I grew up in a single parent household. My mom is an amazing woman. She has really given her life to me. She worked hard for me, she held my best interests at heart, she has supported me in every way, she has loved me truly and unconditionally. My experience growing up when it comes to matters of money was one of stress and anxiety. I knew from a very young age we didn’t have a lot. My mom made just enough that we didn’t qualify for assistance, but not enough that we didn’t live paycheck to paycheck or with fear that some bills wouldn’t get paid… or without having to put the groceries through the line in stages having the clerk subtotal until we reached the limit. I knew we were tight on money. I carried that stress even though nobody asked me to. My mom didn’t ever purposefully try to stress me out about money, she was just honest to tell me when we didn’t have it for something I wanted, and since we were so close, it was hard for me not to notice if she was stressed because of it. She would budget and plan. She would tighten the purse strings when she needed to. But, when she got a little extra, she would use it to do something we had been wanting to do or buy. It would be a treat. It was a pattern of behavior I picked up once I began to make money.
When you grow up not having an abundance of money, you can feel embarrassment, shame, fear, lack, and desperation among many other things. If you have some ambition, you tell yourself it is only a matter of time… but it takes practice to actually believe that to be true. Some people don’t ever tell themselves nor believe that their lives will get better so they don’t even bother trying to break the cycle.
I remember specific times in my life where either my mom didn’t have enough money for me to go to the movies with my friends in high school or when I wasn’t sure I could afford a meal of pad thai in college (a story I tell a lot—I am sure you will hear it at some point). Those moments solidified the feelings I had about money. The fear, the lack, the embarrassment, the hiding it from my friends, the putting on the brave face. All of which tend to rear its ugly head even when I am in a position free of financial stresses. The thing is, though, even though I can pay my bills, and travel, etc. since I am not quite where I want to be, I haven’t allowed those feelings to completely go away. I haven’t trusted fully that they don’t have to be my crutch, my home. So, I write this blog as a true and intimate portrait of the journey I am on. It is my hope that through my revelations and transformations, I can help you see in yourself what you need to see in order to achieve your financial freedom!