While I was reading Carla's post this morning, "From Spender to Saver" it reminded me of my own spending and saving habits. Most of the time I consider myself a "thrifty" kinda gal. I can make do with what ever is on hand. I learned these habits from my mom and dad. They both grew up during and post depression era.
Mom was the last of fourteen kids in a family that grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. Her mom made meals out of every part of every animal they raised on the farm. Nothing was wasted. Just about everything they ate was made by my grandma, rarely was there a store bought item in their pantry. Mostly because it was too expensive and town was a wagon ride that took an hour to get to.
To this day, my mom can use up leftovers in ways that are creative and tasty. She can also save her money wisely. She watches every penny but has a generous heart. Mom has never shared with me all of her holdings, but I am sure it is quite remarkable. At times she will talk about money or CD's she has at such and such bank and that I need to split those particular CD's equally among her grandchildren.
My dad was raised in an orphanage during the 20's. His life was hard but he survived and had a successful career in the Air Force. He too could squirrel away the money BUT he also could spend the money too! I think that is because of his up bringing. He knew he had to be careful with his money while a young man, but he certainly enjoyed his life.
I fall in the middle of them with regards to saving and spending. I can squirrel away the money ( I hide it) and save a substantial amount. But, my husband is a true spendthrift. He has no qualms about spending large amounts of money on things needed for the house, cars and ourselves. Only the best for us, and he will tell you so. So I hesitate about "telling" him the exact numbers of our savings. The savings will grow quietly as I move money from our checking accounts to our saving accounts. Now, if he asks about the money I will tell him everything. In fact, it thrills me that he is taking an interest! But that does not happen very often.
I will give him updates on our debt and spending. The updates are brief and he is okay with that. I have tried for years to get us to work as a team financially but that has yet to be successful. At least in my eyes. If you ask him, he might tell you that all is right with our world financially.
There are still times that I will throw caution to the wind and become a spendthrift too. I think this habit developed while I was growing up. Whenever I went shopping my dad would give me 10.00 dollars to spend. And spend it I did. I would make sure that there was not a penny left from that 10.00! When I would tell my dad what I bought and that I spent ALL the money that would make him happy! What little girl did not want to please her daddy?
So as a mature adult I still make financial mistakes, sometimes they are real humdingers! I try not to beat myself up about it too much and move on. Being debt free is important to me, no doubt about it. But, it may just take us a little longer to get there. And that is okay too.