Financial privileges I have (and haven’t) had


It’s so easy to get caught up in focusing on what we don’t have. (Guilty as charged, on a daily basis!)

For example:

  • I left home young – no cellphone, no computer, no car, just some clothes, books and my guitar – and became financially independent at 17
  • I don’t work in an industry known for being lucrative and my skills skew more creative, less practical
  • I don’t have an equal financial partner; our relationship has spanned multiple bouts of unemployment/underemployment that add up to probably tens of thousands spent supporting us solely on my income

But I’ve also had so many financial privileges in my life. I don’t know where I would be without these things today.

Let’s see:

I grew up in a financially stable home

I never wanted for anything. I have financially savvy parents and money was never a taboo topic. I came away with an understanding of the importance of saving, and I  was encouraged to focus on the future and think about career paths.

I received a full tuition scholarship

My merit scholarship paid for my university fees. Between the student allowance and paid work, I was able to cover my living costs and graduated basically debt-free. Otherwise, 12 cents out of every dollar I earn today would be going toward student loan repayments.

I’ve never been unemployed

Despite entering the workforce during the GFC, I have always been employed. The work I do also aligns well with freelancing/side hustling.

The stockmarket has been kind to me so far

It even helped me with my house deposit. I never intended to use that money for a down payment – it was invested for the long term originally – but it worked out well.

I’ve benefited from family support

This ties back in to my first point, too. My parents looked after me during my separation, offered help with the purchase of my house and were in a position to lend me money towards it so I could buy something decent.

What financial privileges have you had?

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and Frugal in SA

20 thoughts on “Financial privileges I have (and haven’t) had

  • Reply Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial May 31, 2016 at 10:57

    My financial privileges have included:
    1. Graduating from college debt-free thanks to lots of scholarship and grant money
    2. Finding a lucrative job immediately upon graduation, the savings from which enabled me to buy a home which will further solidify my economic standing
    3. The fortune in having drama-free health and friendships that have enabled me direct my time, energy, and financial resources to other areas of my life

  • Reply J May 31, 2016 at 16:30

    I never had scholarships but I also graduated college debt free, thanks to family. Growing up in a third world country, we didn’t have government support for education, and I’m lucky my family paid for my fees. I also never had to go without, even when I went unemployed for a whole year.

  • Reply Mackenzie June 1, 2016 at 10:31

    I would say the biggest financial privilege I have had is graduating from college with no student loan debt. In the 90’s, it definitely was less expensive to go to a state school so that’s what I did. My parents paid for the tuition and I worked a full-time job and paid for the rest (books, fees, car payments, etc…)

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank June 1, 2016 at 12:23

    So did I. I had no student loan to deal with after graduation. I am glad that I took the chance in getting a scholarship and I maintained it for 4 years. It is really helpful that I have been able to save much as I could.

  • Reply Jax June 2, 2016 at 01:16

    I was also extremely fortunate that I graduate college without any student loans. My mom paid my college tuition AND let me live at home for free while I was in school, and I paid for books. But, I went to 2 year college before transferring to a state university. My mom also moved with me when I went to grad school so I wouldn’t have to take out loans to live on. I used all the money I saved during college to pay for my first year of grad school (out of state tuition!) but then received an amazing fellowship that paid for the next year’s tuition plus a stipend of approximately what I spent the first year. I would not have been able to do any of that without the support (emotionally as well as financially) of my mom who very highly valued education.

  • Reply Karen June 2, 2016 at 01:18

    1.I grew up in a relatively financial stable home, yet my parents never taught me about money growing up.

    2. I graduated school debt free and have never amassed any large amount of consumer debt. Only debt is my mortgage, which is relatively small, I think compared to other peoples’.

    3. I’d say the stock market has also been pretty kind to me thus far.

  • Reply Latoya @ Femme Frugality June 2, 2016 at 01:36

    Unfortunately, I can’t say I have any financial privileges. I graduated in debt to no one else’s fault but my own. I didn’t grow up in a family that was financially literate. This has made me persevere against a lot and I’m using my background and upbringing to overcome financial challenges and to give my children with financial privilege I never had.

  • Reply Tracy @ less stuff more life June 2, 2016 at 03:56

    I receive some scholarships like you did, being a part-time reservist in the army gave me some money towards education as well, and what little student loans I had (about $12,000) my parents helped me pay off as a graduation present.

    I definitely was lucky in that regard.

  • Reply Bonnie June 3, 2016 at 06:58

    My parents were able to pay for my college tuition in full (granted, I stayed in the city I grew up in to attend school), so I don’t have student loan debt. My dad gave my brother a down payment on a house and he used the same amount of money to buy me a new car about 11 years ago to replace my old one, which was dying. (I still am driving it, BTW!) Finally, after several family members passed away, sadly, I inherited some money–not a huge amount but also not insubstantial– which allowed me to pay off my debt and my husband’s, put a down payment on our home, etc. I would like to note that we were a solidly middle class family and neither of my parents attended college. We enjoyed life but my parents never carried credit card debt, we lived in a modest (small by today’s standards) home in a modest neighborhood, and my parents were good savers.

  • Reply Bonnie June 3, 2016 at 07:01

    On the other hand, I too left home at 18 and while my school was paid for, I paid for housing and all other expenses. I could have saved money by staying at home longer. I too am married to a man who makes less than I do and is less than ambitious, which hampers financial growth/security. I’ve been laid off twice in 15 years (most recently last year, which resulted in my taking my current position that pays 15K less than what I was making) which has done me NO favors.

  • Reply Link Love: dirty sexy taxes | Yuppie Millennial June 3, 2016 at 21:38

    […] What’s your privilege (financially speaking)? […]

  • Reply Jason Butler June 4, 2016 at 05:18

    I haven’t had any financial privileges. Hopefully , I can change that for my future family members.

  • Reply Mel @ brokeGIRLrich June 5, 2016 at 02:41

    My parents paid my undergraduate college tuition too and I know it put me miles ahead of most of my classmates since I didn’t have to worry about those repayment bills. I also have the safety net of knowing they are always there to bail me out if I really needed them, but they taught me to be responsible and take care of myself too. I’ve very lucky.

  • Reply Tre June 5, 2016 at 03:39

    What a great idea! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what is going wrong that we forget the privileges we have:

    1. I have always been able to find work in my field.
    2. When times were really tough we had family and friends that helped us through.

  • Reply Natalija Cameron @ Frugal in SA June 5, 2016 at 03:40

    The biggest financial privilege I’ve had is that my parents paid for my university studies, and related expenses, so I never had to worry about money at that point in my life. That was such a blessing. I have been fortunate enough thus far in my life that I have had continuous employment for nearly 20 years now. Sure, I’ve had to work hard along the way but my education has helped so much in that respect too – without my degrees, I wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as much as I have so far. I plan to make sure my children when they do come along do not have to worry about tertiary education fees and related expenses either.

  • Reply Alexandra June 5, 2016 at 04:26

    I love this positive take! Although I graduated college with debt, my husband and I both have lots of family. We both know we’d be fine if we needed to crash at someone’s house, and we get free childcare. 🙂

  • Reply Gary @ Super Saving Tips June 5, 2016 at 07:57

    I’d say my greatest financial privilege was having mentors who both gave me advice and opened up opportunities for me. I’m grateful for the help I received and have tried to pass it on to others.

  • Reply Miss Thrifty June 6, 2016 at 04:29

    I like seeing both sides to the coin here. I, too, have a tendency to focus on the negative at times but it’s true that most of us have enjoyed some period of “lucking out” along with a few road blocks. It’s powerful to recognize both circumstances and realize that moments of financial privilege and financial disadvantage come with takeaways that can teach us so much about money.

    I’ve certainly had more financial privilege than I deserve!

  • Reply Mrs. CTC June 6, 2016 at 08:57

    Strangely enough, my biggest financial privilege has been growing up with money problems. It taught me to prepare for a rainy day, and how to hustle to add to your income.

  • Reply Julie @ Millennial Boss June 18, 2016 at 12:47

    I grew up with confidence in myself and my abilities due to support from family and friends. I think that is my biggest privilege.

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