My confession: My family spent its way into bankruptcy
When I was growing up, my parents went though some major financial difficulties. My family got hit by the mortgage crisis in the early 1990s, long before we knew a national crisis was about to ensue. We owed the bank way more than we could ever afford on an enormous house that was mortgaged three times over, and we were steps away from foreclosure.
What led up to this family crisis was reckless and irresponsible spending. My family had enough money to be more than comfortable and save for the future, but instead they blew it all on luxuries. It got so bad that my father declared personal bankruptcy in order to escape his creditors.
So why am I spilling all these private financial secrets? Because it messed me up. My father felt compelled to spend money he didn't have, then he'd remind me and my sister what he'd bought "for us" — even if we hadn't asked for it, or needed it. So when things got really terrible, of course I felt responsible.
Now that I'm an adult, I still feel compelled to put in more than my share when splitting the tab at a restaurant, just to be nice. My coworker gave me cash to buy him a sandwich when I went out today, and I gave him more than what I owed him in change.
Why do I do this? I don't know. My boyfriend was the first person who ever noticed that I do this without me having revealed these painful memories of hard times and financial issues. And in the end, it's only hurting my pocketbook.
Go ahead, get it off your chest. Send your unsigned money-related secrets to email@example.com or submit via our Tumblr, where you can use a fake name and email — we'll never know.
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