A Richer Understanding: A Comfortable Nest

Last week I moved my son (Aaron) into his own space. Although being active in The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) throughout middle and high school, he entered the workforce instead of the armed forces after graduation. He is twenty years old; witty, charismatic and technically gifted. He has a great job working in a commission based call center.

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Previously he has taken classes at our local community college and now, with full-time responsibilities, he has shifted to online classes. After we finished loading / unloading we had a discussion about protection.

Protecting his …


I suggested he attend a financial literacy program. At times I’ve been ignorant about how credit works and this will allow him to explore the benefits and dangers of credit, how to establish a solid credit history and how to use it effectively throughout his life. He is in an excellent position. His mother purchased him a used car; he is only responsible for maintenance, upkeep and insurance. He is financing college with grant money and working full-time, to my knowledge that has been little to no loan money. Also, he is splitting the expense of an apartment with a roommate. No car payment, no heavy student loan debt and a roommate to share the cost of living puts you in an excellent position for …


Aaron had an indirect learning experience about money when he was young. He watched his mother & I struggle, at one point having to move in with his grandmother. When he was able to understand, I talked with him about saving. I shared a conversation I had with his grandfather who had advised me to save at least $25 per week when I was close to his age. Doesn’t sound like much but if I had done so at twenty-three I would have over $30,000. Preparing our kids for a financially responsible future reduces an opportunity for them to hit our pockets once they’ve left the nest.

Savings_Prisma Mononoke Filter

This is a line item I’ve considering adding to our spending plan, hopefully it will not effect my savings plan. Something I was not able to do with my older kids but clearly see the benefit with the younger kids is to use allowance and the Fat Cat Share Account (Account with State Employees Credit Union that allows children to watch their balance grow as they save, a quarterly newsletter and their own dedicated website) to teach them about earning, saving and spending money. Finding cents (and sense) and having purpose leads to …


While I’m proud of all of his accomplishments, I was very impressed with his maturity and outlook on life at such a young age. I’ve watched his goals shift, however, he is more focused than I ever was at twenty. What is most impressive is that he understands comfort and ease aren’t always the most stimulating conditions for growth. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself and invest in the future.

I Am


Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.


  1. Hey, this is my first time over here and this looks like a great series to come in on! I look forward to following and learning along the way. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kay and welcome to the party 🙂 Brian possesses a unique writing style that I believe readers will enjoy as he marries money with daily life.

  2. It’s incredibly important to help your kids develop a solid understanding of the way the world works, especially as you are helping them “fly the nest” This is a great outline for talking with kids as they are about to head out of home for the first time.

    I’m especially glad you didn’t forget to mention legacy.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Hannah. Like you, I was interested to see that Brian noted ‘legacy.’ I recently received a copy of The Business of Family: How to Stay Rich for Generations from the author’s publicist for review – which will be run in conjunction with a Giveaway on Saturday – in which the author outlines how families build and maintain wealth across multiple generations. As you might expect, one component of successfully doing that is the education of not only the children, but across the entire family.

  3. A financial literacy program is a great idea! I think a lot of college students would benefit going through one, especially their freshman year. Unfortunately I think new college students are so overloaded that they have trouble even considering making a personal finance class a priority.

    • I would love to see financial literacy programs take root even earlier, at the elementary level.

  4. Nice to meet you Brian….although there seem to be a lot of us in this community. Glad you’re working to educate your kids about money and how to handle it. I’m in a better place because my parents gave me that foundation. Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts in the future.


    • Thank you for reading and commenting Bryan, hope you will continue to stay engaged. It will be great to exchange thoughts. Until next time.

  5. Looking forward to following Brian as he talks about the everyday nuances of dealing with money and managing our financial lives … should be interesting.

    • Agreed that this slightly different approach to looking at money should be interesting. Thanks for stopping by, Karen.

    • Thank you Karen, I am looking forward to sharing. I’ve learned a lot following RetirementSavvy, also from the exchanges in the comments.

  6. Good luck to Aaron. Nicely done Brian, always good to start the money conversation with our children as soon as possible.

    • No doubt that one of the best gifts a parent can give to a child is to guide them toward being more financially literate. I am currently working with my own 20-something daughter who recently established a Roth IRA account, established an emergency fund and increased her 401(k) contributions. Thanks for stopping by and kicking off the conversation, Brian.

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