Countdown to my 44 years: I start making a map of my life until now.
In future posts, I will show you those little lists: regrets, discoveries, achievements.
And the best advice I can give from someone who arrived in his or her forties: DON’T DEPEND ON ANYONE.
Among all the achievements I have had in my life, this was undoubtedly the greatest.
Even if you are not a capitalist, and lacking ambition for material goods, reaching 40 without depending on anyone to pay your bills is marvelous and the key to your personal and financial freedom.
I have many acquaintances and friends who, due to different circumstances in life, reach forty without a built nest, a purchased apartment, or a financial reserve to call their own.
Some, because they married and had children very early, and dedicated themselves entirely to being mothers. Others, because they made bad choices along the way. They spent too much on superfluous, did not invest. Others, few, had unforeseen events. Accident, family help.
I will not judge them. Each had its trajectory and its difficulty.
However, I know their pain today of not having financial security. Because at 40 one thing really changes: your costs of life, even living frugally. And always for more. You spend more on pharmacy, health insurance, family help, personal expenses.
Marriage for them more than ever means their financial ground. For others who did not get married, there remains constant insecurity and anxiety, uncertain tomorrow, more restricted job offers, higher costs each day.
And with that, it is not uncommon for these women to be desperately looking for a partner, not as a synonym for completeness and love, but as a salvation for their financial situation.
This is because we are talking about a middle class and an upper class. Imagine in the most disadvantaged classes. Where there is much worse than not being able to afford a good health plan. Where there may be domestic violence. My friend who Works in the police says that most women and children who are abused at home do not act because they are totally financially dependent on their partner.
I always quote my beloved and beautiful mother in my texts, but here I have to give the honors to my dear papis. I was always raised as an upper middle class family, but thanks to his complete effort. He came from an extremely poor family in the interior of São Paulo, and he always taught us the power and value of money. Earnt, not gained.
I have always studied at the best schools that his money was able to pay, and we never lacked comfort at home and traveling. Thumbs up also for my mother, who has always supported him, and has always been shy with splurge spending.
But spending on superfluous, this was super controlled. While all my schoolmates sported the famous 80s brands like Forum, Zoomp and had their Nike and Reebok sneakers, I always had sneakers and clothes from generic brands. Brand even only in special seasons, as birthday gifts.
At the time, it made me angry, because we were bullied for it, but today I see that these simple and apparently useless gestures were indeed important for the construction of my own heritage and responsability towards Money, saving and earning . Yes, it seems and is shameful to say that the school’s bullying of uselessness helped me to be responsible with my money. But it’s the truth, girls.
My parents never gave me an monthly Money like mostly kids had. Whatever I wanted, I asked them. If it was valid, they would buy it. With that, I started thinking before asking them for something. One’s acceptance was another’s refusal. Then my financial education started. Money and things don’t fall from the sky.
As I said: at home, education, comfort, safety and travel have never been lacking. But the superfluous were superfluous. And when I grew up, I am thrilled that my parents guaranteed me much more than the vast majority of the population has.
I started working with my family part-time at 17, but after I got my first paid internships, it was a unique joy to see that money of mine, only mine in my account. I could do whatever I wanted with iy, without justifying anyone. I could go buy 3 pants at a brand store. Spend a night out. In the end, I was happy to go to the supermarket and buy items that I never asked my mother for and I was happy with 90% of the salary saved.
I do have a certain reputation for saving hard. Although I have practically traveled the world, eaten in the best restaurants, and have a wardrobe with some luxurious items.
But I always look at a restaurant’s menu prices before ordering. I look at my invoice weekly and when I know I overreacted, I stop.
I do participate in voluntary causes, and I’ve made a lot of donations lately, but always with caution. After all, hard-earned and saved money is not easy for anyone. And i respect very much the Money i earned.
The greatest peace you can have is knowing that your bills are paid by you and no one else. So friends, family, love, it’s all about love and not interest. And with that girls, beware: many interested guys have passed by me and other friends of mine. But for those who fought for their own money, they protect themselves. But the gold diggers exist, and there are many.
Knowing that you can pay for a trip without having to pay in installments in 10X, knowing that you live in an apartment that cannot be taken away, knowing that you can go through a pandemic like this that even our grandparents did not and don´t have to ask for financial help from anyone (not least from the government), this is priceless girls. Really. Perhaps it is the great gateway to other achievements. Now the tips on how I walked this path I leave for another story, so that it doesn’t become an encyclopedia (only the forty will understand, for young people, search for the term on Google). It is a long way, it is not easy, but it is worth it!