Do you remember when you were broke? Not just living on a budget, or tightening your belt, but broke, like you’re eating broke food, broke. My kids are in that position right now and man, do I feel for them. This is the middle daughter, the one who got married just a few months ago. Now with a job and lots of responsibilities, it’s wearing thin not having any money. I totally understand, I remember what it was like.
In my early 20’s, going to college, being married, having a child. We were too stupid to recognize how broke we were. We would show up at my parent’s house at least once a week around dinner time, and, oh, I guess we could stay for dinner. We would do the same at his folks’ house. Broke food for us was canned chili and eggs; baked potatoes (fresh from the field) and turkey hot dogs, ‘cuz they came in a 5 lb. box. That was our broke food. We showed up late for things; so we wouldn’t have to pay the admission charge, and our only entertainment was visiting friends with the one six pack of beer we would splurge on for the weekend. Life was certainly simple then.
Remember the crappy jobs we had, before our careers began, just to get by. I spent a season working alone in a big, dark potato warehouse at night after the kids were in bed and I could sneak away for a few hours, just to afford diapers. I regaled my kids with stories about the broke years and how it eventually gets better, I don’t think they a) wanted to hear it, or b) believed it.
As the years went on, our finances improved, we moved away from broke food, so far away that you can’t talk me in to eating any of those foods even now. We got to the point that we could meet our friends at a restaurant and go out to a movie, instead of the 6 pack and card game. I’m not sure our entertainment choices improved, and life wasn’t so simple anymore, but the stress dissipated somewhat. Good luck to my kids, it is worth it to work so hard at something, after all, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.