Wednesday, September 12, 2007

History

My parents were always hard workers, and always good with money. Of course, it wasn't until we didn't have any that it meant anything to me.

When I was little, we traveled a lot, and shopped a lot, and I got an entirely new wardrobe every fall and spring. I had crazy toys, like my Barbie hot tub. I had all the things that, as a young girl, I thought I *had* to have.

Then, when I was 11, my mom lost her job when the company went out of business. Okay. She went back to college, so we tightened the budget, and everything was fine. Of course, up to that point, I had no concept of budget or cost or price tags, and suddenly those things became more important. However, my mom's paycheck had really just been spending money anyway.

Three years later, as my mom was beginning her senior year of college, my Dad was laid-off from his job. They had a nice savings, so we lived off of that for six months until he took something new (at 1/4 his former salary). Things changed very quickly for us.

However, I learned a lot of great things. Like how to comparison shop, how to eat on a budget, how to wait for a sale, how to know whether something is worth the money or not, how to make things instead of buying things, how to appreciate a really good bargain. Well, I learned this stuff eventually. In the meantime, I did a lot of screeching, being 14 and all. Sigh. Sorry about that.

But really, looking back? I certainly learned much more useful life skills by growing up broke than by growing up "rich." And I hope that my kids grow up knowing that they have what counts.

2 comments:

Lyn said...

As someone coming from the other side a bit, I grew up with a single mom since I was young. We never really knew that we didn't have much until we became teenagers. Having said that, I never really felt deprived at all. I am sure to always let my mom know and I think it helps her to know that. Today I don't have a lot, but I am not out-on-the-street-poor either, so I feel blessed. All I have to do is see pictures in 3rd world countries and I get true reality!

I think if you raise your kids with appreciation for everything, then in the end they will see what is important and what is not. A life full of loving memories is more important than a room full of toys any day.

Unfortunately in today's culture, there are so many spoiled little things running around feeling a sense of "I deserve this". I blame the parents of course. When these kids get into the real world on their own they will be awakened quite quickly (unless mommy & daddy are still funding their lives). Funny how perspective changes when one has to pay the bills.

Sounds like you are doing just fine though!

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