Why I Gave My Son an Investment Account for Christmas

Written by Briana Cavanaugh

January 22, 2021

I wrote this for you to nourish your heart and offer some love and financial re-parenting.
This is a low key holiday love story.
Most people are not taught anything about money.
We hear in passing about retirement accounts, 401k, and savings.
When I worked in corporate, I started a 401k account because when I was on-boarding they told me to. The End.
I didn’t really understand what I was doing or how much I should put in it. I just closed my eyes and picked an amount. And then when I started my business, I used that money and more to get this thing started. Once we were going, I went for a long time without any savings or investments or retirement.
And it freaked me out.
Savings and/or retirement are the basis of how most people think of financial security. And the feeling of having a cushion of money does make people feel secure.
And nearly all of my clients come to me seeking financial security.
So, I knew I *should* save money but I couldn’t figure out *how* to do it. I felt broke all the time.
Hell, I WAS broke all the time. I was a welfare mom for a long, long time.
Emergencies would happen and if I didn’t have the cash I’d have to use a credit card (when I could finally get one again) or borrow if it was a big thing. I borrowed a lot from friends over time and I’ve had to work to re-pay that.
I had so much shame about that. About accumulating debt, about not being able to do it all myself, about not having savings or retirement.
Eventually, I learned that this is normal.
In fact, most entrepreneurs have bad things financial happen *because* they don’t have any savings or investments. (And that’s a post for another time.)
For example, because I was broke all the time, I’d wait to fix my car. And inevitably something would happen, and it would be a lot worse and cost A LOT more money. Ugh.
When I went to try to start a new investment account on my own, I found that I needed $5k to start an IRA. I was blown away by how much cash I had to have to start an investment account. I was frustrated and sad – I want access to investing!
But then I found Acorns.com. (If you’re ready to jump in: use the button below for a little extra investment for both of us.) 

I could start investing with $20. And add as little as I wanted, anytime.
This was a game-changer for me. I could invest without a huge commitment. And without taking that money totally out of circulation.
So, I made the commitment to start the account that I would consistently add money to. I started with adding just $5 a week.
(I also committed to not taking anything out. And because it’s separate from my everyday banking, I’ve successfully left it in there since I started – which I’ve never done before!)
It took a while to get there but eventually, I had enough to start an IRA. And feel more secure about my financial future.
I want better for my son. (Just like I want better for all of you. That’s why I do this work.)
This Christmas my son just started a new job and we’re both really excited for him! My partner and I decided that it’s the perfect time for my son to get started investing – even though it’s a part-time job and not a “career”. It’s time to learn about investing and getting set up to retire.
We decided to this because:

  • No one taught me how to do this
  • Financial habits are imprinted and taught
  • I want him to know that he’s financially secure
  • I want him to know that he, himself has some control over how secure he is
This is one way that could work together to help him feel financially secure now and inspire and support him in making long term healthy financial habits.
So, on Christmas Day, which a mug full of hot chocolate in our pj’s, we sat together and set up the Acorns app, connected his accounts, and talked him through choosing how much and how often to set up his recurring investments.
I told him my story of not knowing what to do and how I learned. And I reminded him that I’m here for him. And of course, if I didn’t know the answers, I promised we’d find them together.
Just some mom financial love. Some mom financial love that I wish I had had.
He was incredibly grateful and excited! He told me he was so glad to have me as a mom and gave me a giant bear hug. And then we watched some Marvel movies (Dr. Strange – it’s the one I like best).

 So in case you’re in need of financial momming to get yourself going to invest this year, check out Acorns (use the button below) and start yourself investing today (and yes, I do get $5 if you sign up).


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