I have no debt, except for my student loans. I despise being in debt to someone. If you ever lend me a Euro because I was short, you can count on it I’ll give it back to you the next time I see you. I remember how surprised the bank employees were when we were applying for a mortgage, and we told them we had no debts whatsoever, only our student loans. Apparently, that’s not very common.
My father wasn’t like this, quite the opposite really. My grandmother told me he had been like that all his life. Even in kindergarten, he would make debts, whether for coins or for marbles.
My mother was deadly afraid I would follow in my father’s footsteps. I have never been able to save money. I will always spend all I have, but no more than that.
From an early age, my mother has drilled my fear of debt into me. When I was twelve, and the bank issued me a bank card, I wasn’t allowed to go pick it up. My mother said she couldn’t trust me with it. I would spend it all.
Now, mind you, this was in the early nineties. It wasn’t even common to pay by card yet. ATMs had just arrived. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere unsupervised, so exactly how would I have spent it? And, erm, there wasn’t any money in the account. Maybe at the time, there was still some money in there from my godparents, but definitely no pocket money.
My mother also made me nervous about taking on subscriptions. She always said my father took them too soon and too easily. Even to this day, I am hesitant in taking a subscription to anything, even if it could be beneficial.
I know my mother had the best intentions, but it has made me nervous about handling money. When you grow up, and all you hear is ‘you can’t handle money,’ and ‘you’re terrible with money,’ it doesn’t make life any easier. Especially since the opposite is true.
Piles and Stashes
I’m not like my father in how I deal with my finances. I’m exactly like my mother. I spend what I have, but nothing more. And like her, I divide my money into different piles and stashes. I have several bank- and saving accounts and I distribute my money over them evenly. I remember how my mother would have several wallets with cash in them. An outsider wouldn’t understand why, but to her, it made sense. I use the same strategy. Because I don’t keep everything in one place, the total amount doesn’t look like that much. It keeps me from spending it all.
Paying Bills on Time
Since the last couple of years, I am in charge of our household’s finances. Because I hate debt so much, I always pay my bills on time. My husband would postpone it to the final date and then forget about it. That’s not me. I’ll pay it today if I have the money.
Never Rich, but Enough
I have lived alone for many years. I’ve had a lot of money to spend and very little, but I’ve always made do.
I’ll never save up to a million, but I won’t be in debt.
My husband and I have all we need. If we want more, we’ll work for it. But we will never take out a loan.