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Happy Birthday, Grammie

May 5, 2009

Today would have been my paternal grandmother’s 113th birthday. She passed on in 1971. Let me tell you about my relationship with Grammie.

When I was a very young girl – probably about 5 or 6 years old, my grandmother gave my brother a dollar, but she refused to give one to me, because she said that I would just spend it and my brother would put it in the bank. “To the bank, to the bank, to the bank, bank, bank,” she chanted to me.

Well, truth is, she was right. I AM a spender. I love what money can buy me. The Bahamas My life is rich and full, at least in part due to the experiences that I have had, most of which weren’t free. My brother, on the other hand, is a saver. He works hard and puts all of his money in the bank. I can’t even imagine how much he has amassed over the years. But he seldom spends it on anything.

If given a choice, which of course, I am, I would still choose to spend rather than save my money. However, the years have taught me that it is more wise to MANAGE money appropriately so that I have money to spend on any frivolous activity I please, as well as enough to meet my obligations. I have adopted the following system to manage my funds:

10% to my Financial Freedom Account – this account is money that is invested in passive income activities, so that I can grow my net worth at all times. Money NEVER comes out of this account.

10% to my Long Term Savings for Spending account(s) – This money is for long term goals – perhaps a vacation house, perhaps a trip to the British Isles, perhaps a new car. Whatever it is that I may want and can’t have yet, I set up an account for it.

10% to my Education fund – This is probably one of my favorite accounts. This is the money I use to attend personal development seminars, buy books, pay for coaching, anything that helps me to grow as an individual, because the more we grow, the more we can do and be in this world.

50% to my Necessities account. In the past, ALL of my money ALWAYS went to the necessities account, and I never had money to spend on those other things, so I would mindlessly splurge whenever I had some extra money, rather than taking the time to consider options. We tend to live within our “means,” and so if I made more money, I would take on more household expenses, etc. This step allows me to live well AND to live within these means.

10% to my Play account. This is the one I use to pamper myself – go out to really nice restaurants, spend a weekend in a luxurious hotel, get a manicure or go to the spa. The one rule with this one is that all of the money must be used up within the month. Woo hoo!

10% to my Giving Account. This is the account I use to help fund the causes I believe in. Primarily, being clergy, I donate to religious organizations of my choice or any work regarding sustainable living and/or environmental concerns.

Grammie and I had a rocky relationship. We were both very strong-willed and persistent – two good traits to have, for sure, but we didn’t always agree. We were both born under the sun sign of Taurus the Bull, and we locked horns many a time! And when I couldn’t get her to see my point of view, I would rebel.

For years, I rebelled against that one little litany: “To the bank, to the bank, to the bank, bank, bank!” And now I see that she was only trying to teach me, in the best way she knew how.

So, Grammie, Happy Birthday! And thank you so much for loving me in a way that pushed me to grow. It may have taken awhile for this stubborn mind to get it, but I now happily sing your song: To the bank, to the bank, to the bank, bank, bank!

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