When I was a child, like most children, I couldn’t wait to spend money… on toys, clothes, books, or whatever I could find. As I grew up, my parents really taught me the importance of saving money. As I’ve mentioned many times, I started working when I was 12. I’ve had a savings account as long as I can remember. My parents strongly encouraged me to save around 50% of all of my paychecks during my teen years, which I reluctantly did. Looking back, I wish I had saved more instead of spending my money on overpriced clothing that I wore a handful of times.
Fast forward to my mid-twenties. Graduate school, marriage, buying a house, having a baby. Having invested a relatively small amount of money in mutual funds while I was in high school, my mid-twenties self was so grateful to my teenage self for that tremendous gift. It is amazing how interest can add up over the years.
While not a huge sum of money, this account has been so helpful. Moving into our first apartment, I bought a brand new washer and dryer and living room furniture. Desperately needing a vacation after grad school, this account provided 8 days in the Caribbean. Desperately needing another vacation after a painful experience, this account provided a week-long getaway in Colorado. And, most recently, when our baby needed tubes in her ears and our health insurance deductible had not been met, once again, this account came to the rescue.
So, to my teenage self, I am very thankful.