Responsible With Money

piggybank

Well, some of you may know my personal history some may not. After my parents separation and divorce when I was 8 or 9 things went downhill fast in my life. Things were already bad but I was too young to know much different…

After the divorce we were poor, living literally on ramen noodles or bread and butter the last few days of every month. My mom hit welfare for awhile but got off as fast as reasonably possible (within a year). But things were probably worse after that because then we couldn’t afford jack. Mom spent what little money we had poorly, giving away 20, 30 or 40% of our gross income to tv preachers and random people she met. Raising three kids on 12, 15 or 18k/yr (plus another 9,000/yr child support) and giving away 5,000 to 10,000 made it rough.

From a young age I began working pretty hard, working for my grandparents at their house and at their business (they were doing very well) so that I could get money for Sega and Nintendo games. I remember at the age of 12 or so working a solid 40 hours one week to get enough money for Aerobiz on Sega Genesis and a watch I wanted at JC Penny, seems like I pulled down a whopping 120-150 dollars that week. I’ve been fascinated and in love with watches from a very young age.

Needless to say I paid attention to what my parents did and did not do right from a young age. I asked my grandpa a LOT of questions and loved going to have coffee (I ate donuts) with him and his friends from a very young age. Listening to those old men, I felt I soaked up a lot of knowledge on real life issues. I also feel this has served me rather well in my life. From a young age both my parents and grand pa said get an education and work hard. So I did just that. Now I’m 30, married with a kid and if things go well at work the next few months we will pay off our house.

I have a few expensive hobbies including home theater and watches. I just ordered an Omega Planet Ocean which set me back about $3,400 bucks (haven’t paid for it yet but will in a few weeks when it arrives).

I was talking to my brother earlier, talked to him about some large bonuses I’ll be receiving by the end of the year and told him I ordered a new watch and he asked about it, ask what it costs and then basically said I was an idiot and had lost touch with my roots. Well I don’t want to be “in my roots” but I don’t want to forget them. I don’t want to waste money but I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor. With no debt other than our house and that looking like it’ll be gone in April (unless something falls through on a business deal which is highly unlikely at this point), I don’t feel I’m living extravagant. My wife and I drive decent cars nothing super nice (both Mazda’s). We live well below our means…

His rather abrupt comments made me step back and question my lifestyle. I logically don’t think I’m doing anything wrong but was rather off put when my brother told me I was living like a jackass…