lily at The Frugal Gene is married to an engineer. She’s also an AirBNB hostess and blogger with additional side hustles.

Liz at Chief Mom Officer  often features inspiring stories of six-figure income women but also covers a wide range of financial topics. In their family, her husband is the stay-at-home parent.

Melanie and Jonathan at Partners in Fire are in their 30s. They are looking forward to financial freedom and more travel.

Mr. and Mrs. at Kiwi and Keweenaw  are both engineers and dog lovers, and they live in Michigan.

Mr. and Mrs. Adventure Rich at Adventure Rich recently wrote about how financial freedom allows different choices for their family.

Olivia at Birds of a Fire is 25 and lives in the D.C. area.

Penny at She Picks Up Pennies is an educator who paid off some serious debt with some serious savings and side hustles.

Stephanie at Poorer Than You writes about money management for millennials.

Taylor at The Grounded Engineer is also an engineer so he must be a good guy. He’s also about to launch a series featuring engineers.

Allea at Ask Allea is someone I just learned about and her website looks helpful!

A female lawyer at The Give and Get lives in the high cost-of-living D.C. area.

Erin at Reaching for FI has a not-so-big salary in a high cost-of-living area (her words, not mine).

There’s no way I can list every millennial personal finance blogger, so if I missed you, leave a comment to let us know who you are and what you write about!

31 Comments

  1. I think it’s awesome that you guys are taking the time to teach your kids about money. Even though my mom was an insurance broker, she never really had the time to explain money to me or how it works, which I think would have been really useful. This is a great post and it actually features some of my favourite millennial bloggers, so I am glad you are sharing the love!
    Great post and just a great mindset!

    1. Hi, Corinne, and thanks! Family life can get busy and the years pass quickly. We didn’t cover everything with our older kids. At least they still like to spend time with us. 🙂 It’s great to see you are interested in personal finance and have been writing over at Broke Today Rich Tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Mrs Adventure Rich

    Thank you for including us 🙂 I love the list!

    1. Thank you! Your story is a good one with your relocation to a lower cost-of-living area and your husband’s recent decision. I spend more time reading others’ blogs than writing for my own. :-0

  3. Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early

    I love that you are being so purposeful about what you share with your children. I have to thank my parents (especially my dad) for setting me up with a great financial mindset, though I definitely made a share of my own mistakes along the way – but not the shiny new car or too big house at least!

    1. Hi, Angela. We definitely started with the saving/giving/spending banks for our kids when they were young but time flies. Our youngest still gets a kick of spending. At least spending mistakes at a young age usually involve buying a plastic toy that breaks right away. Got to always be looking for those teachable moments, right?!

  4. I love Ask Allea and Montana Money Adventures! Super helpful and inspiring. As a Millennial, I’ve definitely found them very applicable.

    1. Hi, Melissa! Looks like you have great things happening at your blog, SunburntSaver, too! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks for including me! You’ve got some really great advice here, too 🙂 And I loved reading a little bit of your story and how you decided to change your lifestyles to match what was best for you and your family.

    1. You’re welcome, and thanks for replying to my tweet! I wasn’t actually thinking of a blog post when I asked. Best wishes on your journey!

  6. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies

    Yes! Talking about money is so important. Granted, I mostly just get drooled on at this stage in the game, but we really want our son to grow up with financial sense, too. Thank you for adding me to the list!

    1. Hi, Penny. You’re welcome. I’m glad to hear you’re starting to teach him at a young age! You have a captive audience at this point 🙂

  7. Thanks for the mention. 🙂 My 10 year old started reading the 1 minute manager last night. I love parent assigned book reports. 🙂

    1. Hi, Jillian, you’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by! That’s great, he can read the 4-hour Work Week next. We once had our kids research an upcoming vacation destination and prepare a powerpoint to convince us they should get to join the trip. Never too young to practice their public speaking skills. I meant to message you that when I recently saw you’re planning another trip. Have a great day 🙂

  8. This is a totally awesome list!! Some fantastic blogs and even better people! I’ve so enjoyed getting to know and interact with them!!

    Thanks for sharing and for crushing it with your kids!! I can only hope to be that intentional with my wee munchkins!!

    -Matt

    1. Hi, Matt! Thanks! It is fun to connect with like-minded PF bloggers! You’ve been writing some great content on Method to Your Money. That’s great you’re able to start teaching 5th and 6th graders about personal finance. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      1. Carol,

        Thanks for the encouragement!! I really appreciate it, and the shout out to my site!

        I love the idea of downsizing your 2080. Super creative and crazy practical. Wouldn’t mind downsizing mine some day!

        -Matt

  9. The Grounded Engineer

    Thanks for including me! I’ll confirm that I am a good guy 🙂

    I love this excerpt, “Know that you will likely make some financial mistakes, too, and that’s ok. Better to be intentional with your finances and make mistakes than to be ignorant and careless.” It is so true that making mistakes helps you learn and you cannot be afraid to make mistakes!

    1. You’re welcome! We have multiple engineers on the family tree. I always notice when bloggers have an engineering degree. Looking forward to your series!

      It seems too many are afraid of making mistakes, myself included in certain areas. Thanks for visiting and commenting! 😃

  10. Love this Carol!

    1. Caroline, hi! Thanks for stopping by! And for your comment 😃

  11. Xennial Blogger (Stephanie)

    Hey … xennials are half millennials and I wanna fit in! 🙂 xennialblogger.com a new blog about life, money, real estate and soon, building a side hustle. You haven’t seen the last of me yet!!!

    1. Hi! I hadn’t heard about Xennials yet. I will have to check your site out! Here’s a link to your About Me page for others: Xennial Blogger Thanks for visiting!

  12. Man, the only person doing this longer than me is J. Money. Hope you check out our The College Investor and see our journey and resources to get out of student loan debt and start investing and building wealth early!

    1. I will check it out. Sounds like a great resource!

  13. I write at http://www.brokestmbainamerica.com I focus on student loan reduction strategies, frugal living, and how to augment your income with side hustles.

    1. Hi, Carlos! Congratulations on reaching positive net worth! Keep up the good progress. Thanks for commenting!

  14. “Earn income and don’t spend it all…” Internalizing this heading alone would alleviate a lot of personal finance issues. As a Millennial-era Kid myself, I learned this lesson the expensive way before starting my own personal finance journey. Certainly discovering the blogs you’ve shared a few years earlier would have helped!

    1. Hi, Aaron! Thanks for visiting! Have fun with your blog https://www.personalfinanceforbeginners.com. You can see I’m not too many posts ahead of you. Carol

      1. Thanks, Carol! I love the idea of “downsizing your 2080″… I hadn’t heard it put that way before. Looking forward to reading more great content from you in the future!

        1. Your site as well! Work part time .com seemed too boring and, in my mind, didn’t capture the professional aspect of 40-hour weeks. Thanks again! Take care.

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