In today’s episode, I’m talking with Caroline Vencil, who is an expert on living a full life on a tight budget. (Like as a family of six!) We’re talking about why extreme saving can be a severe hang up, the creative ways Caroline helped her family stick to the budget, and how being intentional makes spending money more fulfilling.
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As always, we’ve rounded up our top three takeaways to summarize what we believe are the core points to remember from Caroline.
Caroline grew up believing her parents were rich and that they had all the money they’d ever need. She wasn’t aware of how her parents got the things they had because they didn’t talk about money.
Some parents get irritated, saying their kids just think, “Money grows on trees.” But if we don’t explain to them how we get money, what debt means, and how we purchase things—how are they supposed to know that money doesn’t effectively grow on trees?
Kids won’t innately understand that you have to save, plan, and work for what you have. These conversations are crucially important, and the more you have them, the more comfortable they will become. And the more your kids will be prepared when it’s time for them to budget and handle their own money.
Caroline learned how to negotiate her bills when she didn’t have another choice. And a lot of families, especially in 2020 with COVID, are in that space right now.
If you need help paying your bills, or simply want to make sure you’re getting the best price, call companies you pay for services and kindly ask what they can do to lower your bill.
As Caroline mentioned, negotiating can usually be done if you do it in a kind and appreciative way. Companies won’t blacklist you or deny you services. No one will yell at you or belittle you. (If they do, just hang up and maybe find a new provider.) Really, the worst a company can do is say, “no.”
And if you emphasize your history with the company, your appreciation of their product, and your desire to stay with them, you’ll usually get some kind of break.
Caroline and I both shared some of our own money story struggles today. And while we’ve come a long way, there is still work to do. And there always will be.
You can’t just do money mindset work once and never come back to it.
Whether you’re a spender who needs reminding that you can do amazing things when you budget, or you’re a saver who forgets that saving up for something means that you have permission to spend that money and enjoy it, we’re all a work in progress.
Pay attention to your money beliefs. Celebrate wins and aim to be a little bit better than yesterday. While those negative stories will continue to come up in certain moments, you’ll find that your positive stories get stronger. And that you can identify and let go of what’s holding you back more quickly the more you practice.
Caroline is a money-saving expert, especially when it comes to her family of 6 living on one low income. She is a master of living on a tight budget and still having a full life. Her passion is to teach other women how to make their money work for them and to take charge of their own financial lives.
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