Growing Up Poor
When I was young, money was extremely tight. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, and my father had lost his job. This was when I was in grade 2. I very distinctly remember, the one toy I wanted so badly, the $30 one electronic dog, I was only rewarded after working hard for 3 months on household chores and such. My work rewards were dollar store gifts- like pencils and erasers. Until I reached high school, all my clothing were hand-me-downs donated by my cousin or family friends. (I didn’t see it as shameful back then but I’ve got to say it left a huge impact on me and my confidence in myself– my elementary school classmates often teased me for what I wore on days when uniforms were unnecessary. But that’s a whole other story.)
From these past experiences when I was younger, I’m used to being frugal. I coupon sometimes. I buy the cheapest possible items.
However, over the past decade or so, my father has found a well-paying job.
So now, I honestly can’t adjust. Sometimes I hear my parents throwing money — over $100 / lesson every week at a drop in the bucket- for my sibling, because they can afford. Worst of all, I can see my younger brother does not have the same appreciation and value for the money being spent on his education because unlike me, he grew up surrounded by a better money situation. He doesn’t try hard at the opportunities the money has paved way for. He doesn’t see how hard it is to earn money in this day and age. It’s all taken for granted. It’s so heart wrenching. My parents don’t see that their new found money is ruining my younger brother. See, they’re using money now to patch up everything even slightly imperfect life; he has 3 tutoring teachers to improve his grades, private piano, violin, badminton lessons, swimming, among other things.
I want to break down in tears so bad sometimes, seeing all this. I know I’m too frugal given our current money situation, but .. I think an appreciation for money and a bit of frugality is necessary in order to respect and value the opportunities money provides. I really appreciate the opportunities I currently have and try my hardest to succeed at all I do because I know I am privileged to be able to have a house to live in, food to eat, and education partially covered. I hope my sibling will come to the same realization one day and be able to see this. For now, however, he remains blind.