Inspiring Money Stories: Skip Fear And Win With Money

Inspiring Money Story: Bonnie

1) Introduce Yourself to The WwM Readers!

Hi, I’m Bonnie Truax, and I am 45 years old. My husband of 11 years is also 45. We are debt-free and retired. In 2016, we sold our home in North Carolina along with just about everything we owned and started to travel the world, slowly.

2) Did your family’s money situation influence you as an adult?

My parents’ annual income was about half of the poverty level when I was growing up. We never went out to eat. We grew a garden, picked berries in the woods, and hunted for meat. Our family always had food on the table and lived a debt-free life.

3) Describe your post-secondary education. Are you an entrepreneur or do you have side jobs?

I started working odd jobs at the age of 14 to save for college knowing my parents would not be able to contribute any college funds. I mowed lawns and did small engine repair.

4) How is your partner involved in your financial matters?

I manage our finances primarily because I love numbers and spreadsheets, and my husband is happy to leave me to it. I update him on how we are doing. We discuss all new investments together. He is in charge of the travel planning and shopping. He does excellent research, and I know he always gets the best deals.

5) What do you think is one of the most challenging career and money challenges for women?

For many women, the biggest career and money challenge is our own limiting beliefs. Our culture has made great strides towards equality, but it is not just men who need to change if there is to be true equality. We also have to act and challenge our own beliefs about women and about ourselves.

6) What’s one money mistake you made that others can learn from?

I didn’t do a credit check on my first husband before getting married, and I had no idea the crazy amount of debt he was in. A credit check is a must if you are considering getting serious with somebody.

7) What tools, apps, or programs do you use to keep track of your finances? Any money tips to share?

I use Excel for all my financial tracking complete with formulas, graphs, and macros. I just have so much fun with it. If you don’t like spreadsheets purchasing a tool is a good idea. The most important part is finding a way to automate your own personal finances.

8) What does your work-life balance look like?

Is there such a thing? While there are many courses on how to balance these two, does anyone actually have an answer on what that balance should be? In my view, each season of life is different, some require that we work a whole lot more and in other seasons we have time to relax.

9) What is your most important piece of advice about money and how would you help a friend struggling with money?

The most important tip about money is to recognize it only as a tool, a tool that can be used to fulfill our purpose. Our mindset toward money is often a higher determining factor in the amount of wealth we accumulate, more than a high paying job.

10) Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Women who Money readers?

Don’t let fear hold you back. Recognize it, listen to what it is telling you, and adjust if necessary. Then tell it to shut up and keep moving forward.

The WwM Team’s Key Takeaways from our Interview with Bonnie:

  • Even with humble beginnings, learning to save, working hard, and living frugally can still allow you to design a life many people can only dream about.
  • Side hustling kept her out of debt in college and later in life, working on foreclosures allowed her to choose the lifestyle she wanted.
  • Women’s limiting beliefs are a huge challenge to their career advancement and ability to win with money. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it.
  • If you are getting serious with someone, you should understand their financial situation and attitude toward money. This can save a lot of problems later.
  • “Each season of life is different, some require that we work a whole lot more and in other seasons we have time to relax. We have to learn to say no to extra stuff sometimes even if it is good stuff.”

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