I have a really foggy financial memory about my parents when I was younger and felt like talking about it today.
In 1995, when I was in elementary school my dad retired from the military after 20 years of service. I remember he couldn't find a job in his field (he was a machinist mate in the military) for awhile and started working at McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. I thought it was cool because he would bring home apple pies and cheeseburgers.
Then I remember my parent's declared bankruptcy. As a kid I assumed bankruptcy meant we were poor and didn't have any money.
After that I remember looking in my parent's drawer and finding a Ziploc bag full of credit cards. That for me is a very clear memory. It was a huge stack! Lots of department store credit cards.
Now looking at the situation more clearly I realized how irresponsible my parents were with money.
- The stacks of credit cards.
- That my dad was indeed receiving more than $1000+ a month retirement pay from the military when he left.
- Of course that my dad worked for 20 years and had time to accumulate savings that should have at least taken care of that gap of unemployment.
I know a lot of 25 year olds that think our parents had it together in an instant. House, cars, kids. And that's what we strive for too. We want the marriage, the house, the good salary. I see it now as a few of my friends are starting families and getting married.
If you look at the details, you'll realize that our parents made some big financial mistakes and also life mistakes. Some of course didn't but some did. In this case my parents.
We also don't realize how hard our parents worked.
Did they work at their dream job with top paying salary right out of college? No, they toughed it out in jobs they probably didn't like or were bored at.
Now I'll admit I've picked up some of their bad habits. But I admire my parents for the fact that have always worked hard and worked hard for their family.