#1 Earn things.
My granddad always said, “A penny earned is a penny saved.”
He’d tell us “if someone just gives you money, you’re more likely to go spend it, but if you have to earn it, you’re more likely to appreciate money and less likely to waste it.”
#2 Stay out of debt.
Since their first paychecks, grandparents Mary and Jack Spinks have been careful how they spend the money they make.
“We’ve been fortunate to always have a little money in our pocket,” Jack said. “But the only reason we have any money is because of early saving habits. We really tried not to go into debt other than for our house. That went for cars and everything else. And the reason we didn’t go into debt was because we waited until we had enough money to pay for it. You don’t have to have it tomorrow.”
#3 Make those sacrifices.
Marlyn Woodruff, great grandmother, wishes she would have followed her grandparents’ advice.
“Not so much advice, because they didn’t say,” she said. “They did. Both of them worked. My grandfather worked on the railroad and my grandmother cooked, and they lived on one salary. The other one went into the bank. And that was hard because they had five kids.”
Their early sacrifices eventually allowed them to be able to buy a rental property and prosper.
“It took a while to get there,” she said. “But they did it.”
#4 It’s just stuff.
“We don’t need everything we want,” said Isabel Melton, grandmother of three, “Not by a long shot.”
Once you put materialism in perspective, lessons two and three become easier.
#5 Invest in yourself.
“Examine yourself,” said Don Purkey, great-grandfather. “Not everyone is fit for college.”
The key to success is to find what you like, or what you’re good at, and educate yourself around that.
“Learn to work and earn what you want,” he said.
Isabel Melton also reminds us to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
“Things will work out,” she said.
A special thanks to grandparents everywhere who pay forward the value of saving.
Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, RCB Bank NMLS #798151.