My son just bought his first car at the age of 26. Well, I should say he obtained a car loan to buy it. He was thinking of buying a truck, but realizing the amount of money he would have to spend to fill the gas tank, he opted for a used sedan-type car. It’s a good make, looks nice, but I think he paid too much. But that’s just me because my thoughts always run to how much money he could have saved. I guess so much so that he told me that all his father and I think about is money. Probably true to a certain point. We’ve had to. With four babies, a house and mortgage, and a car to pay for, we had to think about money constantly. Where it was coming from, how much we had each month, and where it was going to. Our money attitude became ingrained in us after a while and our thoughts always go to how much can we save or do we really need to buy that right now?
My son’s attitude toward money is that “it’s not the be all and end all” which is a good perspective to have, I guess. Sometimes, I think because my husband and I were so concerned with money, will that make our children have the opposite thoughts and not care about money? So far, all four seem to have a healthy attitude towards money, saving some and spending some, with my oldest probably spending the most and my second oldest saving the most.
How do we learn our money attitude? Probably mostly from our parents. I never really thought about money growing up but then my parents were very closed mouthed about anything to do with household expenses or expenses towards raising me and my three siblings. I never lacked for anything growing up and never noticed a financial strain in my parents’ household, even though as an adult, I realized they didn’t have a lot until later on. I was never a major spender, only buying if I could afford to. I probably didn’t really think about money that much until I met my husband. He is a major saver and doesn’t spend if he doesn’t need to. Then, money became more of a reality once we married and started to have a family, especially when I began to stay home full time to look after our children.
Some people feel money is evil, causing them nothing but trouble. They may have had trouble earning and keeping their money through credit card debt, loans and just the expense of day-to-day living. It’s scary when you feel you will not be able to feed yourself or pay your electricity bill.
Our whole society revolves around money in some form or another. We have to earn money to live. We just can’t get away from that. It’s what you do with your money that can be beneficial to your life or detrimental. Even if your attitude towards money has been ingrained in you from a young age as something to fear, you can change how you look at money. There is work to saving money though. You can’t continue to spend more than you earn. I know it’s a very simple way of thinking but that is basically what it comes down to. You must spend less than you earn. Its a simple system of checks and balances.
You never hear someone say “I have enough money”. It is inherent to always think that we need more. Shifting your attitude though can help. Instead of thinking “I wish I could afford that” or “If only I didn’t have this loan or this mortgage”, think of how you will pay your loan every month and that with each payment you are closer to being debt free. With each payment you will be able to afford this or that. Yes, it can take a while to get to a place of being debt free, but look at paying down that loan or mortgage as putting pieces of your “money puzzle” together, eventually completing a bigger picture for yourself.
Continuing to pay down your loans will get you eventually to a better place with your money. It doesn’t come with the wave of a wand. You do have to put in the work. Some have to work at two jobs to get ahead. Don’t look at that as a negative thing. It won’t always be that way if you continue to keep your spending less than your earnings. I know it can be done because our family did it with four children and one income. It has been a long haul, but we are finally in a positon of financial security and comfort. It’s a great place to be in but something that we have always had to work on. So, I guess my husband and I do think always about money because we had to, but it has brought us to this place where we can afford a little more financial freedom, not to go crazy, but just to enjoy some other things in life. As my son says money may not be the “be all and end all” but for a while it may have to.