Chapter 4. Financial Beliefs

On Saturday, the dishwasher broke, and I spent an hour inside it trying to fix the plumbing, with Jennifer and the kids standing around me, watching. Truth is, I never was much of a handyman, and I grew frustrated until finally I had to give in and call the plumber, who charged us time and a half for a Saturday visit. By Monday, I found myself thinking a lot about the discussion with Aunt Katherine, and I had to confess that her wisdom was refreshing. I couldn't ask the guys at work about money, after all. I was a top earner on our sales team, and they looked to me as an example. I couldn't ask my friends, because personal financial issues just weren't something we talked about on a regular basis. It felt good to drive a nice car and be able to show that we had money. But I wasn't about to tell my best friend that Jennifer and I had been living month to month for the past year, at a time when we were making more than we ever had before.

By Wednesday of the new week, I was looking forward to the meeting with Aunt Katherine, and I pulled into the restaurant 15 minutes early. I was going to pay the waitress ahead of time for lunch and surprise Aunt Katherine, but when I walked inside I saw her, already settled into our booth.

"Hello, Michael!" she said cheerfully. "How is your week going? Did you get your homework completed?"

I smiled. "Yes, I did. I made a long list. Jen and I sat down and worked on it together."

"I'm impressed!" she said.

"Me too! We're pretty ...

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