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Up Close and Personal View of Different Cultures and Choices


There’s a lot of chatter about how your upbringing affects your relationship with money. Princess is taking a sociology class this summer, so we are hearing about it even more during the lectures. (She and I sit at the dining room table while we work every day so I hear a lot of her class lectures and discourse.)

We’ve recently hear lectures on class as it relates to the United States. And how a person’s class affects not only their money perceptions but also their earning potential and so on. My kids are all very belligerent at the generalizations.

Kids and Money Perceptions

As a foster family with now 12 kids through our home, we have had a very up close and personal view of how different backgrounds affect a person’s, specifically a child’s, thoughts on money. We are seeing that every day now as the kids are growing up and becoming more independent.

We are also seeing how easy it is for a young adult’s perceptions of money to change with just a little bit of exposure and education. It made me feel very proud to hear Beauty come in from a visit with her mom talking about how they discussed money and saving.

Beauty has jumped in with both feet to saving and setting goals. I’m sure part of that is having her physical needs (food, personal hygiene, etc.) met by someone else for the first time. But she’s also watched over the last 5ish weeks that she has been with us how excited the kids are every week when they put part of their pay into their savings accounts and watching it grow.

I am convinced that many young people’s failings with money are due to lack of exposure and education. I’m certainly not saying my kids are making all the right decisions. Boy, they certainly make some crazy decisions!

Kids Saving Goals

But I will say, that each of my children make informed decisions and know what each financial decision will cost them…not only in the short term but also in the long term. And they each have savings goals that really drive them…

  • History Buff is saving to move out and to take some trips with his girlfriend.
  • Sea Cadet is beginning to save for a new car (because he wants one, not because of a need) and is also looking to move out.
  • Princess is saving for college, knowing that the bulk of that expense will fall on her.
  • Gymnast is saving for a phone right now, but he still wavers on that, which is to be expected at 14.
  • Beauty is saving for a car and the fees that go along with that when she turns 18 later this year and can get her license.

As everyone in the BAD community knows, I have made some terrible financial choices along the way. But for the last several years, I have been much more transparent with my kids (age appropriate) and vocal about what certain choices have cost me/us in the long run. I hope that by doing so, they will not live in fear but will have a much more healthy view of money and the value of being financially stable, even if that means not “living large” as my 14 year old son likes to say.



Running Away from My Problems


I don’t want to dive too deep into what happened over the last few weeks. First, it’s health problems that aren’t mine so I’m extremely limited on what I can share. Second, I’m still a bit raw.

I’ve worked hard at being a good manager to my teams. Despite the fact that my team has grown over the years, I liked to believe that I maintained good relationships. It’s not a show. I legitimately care about each person on my team and I’m passionate about seeing them grow. I was shocked when a new staff member lodged a formal complaint about me…

And it was a lie.

It wasn’t a ‘stretching the truth’ or ‘maybe they were confused’ accusation, it was an outright lie. Even worse, it wasn’t something I could prove was untrue which turned it into a case of ‘he said, she said’. There were several levels above me that got involved to mediate. I will still manage this staff member so I have a long road ahead. I feel off-kilter. I don’t understand why it happened and emotionally, I’m struggling.

Topping it off, I’m what I like to call an ‘accidental’ instructor. Meaning, I was wrangled into teaching a class (even though I HATE public speaking) and did a decent job. I was asked to teach again… and again… and class sizes keep growing which brings an additional level of stress. Following the mediation, I had to teach my largest class yet with nearly 200 attendees. Fortunately, it went well but it was icing on my stress cake.

The following day, someone in my immediate family went into emergency surgery. A mass needed to be removed that looked cancerous. This was the second time and I know how tough the recovery is. The next few days were spent in and out of the ER. Normally I would have parked myself in the hospital and brought in food, books, etc. but with Covid, no visitors are allowed (not even spouses). It made it hard to be supportive when you can’t go inside to sit beside someone while they wait for test results or surgeries. I get it. But it’s hard.

I found myself curling into a ball and crying. I’m only proving my point that you don’t want me on your sinking ship! ; )

This week, my husband suggested we take a long-distance camping trip. I’m still working from home so I could work without interruption. South Dakota? Wyoming? Somewhere in the middle of nowhere on BLM land where it’s free to park. Out of this cramped city I live in. Out of crowded grocery stores and busy streets. It’s his attempt to help me recapture peace in the chaos. My heart belongs outside.

“No way! We destroyed our budget. We need to save the money. Fuel would be at least $750.” I said.

“We have it in the vacation fund. We aren’t going on our trip in the fall anyway” he responded. And he’s right. We have been saving for a fall trip and we aren’t going with all the craziness.

I haven’t decided yet.

I might just ‘run away’ for a bit. The reality is, I’m at my best when I take a moment to reflect, reset, and rest. I’m a fan of fighting through the chaos and becoming stronger but sometimes, you just need to spend some time in introspection.

What about you? Anyone else going a bit crazy??