This week’s Discover Yourself prompt is:
What I learned from my parents about money is…
Ahhh! Life is very interesting…money/finances has been a huge focus of my life lately as I have been struggling, so that this question came up is VERY interesting!
My parents were both raised in “the Depression” my father, born in the late 1920’s and my mother the early 30’s–I grew up with lots of stories about how tough it was for my parent’s families. For example, mother’s story – going to a movie cost a nickel and that nickel was hard to come by so when my mother was able to go to a movie it was such treat for her that she had to live on those memories for a long time.
For my father, life was also tough, he talked about being given a dime and having to go to the store to buy his mother cigarettes. He also talked a lot about how he had to bike everywhere–his stories seemed to indicate he loved that though. He would ride his bike to Lake Winnipeg (an hour’s car drive at today’s speeds) or other places in the country side–he would sleep in farmer’s fields if he got tired. Another great story that my father had that would have us kids rolling our eyes was how he had to walk five miles to school, barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways!!! ;o)
When I was growing up we did not have a lot of money, my mother went to work out of necessity when I was in grade one and that was a hard adjustment for the family as she had been home all of the time before that–my oldest brother who was 14 at the time became the surrogate parent and he was a tough task master (but I digress…).
Just about every meal we had been based around ground beef–to this day, I am not a fan and very rarely cook with it unless it’s extra lean and there’s lots of seasoning (meat loaf), or sauce (spaghetti sauce). We also NEVER had real milk in the house–it was too expensive–we had powdered skim milk (yuck) but none of us kids would drink it. I was not given breakfast during the week–I don’t know why. In fact, I didn’t realize that not having breakfast was abnormal until I was in my 20’s and was talking to a therapist about something and that came up. She was appalled that I was sent off to school without breakfast and had to find my own lunch often too. I asked one of my brother’s about it and he also, at almost 30, didn’t realize that there was anything wrong with not having breakfasts provided as a child. Now, of course, I realize that was one of the reasons I had trouble in school. I remember leaning my stomach into my desk at school, to stop the hunger pains, before lunch just about every day.
We were not able to purchase a lot of “back to school” stuff–well…certainly not the “cool” clothes because they cost too much. So, instead of Wrangler’s I got Jack Spratt’s and instead of Nike’s I got some other no name brand. At the time I was very hurt because I wanted to “fit in” with everyone else.
My mother, however, always seemed to find the money to purchase what she wanted–she would take me on these shopping trips but not buy me anything and if I whined about that I was told I was ungrateful. She would hide the purchases from my father. This was a hard memory.
Now…after all is said and done, we did not starve, we were well provided for, and we were loved, had a LOT of fun–we just didn’t have enough for the “extras” or luxuries in life. An “aha” moment–because of my spending habits I still don’t have room for the “extra”s or luxuries in life–hmmm.
Once my financial challenge has been worked through I AM starting to save a bit of money each payday for the passionate things I am working on in my life. I am also going to start a “debt snowball” by starting to pay off my lowest dollar amount debts and then using that money to move up to the next dollar amount, etc. etc.
Thanks for listening as always!