A bright shiny quarter was plopped in my sweaty dirty hand. I ran to the gumball machine like a trained monkey who knew that a reward was headed my way as soon as I put that quarter in the machine.
My first experiences with my own money was a foreshadowing. I knew that money could buy me a reward. Not that money was the reward itself.
How is it that I have lived most of my life knowing that money is to be saved. That money is powerful. That money is precious even. Yet, I did not think to keep it- only use it for exactly what I wanted.
I have a stubbornness, a tenacity – a way of proving others wrong that is innate to my being. Capricorn anyone? With this meant that I was willing to spend money I did not have to get where I wanted. I accumulated student loans. I lived paycheck to paycheck.
This did not mean that I wasn’t working too. Four jobs and full time school is hard to hold down for 6 years. I do not regret my College education, and I needed my Master’s degree for my career. This is where I find the challenge.
I do not regret the sacrifice or the spending. It seemed to just come with the path. I do have to face those habits everyday now.
I am a spender. I am not a “naturally frugal” person or a “natural saver”. Are those things even natural? Ok, I know they are for some- but to me it feels so far removed.
Today, if you placed $25 in my hand it would get sweaty because I have to actually process and consciously put the money where it needs to go, not where I want it to go. It seems so irresponsible for such a responsible person. Or at least those are my most recent feelings.
This is not a judgement, only a money memory. Something I am diving into now as a form of self reflection.
With this, I think perhaps it is not natural for me to save or be cautious with money because my gut reaction does not tell me to do so. Intuition is something I find important to listen too. I know that sinking gut feeling, and it never seems to hit me when I spend money.
Does anyone else feel the same? Does your gut just kick back and give you no indication that spending may not be a good idea? When I was a kid, my gut just wanted that gumball and so it got it. Now I have to retrain myself and hope that my intuition will eventually follow along.
Out of this self – reflection, balancing wants and needs has become the new focus.