Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm not a good adult

I've got a few things on my mind, but I may make them in different posts.

This post is about how poor of an adult I think I've become, sometimes. I know, it sounds silly, and I should have more confidence. In most respects I do - I've come a long way and I'm getting more and more successful as time goes on - except in one area.


I'm gonna do the 'ol cop-out and blame my parents (you may or may not agree). Our conditioning starts when we're young and we're guided to be independent in however many different ways. Our parents tell us what's wrong (stealing), what's right (saying our please and thank you's), but for as much as I try to look back, I was never taught *anything* about money. It's easy to assume why; we never had any. I grew up on a small country farmstead where everything was rationed (milk, bread.. all the basics). Cheap meat was bought (I will never buy another porkchop as long as I live) and economic foods were prepared (I have now created pasta in ways that are sure enough to make me forget how I "used" to have it). I was never sat down, taught to save. My parents literally lived, I think, paycheck to paycheck.

Well, now so do I.

I never learned any other behaviour. And it isn't to say I make excess of x-amount of dollars a pay. I live within my means, alone. I pay rent one pay, hydro, cable, phone with the other (which easily can take up half a paycheck) and the rest is food and whatever minor socializing I do (coffee with friends, the odd dinner, etc). I would save, if I had something to save. Anyways.. I'm starting to ramble.

Back to the conditioning. How many of you were actually taught by your parents to learn to save money? Wisely spend? Have you had to learn on your own? How did you do that? What's the psychology behind it? (For me, I was so restricted as a kid, that I have a tendency, I think still, as an adult, to over-spend.. to make up for what I didn't have, right?) Which is ironic, because I'm not a materialistic person.

I grew up with my mother and step-father. On the other side of the family, my dad and step-mother have always done alright, and so have my (steps) brother and sister with them. Funny how that happens.

Well, those are part of my thoughts for today.

Later edit: I actually made this post because I accidentally mis-calculated when I was getting paid/have money (I know, it sounds retarded. One gets paid bi-weekly, it's not hard to figure out). But I did, and now after spending what I had, assuming I was getting paid this Friday, have nothing. Entertaining a close friend this weekend will be challenging. Hence my stress about money, then the post :)


bambi said...

This doesn't make you a 'bad' adult. Almost everyone I know lives paycheck to paycheck. If they don't have the cash that day/week, they charge or borrow it. They live as if their current lives will just get better as time goes on, so eventually the money will be there.

Those who thought they were saving for retirement are now with nothing. They not only didn't get to benefit with 'interest earned' but lost the money that once was theirs to spend.

Maybe God wants us to just live and enjoy what we have/don't have. I can't seem to convince my children that I get so much more happiness from letters, pictures, or time spent with them, than I could ever get from a gift, or dinner out. Most of my best memories have to do with what we did together, that didn't involve spending any money.

I was introduced to a man, who made decent money from his pension or whatever. Yet, this man chose to be homeless, and spend his money on his friends. He was totally happy. No stress of paying rent/mortgage, utilities etc.

Are we better than he? Are we happier than he is? Probably not. Live each day as if it is your last, and those things that are important to you, (a roof over MY head)is the first thing I spend my money on. After that, if the money is gone, I can find things to do that bring me joy without spending a dime.

Perovskia said...

Heh... God may want us to live with what we have/don't have, but I shouldn't have to go without money for a week. That was poor planning on my part. I could use the excuse that I've been highly stressed the past week and my "mind wasn't there".. but.. how long is that valid?

It's no hidden fact that money makes the world go round. Sure, I can entertain my friend this weekend with my *lovely* company *grin*, but we must eat at some point. I must be able to buy food for the next week, or make what little I have, last.

Money has always been a stress growing up. Always. It's learned behaviour. I just have to try to find a way to shift my viewpoint.

CaitieCat said...

I'm not really in shape to answer at length, but do feel free to approach me about this topic another time. I do get it, completely. I think we had some similarities in our upbringing.


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