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The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins for the Gant family. See what they've been learning (and saving) since their first meeting with their NOW Advisor.

Learning, Growing, Saving.

A family of three with a little girl holding streamers

Since our first meeting during the interview phase with our NOW advisor, Amber, we have been very excited to get started. My son has actually shown interest in meeting with our Advisor a few times, which is different for him! He is interested in learning how to make his money grow and is starting to save money instead of spending everything he earns from his summer jobs. My youngest was also able to start her savings account and I must say, for a 5-year-old she has amassed quite a large amount for her first deposit.

As far as my thoughts about the program, I was a bit nervous – and to be quite honest, I am still a bit nervous (mostly out of excitement and anticipation) about this new venture. After our first meeting with Amber, we started our savings account with a weekly deposit. When I played around with the awesome tools that the PenAir portal has to offer, I was able to see how long it would take for us to reach a particular goal. I was even able to see what happens when I increase my savings.

Another thing I’ve started doing since the start of the NOW program is attending financial education webinars and reading online workshops. There are a lot of things I thought I knew, or at least thought I understood, but after reading the lessons… I realized I was totally confused. My first class was in reference to lending types. I was only aware of a few lending practices, and I was a borrower of a few as well. The information spoke true to what I experienced on so many levels. It was unreal. I finished the lesson with the realization that even though these types of lending practices have their usefulness when used properly, it is ultimately best to wait and save for big-ticket items and start an emergency fund in the meantime. That way, I am not stuck without having any choice but to use these services.

The second lesson I attended online was about the Psychology of Spending. The reading was very eye-opening. However, the webinar was even more detailed and personal in a sense. For example, I went to BestBuy to purchase a charger (a portion of it happened to be on sale) and I thought back to the lesson when the presenter stated that “If you weren’t going to buy it anyway, the best bargain is not to buy.”

I felt pretty good picking up my needed items and taking them to check out… and guess what I see is on sale next, a pair of Bluetooth earbuds that I hadn’t considered buying until that moment. Again, the statement rang in my ears, “If you weren’t going to buy it anyway, the best bargain is not to buy.” I did not purchase the earbuds; I purchased my charger and left the store feeling triumphant!

I’ve had several experiences relating directly to my online readings. Purchasing items because I felt bad about not being able to do certain things with my children is one of them. Guess what – I still got the same hug when I came home empty-handed that I get when I come home with gifts. That really brought this lesson home for me.

All in all, I think we are off to a good start and I am excited to learn, read and do more to reach the financial goal that I have set for my family.

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