Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Was Your Money Situation Like Growing Up?

The inspiration of this post came from Hanging By A Thread

I am the younger of 2 kids.  It was just my older sister and I.  We lived in a small 1 1/2 storey house, total sq footage?  Around 600 sq ft.  Both of my parents made very small salaries, but they were very good with managing their money.  I would have considered us "mid-class".  I never felt that I was behind in terms of school supplies or clothing, when compared to my classmates and friends.  They always made sure we put money in our piggy banks and always gave us a little extra to spend.  My parents took us on what I would consider a big family vacation every 4 years.  And in between those vacations, there were trips to Chicago every couple of years to visit family.  I remember when I was in college and had to quit my part time job due to my school work load, my mom insisted on giving me an allowance of $50/week.  I was very lucky.  Every time my sister and I think back to how well the household finances were managed, we are amazed.  And a part of me is confused as to how I didn't pick up a single budgeting practice or behavior.

It's very important for me to teach my kids the value of money and the importance of saving.  It's often difficult because at the same time I want them to have everything that they want and everything I didn't have when I was growing up.  And there's always the thought that they're only kids for so long and that they grow up so fast.

This weekend will be a busy one with J's birthday, so I hope by Monday things have settled and I can start focusing on our finances.


  1. my childhood was a little different than yours. I was the youngest of 4, the year after I was born my mother fell chronically ill, almost dying too many times to count. We had a small house in the country on 7 acres that had everything a kid could want including pond, woods and rolling hills for sledding. When my Dad bailed no longer able to cope with my mothers medical condition we were slammed into severe poverty down to no car and town being 14 miles away.
    I wore salvation army green corderoys to school one year, my only pair of school pants which was quite obvious and got teased relentlessy.

    When we were not in school we were lugging 5 gallon buckets of water from a neighbors 2 at a time before and after school. Summer and weekends were all chores tending a huge acre large garden which is where most our food came from.

    My mother was excellent with money but just not enough from Welfare could pay for a mortgage and everything else. When my shoes were full of holes, I did not dare to ask my mom for another pair as I did not want to stress her out. We kept our needs as quiet as possible and never asked for anything however I am sure my mother was well aware of our needs even if nobody voiced them.

    We spent a winter without heat and I use to get on the bus with blue lips from being so cold.

    We never went hungry and we felt rich with our 7 acres to play on. We worked our arses off though and knew the meaning of a day's hard work. We learned if we wanted to get anywhere we walked and would walk any distance.

    I also never learned budgeting from my mother, I actually asked her recently why and she just never thought about it as she assumed we would be taught in school.

    I homeschool my kids now and our household budget is part of their math, they even write in their math journals our actual household budget along with made up budgets of possible different lifestyles. They shop with us and we show price comparison and show best buys, yet none of my kids still understand how I can usually shop for groceries with as little a month as I do for our sized family and none of them feel comfortable trying yet!

    We have run tests of giving each family member a certain amount of money to shop for food keeping the family in mind, I was pleased with the results!

    Soon I plan on teaching investing and starting their own businesses!

    Anyway this is getting really long even though I could discuss this subject a whole lot more! LOL

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, it's very inspiring to know that growing up, you knew the value of hard work and money and knew what you needed to do to get somewhere. I love that you are teaching money and budgeting to your kids, it's so important to get them started early. I will need to ensure to teach my kids about money and budgeting as well.