My Personal Turn-Around Story Which Ultimately Led to Wealth
Growing up, I had a low self-esteem. Realistically, there was nothing wrong with me. I had two loving parents, a sister, a home, a dog and plenty of friends and relatives. I was intelligent enough and did well in school. But, most of the time, I didn’t think I measured up. I didn’t think I was pretty enough, smart enough — or rich enough.
So, what do these insecurities have to do with saving money? Find out how your mind can trick you into thinking that having lots of things will make your life great. Ultimately, you’ll learn the secrets to building financial security — by changing your thinking and your behaviors.
The Early Days
It all began with my mom and dad’s background.
My dad, born into poverty, worked since he was age 10 and ultimately became a successful entrepreneur. My mom, born into middle class, was raised in a two-bedroom apartment with cost-focused parents. My parents were children during the Great Depression. They shared a similar value set; live within your means, work hard, take calculated risks and save a portion of all income. Those values were embedded in my upbringing.
Mom and Dad bought their first house together when I was age 5. They had a choice to buy a relatively expensive home in a tiny neighborhood or a fixer in an older, established neighborhood. They chose the fixer-upper, gutted it and made it their own — all for a fraction of the cost of the home in the upscale neighborhood.
My dad loved luxury cars, but he grew up dirt poor. In order to buy his first car, he learned to work on cars, bought an older model and made the repairs himself. As he aged, he rarely bought a new car but chose a slightly used Cadillac, Mercedes or Lincoln Continental.
Faulty Money Mindset Could Have Derailed Me
I could go on, but let’s circle back to my perceived early insecurities. I believed if I had more, I’d be happier. But that wasn’t going to happen in my parent’s household. I was not going to get everything I wanted that I thought would make me happy.
In fact, I remember when my best friend, Julie, went to the hairdresser before a big junior high school dance. I was so jealous. My mom’s response to my request to get my hair done for the dance was:
“You have your whole life to go to the hairdresser. You don’t need to get your hair done at age 13.”
As a child, I didn’t appreciate the theme of delaying your wants and desires. In fact, I blamed my parent’s financial conservatism as a contributor to my insecurities. This was quite silly. In fact, that practice of questioning before you buy has enabled my own family to succeed financially. As an adult, I embrace the ideas that saving and wealth building are a mindset. By practicing a lifestyle of deliberate and thoughtful spending, it becomes habit.
Somewhere along the way, I incorporated the idea that delaying my wants and needs, saving and investing could lead to greater wealth. Over the years, I learned to be happy and appreciate what I already had, not what stuff would give me. This singular belief is the cornerstone of contentment and a path to building wealth.