My formative years were spent in the great depression. It may be hard to believe, but back then, we were lucky to just get an orange for Christmas! Needless to say, I did not grow up as the consumer that most people are raised to be in this day and age. I was taught to conserve food (due to rations) and I learned at a young age how to have a lot of fun with very little (or no) money.
I got married in college and started a family of my own. I applied many of the same principles to my own family and learned to provide for my family by whatever means possible. However, living through the great depression, I was always afraid that something similar might happen again in the future. While my children were growing up, I found myself buying more food/clothes/toys than I had to because I feared that we would need a stockpile for a future financial collapse. This didn’t stop after my children had all moved out.
I had entire rooms in our house devoted to storing goods. Not only that, but after a while, it was all bought using credit cards – I know, big mistake. My husband took on a second job and I started to get my spending under control. We still have a substantial amount of debt, don’t get me wrong. But it’s less than it was before, and to me, that’s all that matters. I know better now and have put my fears of “the next great depression” to rest.