I just need to say that being smart with money does not come easily for me. I wasn't one of those who was born to save money or who never liked parting with money. I know I shop according to my mood swings and whole-heartedly believe in "retail therapy". I remember the first time I made a significant amount of money (somewhere between $70 and $80) when I was in junior high and how I took that money to Wal-Mart (after tithing 10%, of course) and spent the whole thing. I know I bought some blank tapes (to record favorite songs off the radio) and I remember a sweet pink purse but that is about it. Where did it all go?
The funny thing is that Josh was the complete opposite as a child. His mom told me that he and his sister, Jennifer, were both really good at saving money and always putting money in their bank accounts. She said that sometimes one of the kids would ask about going out to eat and sometimes they were told there wasn't enough money. According to her, Jennifer would occasionally offer to pay but Josh never did. That does not surprise me. :) He has loosened up now (it took about 10 years) and is really generous but he still would rather put money in the bank than spend it. And I know that is a big reason why I am able to stay home with our kids so I do appreciate and respect his attitude about money.
We are much the same today as we were back then. I can walk through Target and easily fill a cart with things that I want to buy. He will walk through and not be tempted by a single item. But then when I need new shoes, I hem and haw about spending $60 because it's so much money but he can buy them without even blinking because he hasn't wasted $100 on trivial items. Those little things can really add up.
I look back and see where mistakes were made. I can see where smarter choices way back then would have led to easier choices today. And I don't want to make the same mistake twice. Okay, I've already made the same mistake way more than twice. But I don't want to quit. I can see big improvements already in my way of thinking and my attitude about money. I'm learning to say "no" to little things because I know that will allow me to say "yes" to bigger things in the future.