Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She Works Hard for the Money

I was raised by an extremely frugal man. My father "retired" when I was twelve. I use the quotations because in reality he was laid off and just never went back to work. So with "retiring" in his 50's he had nothing to do but watch the stock market and budget the family finances. We were never poor but always in the middle class area of the economy. The one thing he did right before he "retired" was pay off our house. So we lived comfortably with the savings that my dad had accumulated and my mother's income as a small town paralegal. We still had fun but as time went on, my dad became more and more frugal. He started timing us in the shower so we wouldn't use too much energy. Five minutes was the goal, because "no one should need to shower longer then five minutes, it’s wasteful!" He started turning down the thermostat to 62 degrees and telling use to put on a coat. Mostly it was just an annoyance. I learned the value of a dollar at a reasonable age when I got my first job as a burger flipper. I climbed the ranks in the burger place to make co-manager with a whole 50 cent raise. Then I got another job, a copy store clerk. Then I got the job I still have as a part time legal assistant. At one time I was working three jobs. I didn't have a day off for almost two months. It was amazing how much money three minimum wage jobs could bring in when you still lived at home. After a couple of months I quit the copy store to work more as a legal assistant. I was spending my money wisely as per my dads raising. I was putting money into savings. But I was going on trips and buying large electronics too and every time I spent a dime my dad was on my case, talking about how I'm going to be broke before I knew it. After the burger place closed in the beginnings of the bad economy, I had plenty of other part time jobs, delivering flowers, a deli cashier, etc. But in the economy we are in I am down to the one part time legal assistant job. And I'm running out of money. My savings is depleting and it makes me feel like a failure. But even then, I am the only one of my friends I know that even has a savings account. Of course they all have full time jobs and spend every dime they have and I wonder what they would ever do if they were in my situation. I'll be fine I know it because I will not let myself go broke because of my frugal father I will live through this dry spell and get another job. I will not go broke. My dad taught me that.

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