A few months ago, I promised you some post from the people who have followed the plan they created with my help. Today is part one of the $27.00 bra girl saga.

What happened to the $27 bra girl?

I am that girl. Tessa retells my story to many people as they begin their work in financial literacy. During my first meeting with Tessa she instructed me to write down all the purchases I made in a week and bring the list to her during our next meeting. When I presented the list to her the following week, there it was, a $27 bra purchase that Tessa did not agree with. I ‘may’ have cried because at the time I thought it wasn’t outrageous, I mean, it wasn’t a $100 bra! At the time my husband and I were getting ready to move across the country for his job and my employment was uncertain, this is what made a $27 bra matter.   That meeting was 5 years ago.

I am blessed to have Tessa in my daily life, she lives a couple steps away from my childhood home and it always a phone call away. But she hasn’t actually seen my finances in years. Sound strange? Tessa set my husband and I on a path to achieve two big goals, save for a down payment on a home and pay cash for what turned out to be a moderately lavish wedding. Once those goals were achieved, I could see in Tessa’s eyes that she was ready to take the next steps with us. She would often ask, ‘so what are we going to do now? I think we should revisit your plan and set new goals’ but we did not. It was important to my husband and I to take what we had learned from Tessa and challenge ourselves to apply her principles to our new life back in our hometown. We were newlyweds, new homeowners, I had a new full-time job and had also returned to a part-time job I had left before we re-located. We needed to purchase two cars, furniture and re-establish our social lives. It would have been very easy to take our record book to Tessa’s kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon and get a new plan and to be honest, there was a couple of times over the years I have almost called Tessa. But the lessons that we have learned applying Tessa’s principles have been invaluable.

#1 Comparison is very costly.

We have attended housewarming, weddings, showers, parties but on the way home have almost the same conversation each time, what we liked, what’s not our style, what we would have done or done differently. We have been part of conversations common to newlyweds or new homeowners; what the reception cost, high property taxes, the cost of Reno’s etc. It always leaves us with the question of ‘would we have made the same decisions as our family and friends?’

Over the years we have driven higher end cars, added to our wardrobes each season and had made room in our financial plan for these things. As car leases have ended or as life has become too busy to find weekly shopping time, we realized we haven’t missed it. Tessa’s plan includes the use electronic transfers to various accounts to keep your plan on the correct path.

Within the last year we have made it our new goal to simplify our lives regardless of what others opinions are. We have lived in our home for 4 years and never worried about finishing the basement. We have always heard the comments ‘well you should really get that basement finished’ but just never felt the need to. We have family and friends with homes larger then ours, with finished basements complete with all the home theater systems a person could dream of. It was not in our plan, Tessa biggest lesson is that your financial plan in just that, yours. Had we renovated our basement years ago when everyone thought we should it would not fit our lifestyle today. As we wait the arrival of our first baby, basement renovations are now underway. We are excited about using the space and have tailored it to be an open creative space that our family will enjoy for years.

Unconventional to some, but perfect for us.

Stay posted for the conclusion of the $27.00 bra girl saga.