For most of humanity starvation was on the table.
Until approximately the 1700s, drought and famine were synonymous. Famine means that people die due to lack of food.
Even in the United States, food insecurity was a huge deal. I read a book called Caja de Cartons (Cardboard Boxes). Which is a series of short stories about a young Mexican boy who migrates in and around California and Texas as his parents work as pickers. His food was often too much fruit. It gave him diarrhea.
Not that I should have told you that story. Because I want to reject, "I know a guy" logic, but at the same time it's powerful. Thus, I'm going to keep going with it.
In fact, in parts of the world, they are still synonymous. I distinctly remember learning about famine in Sudan and Ethiopia between 1998-2000. My parents let me send money to aid organizations working in that region. Later, I found out that the only the very most effective aid groups managed to help people in need. Much of the aid (including that from the WorldBank) wound up extending a bloody civil war.
I start my post with this depressing saga because it's the background for my rant.
A mindset shift that will save you thousands!
Did you know that firefighters NEVER run into a burning building?
I didn't know that. I heard it on a podcast about parenting. But I thought it was profound.
The rescuers don't run towards danger. Well, what the flip are they doing? And how does it relate to my money?
On Friday, a friend and I took a group of seven teenagers to a bank to show them some careers in finance. The bank hooked us up with pizzas and three speakers who explained their current jobs and how they got into the job.
The bank did an awesome job finding speakers who came from disadvantaged backgrounds who are still having career success. One speaker, a branch manager, had lost her 5 year old son just a year earlier. She had taken a step back in her career to free up more time to be with her remaining children.
Another speaker, tried to graduate from college three times before she finally matriculated. The final speaker got into banking because he wanted an NBA basket briefcase. He stayed because he got to teach home buying seminars to lower middle income people. His passion? Educating people on the biggest purchase they'll make, and how to be sure it won't sink them.
I was incredibly impressed by the passion that each of these people showed for their careers and their customers.
The teens seemed more impressed by the pizza. But I don't think the field trip was for naught. I'm convinced that the first step in any career or financial goal is to see what is possible.
It's been a long time since I've given a spending or net worth update. The primary reason for this is that we had to go through a financial transition that briefly made our financial life super complicated.
Let me explain.
Accounting is boring. I was an econ major, not an accounting major. I made that decision on purpose.
Alas, some things come back to bite us in the ass.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.