Money symbolizes freedom - co-founder Clara's money story
My money story resembles a rather bumpy ride. Until I was 12 years old money never mattered in my life, it existed. After my parents separated, this changed. We were four children in my family and I was the oldest one. When you are around 12, 13, 14 years old the pressure to wear certain clothes, listen to certain music etc. increases. As my parents were not in the position to just buy me everything I wanted, I learned to find my own way to get money. I started having “little” jobs at a rather young age and to earn my own money. Money means to me independence, being independent to save and spend my money how I see fit. As I grew older I did a bunch of different jobs, working in a hair salon, babysitting and many more. For me this meant to be responsible, to be as self-sufficient as I could be.
During my university studies this continued. I was always able to put money aside for my goals such as paying for an exchange semester or travelling.
I never understood why people said “I do not have the money”, I always thought “How can I get the money”.
Sure, with a student job you cannot get rich, but at least you can achieve important objectives, such as saving money for later or travelling.
Upon completion of my studies, I started my first job. This was quite a change: in the first couple of months I had the feeling I still needed to save every dime and track every single expense. But then I realized I was able to afford more and still put money aside.
Not having to track my expenses on a daily manner anymore was probably the best feeling.
With my first job I put a certain amount of income aside every single month (ca. 20% of my income) before spending the rest. I never read any budgeting books. I just always knew saving money for later is important as I have goals in life and normally they cost money. It also gives me confidence - the confidence that I can manage my own finances and second that I am on track to achieve my goals.
This year I finally fulfilled one of my dreams and went traveling for a couple of months. This was such a gratification. Of course this means spending money, but I will never regret one dollar, or peso or euro as the experiences I made and the memories I have are now mine. This experience made me feel free, of course there is always dependence as at some point I need to earn money again but it gave me freedom for a period of time. It also motivates me to continue so I can be free at some point.
In a nutshell, money means to me being independent and to some extent free, it means to take responsibility and to be accountable for my life. For me, it results in satisfaction about achieving my goals and being more confident. Do not let you fool yourself - this is not easy, it is not a sprint, it is a constant journey. But for me it symbolizes taking control over my life and my future.
Written by Clara Creitz
Finelles Founder. Coach and Consultant (UBS, Towers Watson).