I was a stay at home mom, living on welfare and food stamps for the next five years. I was very frugal during that time. Once again I went without a car for three years because mine broke down and I couldn’t afford to fix it without credit cards. I had accrued most of my $6000 credit card debt fixing the car we’d had, so when the engine failed, that was that. We spent four years living even more frugally to pay off that debt.
In 2000 I started to work again. It was great! I could actually buy tissue, instead of having to use an old t-shirt to blow my nose on. I know, gross, but that’s is one indicator of how “frugal” we were for the years while on welfare. We had a lot of money once I began to work, at least a lot more than while on welfare, and we were literally sick of living in the mobile home park where we’d resided for seven years. We longed for some land and a home of our own. And in order to do that, we’d need a car.
I was almost forty by then. Now that I had more money, I had less time. My priorities began to shift. I finally started to allow myself to buy more items that I considered to be “frivolous”. For example, for relaxation I took up my hobby of crocheting again (after a nearly 20 year hiatus), and taught myself to knit. That doesn’t mean I turned into a yarn snob that would only buy $12 per ball of yarn and expensive bamboo needles. I have only aluminum needles and still use mostly acrylic yarn, unless I happen to find wool or cotton (typically considered higher quality) at a thrift store. I bought a few needles for retail price, but have collected 80% of my needles from thrift stores. I started to lessen my grip on the money being spent on “wants”.
Click here to continue reading My Money Story – The Forties.