Maggie McCombs, 26, a content marketer and social media consultant in Lexington, Kentucky, grew up believing her family was struggling. This post originally appeared on LearnVest. Her stay-at-home mom managed the household finances and kept an extremely tight budget, allowing for almost no spending money for anything beyond housing and food. For entertainment, the family went to parks, visited an amusement park once a month and ate at a budget restaurant three times a year. It wasn’t until McCombs graduated college that she found out her dad, a software engineer, actually earned a sizable yearly salary. So why was her mother so tight-fisted? It stemmed from her dirt-poor childhood on a farm with a dad who was a sharecropper with many children to feed. That sense of scarcity clung to her—and she in turn passed along her money worries to her daughter. “I have a strict budget,” McCombs says. She can afford to upgrade her lifestyle, yet the idea of spending more than the bare minimum gives her “this manic feeling, mixed with dread and a twinge of excitement,” she explains. She lives on $2 frozen dinners, can’t bring herself to replace old clothes and has put off investing in… Read full this story
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