Celeste Harned’s Story
As the oldest of five growing up on a family farm in Kentucky, Celeste learned valuable lessons about working hard, saving money and spending wisely. After graduating from college debt-free, Celeste is now married with a 3-year-old daughter and works from home as a graphic designer. She and her husband are currently hunting for a “dream farm” where they can live and work well into their golden years.
OYO: How did you feel about money growing up?
Celeste H.: I grew up understanding that you didn’t buy anything you couldn’t pay for. My siblings and I showed pigs in 4H and FFA. To buy feed for our animals and things like that, we had to save our money and make money. Mom and Dad taught us, in baby steps, that you can’t spend all the money you want.
OYO: Did your parents give you an allowance?
CH: My parents were very opposed to allowances. But we could earn money by helping Dad enter records into the computer or by babysitting for family friends. As children we could put in hours on the cattle farm and legally get paid because the farm was owned by my parents.
OYO: What’s the worst money experience you’ve ever hard?
CH: When I got a checking account in high school, I had a debit card and over-drafted my account. My parents were disappointed, and I had to go to the bank and pay the fee. In a small town, everybody knows everybody, so that was embarrassing. It was a big wakeup call that I had to keep track.
OYO: Do you and your husband have certain financial goals for yourselves and your family?
CH: We’re very savings oriented and can get by with very little right now because a toddler isn’t that expensive. We cut corners now so that we can find our dream house and farm and spend the majority of our lives there.
OYO: Do you have any desire to not just save but also invest?
CH: We’re in a unique situation because my husband’s part of a small business and I’m self-employed. The way our families have always been is that you don’t really retire. So we have some long-term savings plans but we don’t have the need to invest in a retirement plan like a lot of people do.
OYO: What lessons do you hope to teach your daughter about money?
CH: My husband’s family owns a restaurant, so he started working [young]. He earned tips, so there was this incentive of you’ll get paid for working, but you’ll get paid even more for going above and beyond. That’s a valuable lesson that I’m glad my daughter will get. She’ll see the incentive in doing the best job she possibly can.
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