Hi I’m LivingAlmostLarge (LAL) from LivingAlmostLarge and LAL Musings. I’m a twenty-something DINK who writes about my journey to financial freedom. I hope to one day achieve financial freedom and live large.
Is it possible to achieve financial freedom and live large when just working a 9-5 job? I hope so. Because most books say true financial wealth is built from owning your own business. But I’m thinking, living within your means, spending wisely, and planning carefully will allow me to achieve living large.
I never thought I was poor growing up. I never felt as though I had less than others. I always felt like I had so much. I seriously had no idea that people had so much more than what I had. I always had food, clothes, shelter, and my family around. My life was very rich and fulfilling. I never felt deprived.
But “DH” (dear husband) grew up feeling very deprived. His parents made quite a lot of money compared to many others families during the 1980s, but they were stingy. He never had an allowance and often felt like his parents were the cheapest people in the world. They often complained about money and made their children feel like they were “poor”. They would complain about waste and constantly make the children feel that they were worse off than everyone else, though with a dual income family of professionals they were easily middle class.
My in-laws also did a lot of things I consider cheap, not frugal, including setting up an allowance system for the children but then refusing to pay the children. It made my DH wary of trusting people to keep their word about payment. Or my MIL would put the allowance in the “mommy bank” and when asked for it at a store, she would say the money was lost or not receivable. So my DH constantly felt they were “poor” and could not afford anything. He would beg for money and worked for his dad at his business but was never paid.
Thus my DH grew up thinking he was poor. Yet since he’s become an adult and paying his bills he’s realized that they were actually pretty well off. That his parents had money, but they would treat their family cheaply and made their children believe they were poor. When in truth they were middle class. And how can a working couple be poorer than a single income parent?
My DH says if you believe you are poor, you act poor. And you pass on this belief to your children. You believe that you cannot afford anything, that you must stretch every dollar because you aren’t “worth” spending money on. That your “wants” show your avariciousness.
I’ve broken him of that belief. That anything above and beyond austerity is “greedy”. The reality is money doesn’t buy happiness, it’s just a means to get closer to it. And you should teach your children a balanced approach to spending and saving. And teaching them to think poor can be just as detrimental as teaching them to keep up with the Joneses.
Do you think poor?