Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Than Money

My grandmother died last night. I was very close with her, and I see so much of me and my mother in her. For both better and worse.  Especially when it comes to money.

My family has the opposite problem of what I think is the normal issue with money (overspending): we have issues spending money.  Especially on ourselves.  My grandmother lived through the Depression. She worked in factories and then she was a homemaker.  She worked hard all of her life. She and my grandfather saved and saved.  When she died, she received social security and a small pension. She still had more than 500K in the bank (from what I understand) and she was in her mid-nineties. Of course if she had lived for 5-6 more years in a nursing home, she would have spent all of that money. But she didn't.  The problem is (in my mind anyway) that she scrimped so much she didn't let herself enjoy life when she was alive.  She wore rags for underwear and wouldn't let us buy her new ones.  When I would buy her nice  things like new towels, she would simply fold them up and put them in the closet, saving them for god knows what and continue on using her rag towels.

I understand why my grandmother was the way she was and I admire her strong work ethic, thrift, determination and self-discipline that got her through the Depression and all the way to her mid-90s.  That said, I wish that she'd been able to appreciate herself and feel a little more secure and been able to enjoy her time here more.

I was happy today because I was actually wearing a bra that I bought last month (immediately after I posted that I hadn't bought any clothes on this blog, ha). I fretted over buying it for months. I didn't need it, but it was beautiful. Finally it went on sale for $45 (it was normally closer to $100) so I swooped in and got it. I hope that I can live like that -- still finding the joy in little treats and 'pampering' myself, but being practical and honoring my grandmother's memory and never wasting anything.

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