As a child I was taught to buy a lot of stuff we didn’t need and saving money was not mentioned at all. My parents always had new cars, with car payments, and the justification? Buying a used car was buying someone else’s problems, although I don’t understand why they needed a new one every year, or less. Christmas was always way overdone, almost all of the gifts were mine, as I was an only child.
As a teenager, we didn’t have a lot of money, however we lived in a tiny house in an affluent area. I didn’t have the huge wardrobe of name-brand clothing with Izod alligators chomping at Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Yeah, I know, I’m old. When I turned 18, I got my first credit card from Dillard’s department store. I’m pretty sure it was less than a month before I had it up to the limit.
As a young adult, I wasted lots of money of stuff I didn’t need. I was just going along with the rest of society. Not that I was ever great at maintaining finances or my credit ratings, my ex-husband was a con artist and really messed up my credit. I think it was then that I learned quickly to live within my means. Progressively I decided to shop differently and live differently.
I ended up being a financial analyst for many years, yes, I said financial analyst. Go ahead, laugh, it is kind of funny. 🙂 I guess I have an ambidextrous brain? If I had debt, I always had a plan to pay it off quickly. Large purchases were never made without really thinking about them a lot before the actual purchase. I spend money more like a guy. I have a huge problem buying a sweater for $32, but it’s no problem to spend $600 on a large plasma television. I do struggle now with those large purchases, always wondering what better things I could have done with the money. Again, I progressively started changing from some debt to no debt and from no saving to saving.
Anyway, this whole thing has been a process of going from spoiled only child to responsible adult, maybe a bit overboard as some think. I don’t miss shopping much at all. There are a few times when I want to go buy something, but mostly now it’s things I need. All in all, I’m glad I’m doing the challenge. I hope to learn a lot more and come out of this with better ways to live.