Yesterday’s post might have come off a little negative. Honestly, I look back at my childhood memories to remember to stay humble and always give thanks.I try to remember what it was like not to have and make giving charity a high priority. I could find myself in similar situations as my parents and hope my children never experience what I did. I’ve learned quite a lot from my past:
Lesson #1 – Credit cards can be the devil. If it wasn’t for my parents debt, I might have thought credit cards were a good idea at some point. I might have thought that they are magical devices that allow you to get all that you dream of. Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t get a credit card in college. When I finally got one, I almost never used it or kept a zero balance on it. To this day, we have two credit cards that we use to get points. We charge most of our daily expenses to it, but transfer money from our checking account to it daily (okay, sometimes twice a day!)
Lesson #2 – Debt sucks and interest compounds. My mother got her first credit card in 1990. It’s crazy that I actually wrote about it in my diary at the time. She thought it was the end of all of her money worries. Since then, she has been battling to pay it off. Since interest works to make your life hell, she probably has paid for her purchases 3x over or more.
Lesson #3 – “Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr. I would often suggest my mom to divorce my dad. (they LOVED me as a teenager!) I seriously didn’t get their relationship. From my teenage perspective, my dad acted like he’d rather be single and my mom seemed to want to be married to someone else. Obviously, there was probably a lot going on that I was not aware of and I now realize life is not as black and white. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to get married and most of my relationships lasted about 3 months. Around the 4th month, I would always think, “Why in the world would I give up my freedom and independence for this bum?!” My parents marriage made me very wary of getting married to the wrong person.
These lessons guided many of my adult decisions and choices, but I definitely have received more blessings in my life than I deserve (especially in light of how much hell I gave my parents)!