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Turning Point

August 22nd, 2009 at 05:31 pm

I'm a couple days late to this game but I'm going to do it anyway. :P

Let me start off by saying that my life the past few years has been... interesting. Hard to comprehend would also work. I don't think I have ever told my entire story here, just little bits and pieces.

I was not raised frugally. Just the opposite in fact. My dad made good money and was pretty good with investing. I grew up having most of what I wanted and everything I needed. My dad retired about 9 years ago and we moved to our current state.

The first few years after we moved neither of my parents worked. I remember being able to go into just about any store and being able to buy whatever I wanted. My friends joked that every time I went to the mall it was a splurge- which wasn't far from the truth.

Then my dad got restless and decided he wanted to go after his dream of opening a restaurant. He found a partner to help him, a fantastic executive chef, and a pretty good business plan.

This is where it gets complicated.

Turns out the partner was a con artist and a couple months after we opened slowly tried to kick my dad out of the company. We took out of mortgage on our home to pay for the restaurant (the house had been paid for in cash when we moved so that was the first mortgage we had on it). The restaurant was supposed to be paying my dad what the mortgage was each month plus interest. As she started gaining more control, the payments for the mortgage stopped as did his paychecks. The partner stopped paying taxes, worker's comp. insurance, and even some employees. After a couple months of fighting we got the restaurant back and was able to kick the partner out. But we could not save the restaurant.

We needed investors to turn the restaurant around and pay off the debts the partner made. But nobody would invest. We had to shut the restaurant down a couple months after that.

Few months later our house went into foreclosure and we had to move into a condo. Since I was starting college, I opted not to live with my parents and moved in with my grandma and a couple family friends. A couple months later my grandma and I got an apartment to ourselves.

During this time, a couple of the investments outside of the restaurant that my dad made went bankrupt and stopped paying. We since have received most of our money back but it was horrible timing.

My dad did a few contract jobs but never found anything steady. Then in March of 2008 he got a job in a neighboring state. It was supposed to last 5 weeks but ended up lasting 17 months.

When my mom died in October of 2008 I moved into the condo to take care of my brother. My dad could not come home for good because without his job we wouldn't be able to pay any of the bills. So I stayed with my brother.

My mom was never able to work because of her illness. Some days she could barely get out of bed so holding down a job was almost impossible for her.

I think the turning point for me, when I changed from being very spoiled to saving every penny I could, was in between when we won back the restaurant and when are house was foreclosed on. During my senior year of high school I was working 30+ hours/week to save money and help my parents out.

I still can't believe how much I have changed over the past few years. Though I was very spoiled, I was never bratty and I did appreciate everything my parents gave me. But I appreciate everything differently now. It is hard to explain.

That's my story- at least most of it anyway. I am not bitter about anything that has happened and I appreciate everything I went through. It made me mature a lot faster and made me realize what is truly important.

1 Responses to “Turning Point”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, I had no idea! You remind me of frugaltexan--a lot going on under the surface, but for the time you've been on this blog you've seemed very practical and frugal-minded.

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