Growing up, I had a low self-esteem. Realistically, there was nothing wrong with me. I had two loving parents, a sister, a home, a dog and plenty of friends and relatives. I was intelligent enough and did well in school. But, most of the time, I didn’t think I measured up. I didn’t think I was pretty enough, smart enough — or rich enough.
So, what do these insecurities have to do with saving money? Find out how your mind can trick you into thinking that having lots of things will make your life great. Ultimately, you’ll learn the secrets to building financial security — by changing your thinking and your behaviors.
The Early Days
It all began with my mom and dad’s background.
My dad, born into poverty, worked since he was age 10 and ultimately became a successful entrepreneur. My mom, born into middle class, was raised in a two-bedroom apartment with cost-focused parents. My parents were children during the Great Depression. They shared a similar value set; live within your means, work hard, take calculated risks and save a portion of all income. Those values were embedded in my upbringing.
Mom and Dad bought their first house together when I was age 5. They had a choice to buy a relatively expensive home in a tiny neighborhood or a fixer in an older, established neighborhood. They chose the fixer-upper, gutted it and made it their own — all for a fraction of the cost of the home in the upscale neighborhood.
My dad loved luxury cars, but he grew up dirt poor. In order to buy his first car, he learned to work on cars, bought an older model and made the repairs himself. As he aged, he rarely bought a new car but chose a slightly used Cadillac, Mercedes or Lincoln Continental.