September 01, 2020 6 min read
How often are you thinking about money? Every day? Every hour? Every minute? For most of us, the topic of money crosses our mind multiple times a day.
My company, Seiler FEC, works with several professional athletic organizations. We ask this same question to the athletes we work with, and the answer I receive from them is almost always the same. “All day, every day. All the time. 24/7”, or the ever popular and cheeky favorite, “Uhm. When am I not thinking about it, Hill?”
Money is something we think about constantly. Yet no one talks about it, and it's not taught to us. So there is this giant elephant in the room, that nobody understands how to manage or talk about.
Our education is minimal as is the line of communication about money-- rarely even discussed between family and friends. It’s personal, people get defensive or feel pressured talking about it.
That is exactly why my team and I createdFinancial Footwork. We help people begin the conversation, and learn about their money in hopes to alleviate some of the stress that most of us experience with it every day.
I grew up very fortunate. I did not want much as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have everything I wanted, not even close. However, I had everything Ineededand that made life comfortable and relatively easy.
Looking back on my life, I learned about money from my parents and the things that they did to help me as I was growing up. However, when I turned 19, things in my life changed. That’s the year that my mom got sick.
My mother’s illness lasted seven years before she passed. That period of my life taught me a great deal about my life. One of the biggest impacts was how I felt about money, and how those experiences shaped my future.
Until my mom got sick, life was easy. My family had enough money to do the things we wanted to do--including send my brother and me to college, go on family vacations, live in a nice home, the upper middle, American dream. When the illness took hold, my whole world shifted as medical bills came rolling in and costs stacked up.
My parents had spent their lives saving and sacrificing, stowing away every last dime to put us through college. I left for college, knowing that everything was taken care of. Then, almost overnight--my financial life changed.
On August 2006, my mom was admitted into the hospital for the first of many visits to come. Her first hospital stint landed 17 days in ICU--31 days total--before finally being able to go home. We had no idea why she was ill, even the doctors were left puzzled and without diagnosis. For no reason her body was just shutting down.
Have you ever researched how much one day in the hospital costs? How about one day in the ICU? Let me tell you, it is not cheap! Add the cost for doctors, specialists, and additional testing. You do the math. Even with insurance, my dad was facing massive bills. And this was just the beginning.
My mom’s added loss of income due to being so sick and unable to work, really put even more stress on the budget. It felt like it was about to break at any time, all of the time.
During those touch and go times, I came to some realizations. College would be different, I would be spending less time on campus and more time at home on weekends, I needed to figure out how to help my family from 2 hours away. And my college fund was gone--more bills.
At 19 years old, I was stressed, now working full time at a restaurant, while also attending school full time. Then there was the family shuffle-- juggling care for my mom, and trying to tend to my dad’s sanity. I took out a school loan, lived off of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, and am pretty sure I sprouted my first grey hair.
I went from not worrying about money, to being stressed and consumed by bills, credit cards, loans, and more. Financial matters compounded with the stress of a sick family member, left me feeling completely helpless.
My mom fought hard through her illness for seven years, until she passed. Between the age of 19-26, I spent over 25% of my life with her in a hospital, rehab, therapy, or administering family care.
My family journey through my mom’s seven year battle with an un-diagnosable disease, taught me so much. Value, care, appreciation, survival, adaptability, endless love, It provided life perspective I think about daily. My three biggest takeaways are things we can all apply to our daily life, because nothing is totally planned for any of us.
We constantly think about the people closest to us. I know I do--I send my dad or brother a text and check in with my closest friends almost every day. Family, however you choose to define it, are always on our minds. As they should be!
We constantly think about money. And I’m willing to bet—money—on it, that it consumes your thoughts more than you think about family and career combined. Because it fuels the engine of the other components of our lives.
Money is a HUGE factor in what we do with our lives, our lifestyle, family time, free time, everything we do, depends on our financial situation. It’s so central to our world, and yet such a mystery. Why don’t people talk about money or how to master it?
After struggling to understand my own money at 19, I dove head first into understanding everything I could about the financial system. how to make my money work for me, how to offset loans and debt, and how to build my credit score. I was shocked that there were so few comprehensive programs to help people build their financial picture from the ground up.
15 years later I’m still learning, and helping others master THEIR money as I go. My life’s mission is to help as many people as possible learn about and manage their daily financial habits. Because when you take the stress of money off your plate, you DON’T have to think about it constantly.
Financial education enables budgeting, healthy spending and saving habits, and overall financial freedom. And that shore’s up your time to focus on the big two--your family and your career. Knowledge and responsibility with your money allows you the stability and freedom to pivot your primary focus to the things which matter most.
Figuring it out as I went at 19 was tough, and something I never wanted another person to have to experience. I would have been in such a better position financially, had I just had a plan to help me manage my daily financial life. The struggle would have still been there, but I would have had clarity and a plan. And a lot less stress.
The more awareness you bring to your money, the easier it is to learn about it, discuss it, and master it. Mastering your money is the greatest step towards improving your overall quality of life.
I am so incredibly passionate about what we do at Financial Footwork. Our platform gives you the tools and training you need to find success with your daily finances. Let us show you how to create a strong financial foundation and bring clarity to your financial life withour 12 week budgeting basics course. Master your money, and get on the track to success with your finances.
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