I’ve had mostly a roller coaster relationship with money. During my life I’ve gone from having very little to having more than plenty then back to having very little again before leveling off.
I’m an “Air Force brat” with five siblings and as we moved from base to base throughout childhood money was always tight so we learned early on to either make things ourselves or make do with what we had. Those skills served me well over the years, although I fell off the frugal wagon during college when credit was easy to get but jobs weren’t. I learned my credit lessons the hard way when it took a decade to pay off all my fun college purchases like clothing, a stereo, clothing, DVD player, television and more clothing.
After college I started a successful business during an economic upswing and I actually began to feel guilty about how much money I was making. It was the first time in my life that I had any real money left over at the end of the month and I didn’t want to get into debt again so I started putting away as much as I could. After the Gulf oil spill the economy crashed in our area and I closed the business in 2009. Having an emergency fund, combined with living as frugally as possible, has kept my family of seven afloat for three years! Hopefully the twists and turns are behind us, but we know we can withstand the ride!
Disclosure – I wrote this post as an entry for a judged contest from Wells Fargo. I received no compensation for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.