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Money is Emotional

November 21, 2011

No doubt about it. I would bet (not money!) that every decision you make regarding your money and how it’s spent is tied to some emotion, past or present.

It definitely is for me.

I grew up as one of two children in a single mom household. Recently, I learned that when my mother died in 1995 she was only making a little over $28,000/year. As a registered nurse!

My first thought upon hearing that number was, “how in the world did she do that?” Then, I remembered.

She kept a roof over our head by feeding us a lot of hot dogs, and rice and beans. Nevermind steak, we were eating well to have hamburger helper for dinner!

Nothing in our house was ever new. Our furniture, our car, and all of our clothes were given to us by people who were just clearing out their closets or wanted to help. I know that a lot of our Christmas presents were given to us by members of our then church family.

As a result, it is important to me that my home is aesthetically pleasing, and I enjoy finding a really great deal on a new picture for one of my walls or changing the bathroom shower curtain just to shake things up. We recently bought a bed frame (50% off!) and new bedding (clearance, baby!) for my daughter’s room, because it is important to me that she also have a beautiful space for her very own.

It’s also important to me that she have some new clothes in her wardrobe, because I know firsthand how it feels to be made fun of at school because you’re obviously the “poor kid”. I am very thankful for the hand-me-downs we do get from her older cousin, but at the same time I can’t let her only wear clothing from others.

I’m a little ashamed as I write this now, because as a single mother, I have made it a priority to not ever have to tell my daughter “no” because I can’t afford something. Granted, I don’t buy my daughter anything and everything she asks for but I do feel more materialistic in this moment than I would like to.

Everyone’s money emotions are different, and been have cultivated over time. Whether you’ve been a single parent with one income for a while or you’re just being thrust into living life on a single income, I think it’s really important to identify what those emotions are.

Pinpointing the motivation behind the decisions you make can be one of the most important steps in changing the way you make those decisions.

So…what are your money emotions?

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