One of my distinct childhood memories is riding with my dad as I sat in the passenger seat of our old Ford Escort. It was a hot summer day but we had the windows down because the A/C didn't work.
We were on a busy road, and as my dad pulled up to a stoplight, the transmission made a sound that, even as an 8-year-old, I thought, "that didn't sound good."
The light turned green, my dad hit the gas pedal and got nothing but a revving engine. I could immediately see the concern in his eyes as he quickly grabbed the gear shifter, trying to get the car in gear.
After about 10 seconds, the car behind us began honking. And then he honked again and again, clearly agitated. And then other cars joined in the chorus of honking cars.
As a kid, all I knew was that our car wasn't working – but looking back, I can see the tremendous pile of stress that was piled on my dad in that moment … because he had been out of work for nearly a year at that point because of a job-related injury.
And in his blue-collar workplace, if you didn't work, you didn't get paid.
Truth be told, there were probably 5+ years of my childhood when he wasn't working because of injuries from his job.
And even with a full savings account, if you are out of work for years, things become pretty tight really quickly.
But being "broke" is relative. At our worst financial point, there are plenty of people who would have gladly traded positions with us.
All that to say, here are seven lessons that I learned from growing up broke that I'd love to share with you today:
- You have to remember that someone always has it worse.
- It costs MORE to be broke.
- You have to pick your hard.
- When "there isn’t enough money to budget" is when it is the most important thing to do.
- Working hard is good, but working smart is better.
- You can't let it define you!
- Hard things make you stronger if you let them.
So, check out more details on these lessons here and share them with someone who you think it might resonate with.
And let me encourage you…
If this is where you are right now … or even if this is where you have ALWAYS been, it is not your final destination.
God isn't done with you yet.
I have watched God do miracles and move so many up and out of terrible and unfair financial situations. Stir up your faith and get your expectations up of what God wants to do in your financial life!
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
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