Early this morning I had some time to myself to do some thinking. I wondered about a few things. My parents were very frugal. They didn't have to be, but they were and they really tried to teach my siblings and I how to live the same kind of life. Somehow, somewhere along the way that teaching was lost. Though my siblings may or may not be in the same sort of financial mess I am in (I am not privy to their finances) I have noticed something that is similar. Most of us put on some sort of "show" for other people. When I write "show" I mean that we are trying in one way or another to portray to other people that we have met with success. Not really a "keeping up the the Jones" type thing because none of us are overly extravagant. It is really hard for me to explain, but there is this underlying sense of entitlement that I perceive. Maybe it is just me and maybe I am just reading too much into things because of the problem that I now face. Not that it matters one bit what my siblings do with their finances. That is entirely their own business. I guess what I am trying to say is that where did we miss the lessons from our parents?
My parents were very small at the tail end of the depression so they did not experience it first hand so to speak, but rather, what they experienced was just as valuable. Their parents and grandparents lost so much, learned about the real value of "things", worked hard and saved and saved and saved. My parents learned this attitude about their own finances from their wise parents.
They tried to teach us.
But something was lost in translation.
My generation is very much into instant gratification.
Before you get angry, realize that I am pointing the blame in my direction. I fell for it just as hard or harder than the next guy. We took the much "needed" trip to Disneyland. I bought things on impulse for my kids. I didn't worry much about the fact that our outgoing was getting larger than our incoming.
My biggest thought this morning is how do I teach my children the valuable lesson of my parents, grand parents and great grand parents. How do I help them understand that it is more important to save for a rainy day that it is to run away from that rainy day.
I hope I can help them avoid this mess. I hope I can help them understand the value of hard work and patience. I hope that they will buy much less of a house than they can afford. I hope that they will save more than they spend. Really, I hope they will be smarter than me......