Finding Balance in an Imbalanced World

So many of our thoughts regarding financial goals stem from our parents and our experiences. Some of us run toward the money blueprint our parents set before us; some run away from that model, seeing its faults. My perspective has been shaped by three people: my mom, my dad, and my best friend's mother.

Role Models
My parents had completely opposing views. Both my mother and father were raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression and who were very frugal. My mom learned how to be extremely frugal herself. She'd never fulfill even her deepest desires when we had money, wanting to save it away like her family had done. It was difficult to buy her a gift, as she would always be so critical of the money we spent on her—even if was for something we knew she really wanted.

My dad, on the other hand, wanted to fully enjoy life, so he purchased many items on loan, like vehicles, boats, and motorcycles, and he did not mind using his credit cards or loans. While my dad did buy too many things on credit, some of his purchases were smart, even if they were on credit. For example, I have amazing childhood memories of fishing and waterskiing with the family on our boat—memories I am not sure would have occurred if he had waited until he could make in purchase in cash.

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