Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Relationship with Money

Money is much like cake: you want to have it but spend it too. At least I do. And a couple of billion other people. Personally, I think it harkens back to my "Little House on the Prairie" phase which lasted a really lo.....well it never really ended.

If Ma and Pa didn't manage to put aside enough pennies, nickels and dimes during the harvest season and their seeds for next year's crops were eaten up by rabid squirrels who clawed their evil way into their seed stores through 18 feet of snow then they were faced with few choices:

1) swallow their pride (which was the only thing Pa had in abundance) and try to borrow from nasty Nellie's parents who owned the only General Store within 1,000 miles and if Laura had happened to miff Nellie's feelings then they were screwed

2) depend on their far and few between neighbours to dole them out a few turnips from their own meagre supplies

3) eat their children

4) let their children eat them

Is it any wonder I felt like the wolves were always at my door? While rereading those books with annual regularity the wolf was figuratively and constantly at my door. I've learned many ways of hiding money from myself over the years and I feel that as a single parent I've managed quite well on my own little salary. There was that one time when I was a starving student that I had to pay for my groceries with my Visa card, not my proudest moment but a necessity. One does have to eat doesn't one? And I've never liked turnips very much!

I've gotten into the habit over the years of spending money freely twice a year. At Christmas and during the summer months when I'm off on holidays. I hoard as much as I can inbetween times in order to be able to splurge just twice.

And really that practice satisfies my need to both save and spend.


Suzy said...

I loved the Little House on the Prairie books and it's funny how I was thinking about them a few years ago and told my mom that by today's standards Pa would be considered a shiftless bum! Think it made her mad but the man left a perfectly good location(big woods) where they had family and had a restless foot to wander all over creation and then poor Laura had to go to work to pay for Mary's school, piano, and just about everything because he couldn't hold down a job! :-) ahh to read these through the eyes of a child again!

I do splurge at Christmas but I've been trying not to spend as much this year for other stuff(though it's like a diet and sometimes not spending makes me feel like binging!)

gosh now I wanna re-read Little House in the Big Woods and On the Banks of Plum Creek - my 2 favorites in the series!

Hazel Nut said...

Ahhhh, it's so nice to meet another kindred spirit! Yeah, Pa kinda got on my nerves too, every freakin' time they'd get settled in somewhere, he'd get the itch to move on further west, somewhere more snowy, colder and less able to grow any crops. What a waster.
Laura had a tough life.
I hit my milestones this month as far as finances go, but have some big ticket items coming up. I turned my car's air conditioning on this weekend because it got HOT, but nothin'. So it's going to be serviced tomorrow and hopefully it only needs the coolant added not a whole new system. And it's due for brake work, and I need a new BBQ, and new underwear, and I have to pay for a new driver's licence photo and renewal stickers, that's another $150. So don't even want to try to balance my books over the next month, but summer's coming and I have better pay cheques ever though I'm not working because I don't have to pay union dues - YAY.

Suzy said...

Yep I'm planning in the next year at least for some more big ticket items like a new deck, flooring..maybe some sheetrock stuff. It's hard on a house with dogs in it plus carpet doesn't work well with my quilting/sewing hobby either. Not sure how much this will cost but I did get a name/phone number from a neighbor who had anew deck done..she said theirs cost around $2300 best she could remember and he started from the ground up(I already have the poles in place so long as they're not damaged) and had 2 fences (not huge but to divide the patios between the townhomes)so I'm figuring I can get off a lot cheaper plus he's a handyman and can probably do the other chores around here bit by bit and give me time to save up for them one by one.

G. Harrison said...

This Hazel's older brother talking:

She splurges on Neil Young too, whenever he is in town (which isn't very often, but....).

I think the experience of sitting around a small kitchen table (comfortable for four people) with six others had many positive affects.

We learned to share with others (or someone would starve, and we kinda got attached to one another after a while), frugality became second nature, and the best things in life were free.

Still are.

"Seek peace and pursue it." (Somewhere in Psalms).

That one search alone should keep us pretty darn busy, and fulfilled, for some time.



Hazel Nut said...

Funny you should use that particular quote "seek peace and pursue it" as I feel that is the path I am on.
Having lived through some very chaotic times, starting at home with mom and dad's multiyear ordeal, and through my difficult relationships, I feel I am very definitely seeking peace in my life, and think in some small way I am finding my way, though the path does tend to zig and zag here and there.