We became a single income family overnight; my mom was alone raising 4 girls. The hardest times were felt after the separation.  I admire my parents; we never knew how little we had.  Later in life I learned how often they went without in order to provide for us.  When I was two, they moved us to the small logging town of Drain and opened up a True Value Hardware store. My dad was an aspiring entrepreneur, my mom a homemaker.  With the fall of the timber industry, they lost it all. I believe it was no coincidence, their marriage became a casualty with the death of our family business.

I’ve had a fear of not having enough money for as long as I can remember, so I’d like to think of myself as a saver. However, history would prove otherwise (thank goodness for Matt’s lead in this department).  A budget has always been important to me as I don’t thrive in the grey area of life; the more defined the boundary—the better I do.

The subject of money was never really an uncomfortable topic for me until I started making my own. The rise and fall of the economy has dramatically affected our income over the past 10 years so I’ve learned a lot about prioritizing and the commitment to long term planning.  These are life lessons I am forever grateful to have learned at a young age.

When I am spending money, I like to first spend it on travel.  A planned trip with my family or vacation with Matt, this is what motivates me to save.  I like to shop for myself, for Matt, for the kids…for a complete stranger—doesn’t matter who, I thoroughly enjoy my role as a consumer.   While I still haven’t figured out a way to make money shopping, I enjoy fashion and keep up through retail therapy.

So, what did I buy today?  I bought two books from Smith Family Bookstore, Jane Kirkpatrick’s “Homestead” and “The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love” written by Kristin Kimball.  Both books tell a story about the journey of leaving a professional life to live more simply on a farm in discovery of sustainable living. Hypocrisy or irony?

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