As a result of winning Millionaire Mommy Next Door’s (MMND) carnival of personal finance contest, I had a choice of a few different prizes. Since I had recently written a guest post for her site, I asked her if she could write something for mine and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her background and goals. She has a terrific blog; it’s one of my favorites, and if you haven’t visited it or subscribed to her feed I recommend you do. She’s a stay-at-home mommy millionaire (hence the title) who decided at age 30 to pursue financial freedom and made it in 10 years – you can read all about her story here.
What were your most serious obstacles to becoming a millionaire?
In two words: unexpected events.
Four-and-a-half years ago, my husband and I sold our home to downsize our lifestyle. Our intention at that time was to live frugally and save big to push our net worth into seven digits before adopting our daughter.
Two months after implementing our plan, my mother was diagnosed with leukemia. She lived alone and didn’t have much money, so we moved her in with us and took care of her. Her illness required traveling out of state to see medical specialists and sometimes daily trips to the hospital for blood transfusions.
To summarize, the only thing that downsized during those two years was our time (to work our business) and our income. Meanwhile, our expenses grew.
While this unexpected event created a detour in our life plan, I feel fortunate that my husband and I were flexible and financially able to help my mom when she needed it most.
Lesson learned? Plan for the best, prepare for the worst, keep your focus on what matters most and go with the flow.
Were there times that you doubted you could achieve your goals?
No. Honestly, the only goals I can’t achieve are those that I’ve changed my mind about wanting.
What do you think are the most important lessons that you can teach your child?
Millionaire Mommy Next Door’s Parental Mission Statement: What is good parenting, for me, all about?
It isn’t about expecting or demanding obedience and conformity; It is about encouraging discipline, personal autonomy and individuality.
It isn’t about respecting authority; It is about respecting each other.
It isn’t about rules; It is about principles.
It isn’t about making my child do what’s good for her; It is about working with my child to help her learn to make the best choices.
It isn’t about teaching her in order to live life to the fullest; It is about living life to the fullest and letting learning happen naturally.
It isn’t about blindly following directions given by an authority figure; It is about following dreams, interests, and passions mapped out by child and parents together in a loving relationship built on mutual respect.
It isn’t about giving my child everything she wants, risking a false sense of entitlement; It is about helping her get what she wants through efforts of her own.
It isn’t about spanking; It is about teaching her that aggression is never an appropriate way to resolve conflicts.
It isn’t about parents being the martyr; It is about parents modeling healthy personal boundaries.
It isn’t about rigidity; It is about saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
It is all about love.
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Do you regret not starting down this road earlier? You started early in life, but do you wish you had done it even sooner?
I grew up with intelligent, capable and hard-working parents that lived paycheck to paycheck. I honestly didn’t know that there was another way until I was in my late twenties. I made a lifetime financial plan shortly thereafter. So no, I don’t have any regrets, because I started as soon as I saw the “road”.
And finally, paint a picture of the next 40 years – what does your family look like 40+ years down the road?
My last treasure map is over two years old and needs to be recrafted now that our daughter has joined our family. Off the top of my head, though, I see us traveling the world; combining unique opportunities for learning, personal growth and helping others less fortunate. I see us continuing to strengthen our family, friendships and community.
Overall, my intention is to be happy, healthy, wealthy and wise. And to live happily ever after!