Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful - Day 25 - Being Cheap

Note: Today is day 25 in my series "30 Days of Thankful."

Like most kids, I had a piggy bank. This was in the days before spreadsheets, but every so often I would empty my little piggy bank and document how much money I had on a little slip of paper. I didn't just list a total. At any given time I could have told you how many pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters I had on hand. I saved, and saved and saved...but I was never willing to spend any of my money. I might have been the cheapest 8 year old and I could very well be one of the cheapest 31 year olds. Especially when it comes to spending money on myself.

Growing up, my family didn't have all that much money. My mom worked as hard as she could and my dad hardly worked. I remember clipping coupons every Sunday with my mom and shopping for deals at Kmart. I never had the newest or best of anything, but I had more than enough. (I might not have realized it at the time but I do now) I got a job as soon as I turned 16, thinking I would spend my money on all the things my mom would never buy for me...but I was too cheap to do that. I socked my money away in the bank like a squirrel.

I've always tried to be financially responsible. I don't have student loans. I have no credit card debt. My mom has laughed at me over the years when I've told her I'm "broke." When you save the way I do, it's nearly impossible to be broke. I probably save more money in a month than I made in a month in the early days of my career.

Let's be honest, though. I don't deprive myself. I shop at Whole Foods. I don't use coupons anymore. But I also don't buy expensive jewelery. Or clothes. I don't take big vacations. I have been saving up for years to buy an investment property and to fund a nice wedding, and now that my life has changed, I am in a great position to be able to to buy and furnish a house I never thought I could afford on my own. I still hope to buy another investment property someday and I do expect to pay for a wedding at some point in my life. But...neither of those things are going to happen anytime soon, so I'm going to dip into my savings, get myself the beautiful home I've always wanted, and start my life anew.

So for today, I'm thankful for being cheap and building up my savings. I'm not spending my money the way I thought I would, but I feel like I'm very fortunate to have these funds available to me so I can keep moving forward and rebuild my life.

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