Getting to Know Margie Wiley

Margie Wiley records the stock market repot at the WXGM radio station in Gloucester

Margie has been living the “purpose behind the money” philosophy for a long time.  It started with lessons from her mother, Florence Newell.

“Growing up, my mom taught me about the value of the dollar and not to order the most expensive thing on the menu,” Margie says. “Money always had a purpose. That’s where I get the mentality that I use today with my clients.”

Margie learned from her mother’s simple but effective style of budgeting, passed down from the generations before her. Margie’s father worked two jobs to support the family of four. When payday came, Florence handed him $50.

“I remember it vividly; that was his spending money,” Margie says. “The rest of the money went into a bunch of different envelopes.”

Each was labeled. One read “groceries.” Another said “xmas.” The “pills” one was slated for monthly medication. Looking back on the memories, I realized there was never an envelope set aside for fun.  It was assumed that it was part of the strategy, but my Mom knew how much things would cost each month and always gave herself a little float.  I remember her saying, “Deposit $500 in your checking account and forget that you did.  This way if you run a little over that month, you have the funds to back you up. Just make sure to replace the $500 balance by the following month and don’t make it a habit!”

“There was always a dedicated purpose for the funds as opposed to throwing it all in a checking account and figuring it out later,” Margie says. “That stuck with me. It creates an impromptu budget because you know what things cost and you set that amount aside. If you have to dip into your electricity envelope to pay for a Starbucks, you know you’re not going to have lights!”

When her mother did “splurge,” it was always something for Margie or her sister.  My mom has never been one to spend on herself.  Her joy came from being able to buy us new clothes for school, or taking us out for lunch, or even buying us a special gift at Christmas.  One year that was a Cabbage Patch Doll!

The financial foundation Margie inherited only strengthened with time. At 16, she worked for a bank; she opened an IRA two years later. Saving $50 a month in the account.   She signed up for her first credit card as at 18 to establish her credit history, and was able to save enough to purchase a home in her 20’s. I try to pass down the lessons I was lucky enough to learn at a young age to the children and grandchildren of the clients I work with. I was blessed to be able to participate in the financial industry at such a young age and have exposure to these lessons early in life.  

“I have always been independent and wanted to accomplish things on my own.  Sometimes those life lessons are hard because you have failures that come with the successes.  But those setbacks are where the true lessons lie.”