Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One of my favorite blogs just wrote an excellent post about money

This is too good not to share. One of my favorite bloggers, Mother of Chaos, just wrote a fantastic post about our relationship with money on her blog, Den of Chaos. Click the link, read her post, then come back here and tell me what you think.

What is your relationship with money? Are you the hoarder or the spender, or something in between? I seem to be more of the hoarding type, although I do enjoy a good spending spree at Goodwill from time to time. I've never had money, not in any stable way. My family didn't have money, so I didn't have a college fund or a savings account when I was a kid. We lived day to day, sometimes with enough cash for the four us of to go to the movies, and other times my mom stood in line at the Food Bank to keep us fed. When I grew up, I paid my way through college by working any job I could find, living on bean burritos and apples. And then I became the mom of a child with disabilities, which created it's own unique set of financial challenges. My husband and I work hard, and we managed to buy our own home just before the housing market went crazy in California and all the houses tripled in price (unlike now, where you can buy a place three times less than the owner paid). It's a tiny house in a nice neighborhood, not our dream home, but we make do.

Which is the heart of my relationship with money: I make do. I never believe there will be enough tomorrow, because there never has been. This is irregardless of the fact that my husband's business is growing and we are now able to save a little each month, and irregardless that I will soon be working and helping to support this family. Spending money on something brand new and shiny feels strange to me. I don't see the point of paying full price for a new dress when I can go to the consignment store and pay 50% less. I don't need to buy a new car when my old Mini-Van is perfectly fine (yes, she's got 230,000 miles on her and the air conditioner doesn't work, but she still runs). Even the iPad we bought Queen Teen was second hand; the first generation iPad that dropped in price because people wanted the iPad 2.

Money has always been this elusive, fickle creature in my life, one that appears for a time, then vanishes over night, leaving a path of ruin and anger. Perhaps if it sticks around long enough, I'll be able to trust this thing called "money." Maybe I'll trust it enough in a year or two to buy Mutual Funds or stock and save it for retirement. I'm afraid to lock up my money for the future because we so desperately need it now. Or do we? Are we financially stable? What does that even look like?

I hope to find out.

4 comments:

Sarah Wilson said...

thank you: a good, thoughtful and thought-provoking post

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Terena,
I think you have a very healthy relationship to money. You sound wise to me, especially right now. I am totally a spender and am in dire straits now because of it. I am once again with a debt management plan, due to stupid credit card debt. I am living hand to mouth right now. I could have been living pretty comfortably (and even bought a house) after my divorce, but I got carried away. I'm one of those people who shouldn't have credit cards period.

Love you,

SB

Sandra said...

Good for you for tackling the subject of money. Money is one of those things that if just ignore it, I feel like I can ignore my debt too!

CC said...

good post! I'm pretty in between as well. I did grow up with money and was very comfortable through college. But when I got on my own and started living off my one teacher's salary, we learned to make due. We don't owe money on anything (except our home) but we also really can't save any either....