Mindset

I was raised, like many of you, when my grandparents came from a very poor time (The Great Depression). But hard work and changing times finally paid off. The money began to add up because they were raised to live frugally and make due with what they had. When they had a little money, they saved it for a rainy day. They wanted nothing more that for their own children to have it better than they did. Many of them did. They became our parents. And then Generation X kind of became a hot mess. Well not all of us. There are a few of us who have worked hard, lived beneath our means, and want nothing more than for our children to be more successful than us. When we got married we bought a house with a $6000.00 down payment we borrowed from Dave’s folks. We paid it back in a timely manner. We were anxious for a home. We wanted a dog to call our own. Our first house was a little, bitty house with one bathroom on a quiet street. My mother was very upset about it at first. Her best friend’s daughter was building a new house. We didn’t even investigate if we could build a house. I sat down with out little payment book and quickly realized that our $48,000 house was going to cost us $115,000 after paying back a 30 year loan. We immediately started making extra house payments. We could afford to do it because our payment was way below what they actually “said we could afford”.  A few years later, we sold for a profit and moved up a little. We sold again when the market was in our favor to make a nice profit and buy our “family” home. Why don’t you build a house, Mari?  “Because Mother, I don’t want a house payment.” At any rate, we stayed here, updated it as we could afford it and made it our home. We didn’t demand and we certainly didn’t expect the biggest, best and newest. We were raised to save for that rainy day, and as most of you know, that day came. Yesterday my friend asked me sarcastically, Tell me how that kid, working part time jobs, can afford that car?”  The simple truth is that he can’t. If you watch one episode of Suzi Orman, you know he absolutely can not “afford” that car. When I was fresh out of college, I went car shopping. I found the car I wanted. It was red. It was new. It was loaded. Little did I know, my dad had already found my car. The car that I could really afford. We had a little chat. I agreed. Within 6 months, I had paid that car off. It was the same car I had picked out, but fewer bells and whistles and it was used. I loved that car. I started saving my money. When Dave and I borrowed that money from his parents, we actually had the money. It just made me nervous to take out that much money from our savings. I already had the mindset of needing it for an emergency. Somehow we need to turn our thinking around. We have too much stuff. We buy frivolously. Banks let us borrow too much. Our cars are 2010’s. Dave’s is pitiful. I keep saying that he will get to trade next. He could walk into any dealership and get any car that he wants, but he won’t…

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