She’s also the most stingy person I know. It most likely has something to do with the fact she was born into a very poor family with a single mother and 8 other siblings.
The reason why I never noticed “we” had money growing up is because she never splurged on anything. Any purchase, from a pineapple from the market to a new car, was calculated. I never got allowances. Nothing was a given.
Now she’s retired, all her kids are grown up, living their lives… and I still saw her working hard and saving her money. Grinding away, never taking the time off to enjoy the fruit of her hard work from so many decades.
One day I was telling her she should live a little. She’s not poor, her family is doing well, she doesn’t have any obligations… she should travel to all the places she always dreamt of, go eat in good restaurants, learn new languages and do everything on her bucket list she never had the time for. However, it always felt wrong to her, to “waste” money on herself. In her mind, money is something you keep because… because you never know. And here was my advice that changed it all:
“Mom. If you don’t start spending your money now, one day it will come to us. And we will.”
Obviously, I didn’t mean her children would be irresponsible to piss it all away. But I did make my point that she more than earned the right to spend her own money and she should not feel guilty about it. Hell, others won’t, that’s for sure!
After that, she finally spent a few months learning French in Paris and bought a little country house with her own orchard, like she always fantasized. She’s finally spoiling herself and I’m happy for her.