My husband recently got a promotion at work and we went out this past weekend to celebrate.  While we were at dinner, we were kind of reminiscing about how life was when we first met, and even, before we knew one another.  Both of us had a lot of stories and memories to share.  We've come a long way!

Growing up, neither one of us came from a wealthy family.  We both started working at an early age.  I got a paper route with my brother when I was 11 and my husband starting working in a field picking corn at age 11 also.  We worked our way up to working part time in our local supermarket's and eventually made enough money to buy things for ourselves, like our first car, car insurance, put ourselves through college, etc.  It's actually funny that we didn't know each other back then, because some parts of our lives were parallel.

Neither one of us had any handouts, because our families just couldn't afford to help us.  It taught us both responsibility, how to save, and have a good work ethic.  Both of us have always been the type to have at least 2 jobs at one time, until very recently.

For the first time in our adult lives, we have finally made it to a place where we don't have to work multiple jobs to get by!  Man, it's a great feeling!  However, there were things we did when we were young and broke, that just stayed with us.  It's funny how you develop habits that don't go away!  We were talking about money-saving habits that stuck with us, and here are a few:

  • I still eat every last bite on my plate, because I was always taught not to waste food as a kid.
  • I still turn off every light in the house and I unplug things that aren't in use to save money.  (Ask my husband about how I used to unplug the stove to save money!)
  • I'll make coffee at home most of the time, because I feel guilty spending $4 on a coffee at Starbucks.
  • I always order water in a restaurant, for two reasons.  One, I like water, and two, I worry about spending too much by ordering alcohol.
  • I always eat restaurant leftovers.  Throwing them away is like throwing away money!
  • I hang clothes on a clothes dryer when possible so I don't have to use the dryer all the time.
  • Even when I know there's money in there, I have a feeling of cringy panic every time I log online to see how much money is in the bank.
  • I kept a crappy car for 8 years, even though I needed a new one and worked hard for a new one...because I was afraid I "couldn't afford it."

My husband and I never take anything for granted, we feel fortunate for everything we have, no matter how big or small.  We appreciate it all because we know we worked hard for it.

So, I guess growing up without hand-outs wasn't so bad.  It taught me responsibility and how to save money!

What are some habits that you use to save money?  Have they stuck with you for years, like mine?