I realize there were some things about my last post that needed some clarification.
My family wasn’t poor when I was growing up. But lately I’ve been realizing that there’s this image in my head of what “well off” looks like. Big house, lots of fancy cars… gee, this sounds like Colorado Springs suburbia. And growing up, I could see that my family had a different way of living. As my Mom and I talked about today, my parents were more interested in investing in experiences, vs. material things. Thus why I got to go to the symphony, take art classes, go on long road trips… And my childhood was without want.
Why is that image still in my head then, of what the home of a “well to do” family, looks like? Where did it come from? A TV show? Magazines? What does society tell us “wealth” looks like? Google image search “perfect home” and look at what comes up. Words I would use: big, swimming pools, giant yards, large TVs…
My childhood and my life experiences contradict those images. Do other people struggle with similar images? I wonder what we’re all striving towards. I think most of us would like to live simply, without worry. I know that’s how I feel right now. And actually, having less IS teaching me to live simply. Now I just need to work on the “without worry” bit. But that’s where the plan of action + state of mind come into play.
What I was really trying to say in my last post was that my parents taught me through example what I think is the right way to be well off: frugally. I’m having to really practice what I’ve learned now and it’s harder than it looks. My Mom told me today about how when she was my age, she struggled financially too. That made me feel a lot better.
Above all, my current situation is teaching me to clarify my needs and my wants, what it means to be “poor,” how important my parents have been in teaching me how to live, and how to be financially smart. I’m glad so many good conversations have come from me writing about it.