Years ago people used to have children at an earlier age and usually, they had many of them. While I had six aunts and uncles, my children only have one uncle, who is also childless, so no cousins on my side. My parents, like most of their friends and siblings, had only two children. My generation also has mostly one or two children and usually at a later age. We were told it would be probably better if we finished our education first, had a job, and bought a house. So, even though we often wanted to have children earlier, we were told to wait until we were “established” enough to be able to provide a good life for our off-springs.
When I was younger, I never had extra money. Everything I earned was spent on bills and pleasures. Since my circle of friends lived the same exact way, I was convinced I just didn’t make enough. The word saving was just not being used by us – we were young, fabulous and invincible.
And when an emergency happened, we scrambled and hustled to cover the expense. Thanks to having a few good friends, I somehow always managed to get by, but each of these unexpected bills took a toll on me – I always worried one time it would just be something really huge and I feared I’d be crushed by it. Unfortunately, this reckless behavior continued well into my married years. Even though we both made quite a good salary, we never had money left over in our account. Typical paycheck to paycheck lifestyle . And it was devastating to my marriage. I worried the car would break down, or the furnace would go, or the roof would leak …
When our older son started to approach college age and we realized he would need a car plus tuition money, something broke in me. I sat down with an old fashioned pen and paper and listed all my expenses, indulgences, and hobbies versus our income and I almost passed out! We actually made great money and we blew it each month on stuff we didn’t need at all!