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Saving Money and Other Principles I Learned from My Parents

My parents were jumping up and down waving papers in their hands. (Well, maybe just my mom was jumping, the memory is foggy because I was in grade school, but knowing my dad's personality, I'm going to guess that only my mom was jumping). They were moving excitedly waving the mail saying, "This is our house!"
"Uh, yeah...." I replied, confused since we had lived in that same house my entire life. They seemed to be excited about some very obvious and old news.
"No, you don't understand, " they began to explain to me, "this house is paid for! We OWN it! No one can take it away from us! It is OURS!"
"Oh, ok," I smiled, guessing that at some point they had paid money for it, and since knowing that fact didn't change one thing about my day, all I had to say about it was "Oh, ok."
My parents discipline, values, and choices shaped the way I think about money and possessions.  I watched them sacrifice, save, and now in near retirement, reap the benefits and spoil their grandkids like any other.  :) They used their money wisely and before I graduated my first elementary school, and on one income, they paid my mom's way through college. Then before graduating that elem. school, they paid off their home mortgage.  They did not (and still do not) have sought-after salaries. Dad works shift work and Mom is a public school teacher.  We did without luxuries, but as a child, I never felt like I "did without."  I took dance classes and had recitals.  We went on family vacations and would eat out together. I had braces, and cheerleader outfits. What I didn't get was my every whim and desire.
I learned to wait for things--toys, clothes, jewelry, a car--these things were to be eagerly anticipated and appreciated, not expected. Even though I'm sure my teenage self felt entitled to many of these things, that attitude was not what my parents taught, and disrespectful selfishness received a rebuke.
Another thing I didn't get was an earful about how money was tight.  I had a grade-school friend who was always worried about how much things cost because she felt the burden of her parents low income. My parents taught me the value of money without putting their burden on me. All of these things, I appreciate now as an adult.  They have helped me navigate life as a missionary with 3 little kids. And in God's wonderful prosperous plan for my life, He gave me a husband who not only values the same things financially, but also one who excels at budgeting and long-term planning.  Karl loves to budget and to help other people develop a budget.  In his recreational time, he enjoys learning about stewardship and financial planning in a Biblical way.  I am so thankful that he directs our finances! 
I decided to write about this today, because every Sunday, I clip coupons and plan my grocery shopping for the week. As I do this, I am consistently thankful that I actually enjoy this responsibility.

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