I was discussing the location of an upcoming party with some friends. We were talking about the reasons why I decided to have the party at a party place/location other than our home. One of my friends said "Because you're RICH." I snorted and said "Yea, there's that. Nahh, seriously..." and explained the reasoning, etc.
That comment made me laugh internally because looking at our monster (cookie cutter) house, I can see where one might that idea. Shoot, ME at age 15, looking at me now would go "WOW!"
I grew up in a relatively nice home with my parents and 2 sisters. I never knew the "what's" or "how's" of our financial situation. Around the age of 14 or so, all that changed. My parents divorced and we girls and mom were in apartments, waiting to move up the line on the waiting list of government housing. Eventually at age 15 or 16, we got a government apartment in the 'hood.
I later learned that there was some spending issues on my father's side. My mother, the spend-thrift, is who I take after. She had to raise 3 girls and herself on $15k a year, before taxes. There was no child support. Dad, I love you, but you know you sucked at that. If mom got $150 every 5 or 6 months, it was a miracle. Meanwhile, dad remarried, moved into a house with a pool, and did not really seek out his daughters, who were busy working at Burger King to make cash for school and busy looking at a stabbing while hanging up the laundry. Good times.
I got good grades, got the Pell Grant and other scholarships and never looked back. A failed marriage that I ran away at 100 mph from, a great job, a new hubby and years later, I have a big ole house. My second actually.
We're not rich financially. We're lucky and blessed. We sold the first home I bought on my own for ridonkulous money. It was at the height of the bubble o' stupidity. We got crazy $$ for the old house, paid off loans, the Jeep and plopped down a huge chunk of change on the new house. Boom! More than double the floor space, and our expenses ended up being the same; once we paid off the car and loans, all that extra $$ went towards the new mortgage.
We make decent money but nothing to make us rich. Looking back at it from the 'hood perspective of my life, I am definitely doing o.k. We don't charge things. We wait for tax return time and make the large purchases then. Everything in this home belongs to us (except the home, obviously) and the new car we had to get when David's car went kaput. I am a bargain hunter and rarely shop for myself (other than cake supplies. Then, look out.) If we can't pay cash, we're not buying it.
We're not rich financially. We are rich in blessings, family and love.
(Aside: David and I love this SNL skit: Don't buy stuff you can't afford. )