Super Saving Tips // Financial Literacy Chronicles, No. 22

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Please welcome Gary from Super Saving Tips as our guest for today’s Financial Literacy Chronicles.  This is Day 22 of 30 in the Financial Literacy Month interview series here on Enwealthen.

Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog.

I had a long career dealing with money from several perspectives.

First, as a retailer, buying and selling. Later, in banking as a financial advisor. And at the end of my career, consulting and working with two companies involved in supermarket auditing and marketing.

Additionally, I grew up in a family that struggled economically so that being aware of good money habits was essential.

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

Now that I’m retired, I started my blog Super Saving Tips to try to help relay my life experiences to others so they can avoid some of the mistakes that I made.

What started out just as a fun endeavor for me has blossomed into a very rewarding experience. It has made me feel that younger people have a real concern about their finances and really want good advice.

If I am able to help, I find that to be very worthwhile.

Can you share your most impactful money memory from your childhood?

As a child, I recall that a lot of my clothing was handed down from my father’s boss’s family.

Since my friends were always well-dressed with new things, it impressed on me the necessity to manage your money well so that you can have not only the necessities in life, but a few luxuries too.

It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I had the opportunity to earn money on my own. And when I did, I was very aware of guarding it.

When you feel that you are deprived or disadvantaged, you can sit around and bemoan that fact, or you can be determined to make good decisions about your money so that you can overcome hardships. That’s what I tried to do from my experiences as a child and it carried into my adult life.

I realize now that not having the fanciest clothes in the neighborhood is not a “life-threatening experience”, but I still learned that you can do something about your financial difficulties when you’re focused.

We all receive financial advice from people in our lives.  What’s the most interesting or useful financial advice you’ve received from your community?

I’d have to say that my biggest financial lessons were taught to me by my mother.

Having grown up in the Depression, she was always very careful about financial decisions that she made. As I grew up, the one thing that I remember her teaching me was to think carefully about how I spend my money.

Buying impulsively often leads to buyer’s regret and to buying things you don’t actually need. In most cases, there’s time to reconsider and think about the necessity of the purchase. When you do that, you often realize that you may be buying simply on impulse.

The expression “easy come, easy go” when it comes to money is very true. I’d rather it be “easy come and not-so-easy go”.

I have several personal finance books I regularly give to friends and family.  What are your 3 favorite fundamental personal finance books you often gift to others?

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko because it very clearly illustrates how building wealth is a simple matter of spending less than you earn.

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez because it delves into your relationship to money and the exchange of time for money.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi because it is a solid, practical handbook to optimizing your finances.

What financial literacy education did you receive in school?  If you had a magic wand, what would you change to improve that?

In junior high school, I took junior business training which I remember is how I learned to balance a checkbook and keep good financial records. Other than that, I think my financial learning came from trial and error more than anything.

I did learn a lot of good financial practices in the business world which can be applied to personal life. But that was really on-the-job training.

If I could wave a magic wand, I think there should be more emphasis placed in public schools on financial literacy and the importance of managing your personal finances, incorporated into the curriculum. Regardless of what kind of career path you’re taking, you always have to deal with your own specific financial issues and it should not be left up to the individual themselves to find sources outside of the educational environment.

There are so many blogs on the internet, what are 4 of your favorite blogs that instill financial literacy, either by word or action?

Debt Discipline (interview) – Brian, who’s a real champion of financial literacy, shares his true story of overcoming debt and other struggles, showing it can be done.

She Picks Up Pennies – “Penny” is refreshingly honest about everything from awkward money conversations to privilege to not being Beyonce.

Freedom Is Groovy (interview)– Mr. & Mrs. Groovy give a different slant on the adjustments you need to make as you approach and enter retirement. They’re always good for some outside-of-the-box thinking.

The John & Jane Doe Guide to Money & Investing – Emily and Jon give some solid money advice while also focusing attention on teaching financial literacy to our children.

The expression “easy come, easy go” when it comes to money is very true.

I like to keep inspirational quotes around the house to remind me of what’s important.  Do you have a favorite money quote you use to inspire your financial life?

Dale Carnegie once said “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

Being successful and being happy are two different things. You don’t need all the traditional trappings of success (a la the Joneses) to have a happy life.

Knowing what you want is most important and having “enough”, whatever that means to you.

Thanks for contributing to Financial Literacy Month here on Enwealthen, Gary!

Gary Weiner is a retired retail/bank executive who has had several careers relating to personal finance and money management. His blog Super Saving Tips is designed to take what he’s learned from life’s failures and successes to help educate others. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Or join the Super Saving Tips community for weekly content via email.

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Readers, please share your thoughts on Gary’s experiences, any additional questions you have, and suggestions for who else you’d like to see interviewed in the comments below.  And please do share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Thanks!



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