October 2018

The purpose of this blog is to serve as a repository of cheat codes and life-hacks for my daughter.  I’ve been playing this game of life for a long while now.  Perhaps, if I can offer some foresight into things she may experience personally, professionally and financially, she can avoid some costly and unnecessary mistakes.

I am a 47-year-old, married, father of one.  Our daughter is 11 years old and in the 5th grade at our local public elementary school.  We live just outside of Seattle in Washington state.  My wife and I have been together for 22 years and happily married for 17 of them.  For the purposes of this blog, I am going to refer to my wife as Mrs. Memo and myself as Mr. Memo.  Sounds corny I know, but it probably doesn’t matter to anyone, save our daughter, what our real names are.

This is in no way a marriage blog (believe me) but, suffice it to say, one of the many things that make our marriage work is that we have very similar goals for our family and our finances.  Fortunately, with my passion for all things personal finance, Mrs. Memo has graciously entrusted me with most of the money stuff.

One thing needs to be made very clear though, we are a team and any big financial decisions are made only after discussion and agreement.  The same holds true with pretty much everything else…..Mrs. Memo discusses with me what we are going to do, and I agree.  Ha!  But seriously, I may bring ideas to the table about what to do with our money but in the end, it is our money and we are both in charge of it.

We have been fortunate enough to experience a great many things on our journey in life and finance.  By putting my thoughts on those experiences into a blog, our daughter will forever have a place to seek guidance even when we are not around.  In addition, a lot of things are simply embarrassing to admit you don’t know.  There is no reason for her; or anyone else for that matter, not to understand something just because asking brings about a feeling of self-consciousness.

With regard to personal finance, it has been my experience and my current understanding that this is not a specific subject taught in our schools.  I personally find this inexcusable!  In today’s day and age, with pensions virtually a thing of the past and Social Security questionable at best, how can our school systems get away with not preparing our children for their financial futures?

The acts of saving, investing, staying out of debt and being able to retire comfortably are squarely on the shoulders of our children to learn and understand.  Unfortunately, they will be incredibly unprepared when leaving school to handle this critical component of life.

Therefore, I feel it is incumbent upon me to ensure that at least our daughter is equipped with the tools necessary to navigate her financial path.  If I can help others as well then all the better!

While Mrs. Memo and I have had some success in our financial endeavors, we (okay I) have made a ton of mistakes as well.  Some of those mistakes happened before I met my wife but for the lion’s share, she has been fortunate enough to witness my ignorance.  😉

The very same holds true for life’s general day to day happenings.  Stuff happens, good and bad, but if I’ve learned from a prior mistake, shouldn’t I share it with my daughter so she can avoid similar situations?  By the same token, should I not share the successes so that she can get a sense of how awesome it is to win, and moreover, make her successes even larger?

Make no mistake, screwing up sucks!  In fact, the only thing good about a mistake is that you can learn from it.  So, by my own definition, I’ve learned a lot over the years.  My goal, however, is to limit that kind of learning as much as possible.

Of course, she is going to make mistakes, in fact, we want her to make mistakes; if she didn’t she wouldn’t be pushing herself hard enough.  I just want those mistakes to happen while she is in pursuit of something awesome, not because I didn’t provide guidance ahead of time.

Anyway, even though this blog is primarily for my daughter, my hope is that the information will be valuable to anyone.  With that said, should others find it interesting, please enjoy.  I know I am going to enjoy creating it!

Legal Disclaimer.….I am by no means a financial expert.  I am offering my opinion to my daughter and to whomever else may find my thoughts useful.  Please make your own decisions about money or consult a fiduciary financial advisor.

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