Both of my grandmothers always had money. My father’s mother was a seamstress with six children whose husband was confined to a wheelchair after a stroke. Although she faced extreme hardships – discrimination and financial limitations – when she died at 80 years old, she owned three houses that were fully paid for and no mortgage debt.
My mother’s mother was a domestic worker doing housework for wealthy families. Her husband was an alcoholic and unemployed. She raised eight children almost as a single parent. But she, too, owned her own house. Whenever one of my cousins or I needed money, my grandmother always had cash to give us.
There were no ATM machines in those days. If we asked grandma for a few dollars, she would unbutton the top of her dress, dig into her bosom and from a white handkerchief that she kept in her bra, pull out $2 or $3 and hand them to us. If we needed $15 or $20, grandma would turn around, lift her dress, and pull the cash from the top of her stocking. This is where she kept the large bills!
As I got older, I was amazed that both of my grandmothers did so much with such little income. They really knew how to manage money. What later became clear was that neither of my grandmothers felt the need to buy new clothes every time the style changed; they did not buy things at the supermarket that they did not need; and neither of them had credit cards. They both gave money in church regularly and they owned their own homes.
I decided that if my grandmothers could accomplish what they did with the challenges they experienced, shame on me if I cannot do at least as well as they did. To start on this journey, there are two things one must know – your total income and the sum of your expenses.
Between today and tomorrow, using a set of discoveries and commitments, we shall attempt to identify and list down all our incomes and expenses.
Here’s a brief assignment: list three things that you need to start doing immediately concerning your money.
As a result of this discovery, make a personal commitment to list all your sources of income today! You can get free resources to help you do this. Financial calculators are available at dfree.com/resources. Free financial literacy courses are available through the dfree® Online Academy. You can also use the dfree® Lifestyle: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom Workbook.