I grew up in a middle-class Midwestern family. My dad was a college professor, and my mom self-employed. While we never went without, we also didn’t live extravagantly. Many of our activities were of the free or budget friendly variety, hiking at state parks, playing basketball in the driveway, at home movie nights, and card games around the kitchen table. We carved pumpkins in the fall, decorated frosted snowman cookies in the winter, planted flowers in the spring, and fished on the lake in the summer.
My childhood shaped me in a variety of ways. It provided me with an appreciation for quality time with the people I love. I grew to enjoy homemade meals, library books, and using my imagination for entertainment. I came to prefer spending time outdoors and still opt for weekend afternoons spent on our deck or playing bags in the yard over ones spent inside or shopping at the mall. My childhood also shaped the way I now view money. Today, I embrace so many of the same financial decisions my parents made while raising my siblings and me. Continue reading