Everything I Need to Learn about Budgets I Learned From Being Poor.

As the economy continues its nausea-inducing nosedive, people at all levels of the socioeconomic strata are cutting back big time. Having been raised by a thrifty single mom, I’ve never been able to spend much on anything. The wonderful thing about my mom was that while we lived on an unbelievably tight budget, she lived so well! I have such vivid memories of my mom wearing cashmere and Fendi perfume while working at a gas station in the sticks (where she studied for her Master’s Degree). Even in our leanest times, she was the picture of elegance and fine living. The invaluable lesson that I gleaned from that experience was that you can live well on pennies a day. It just takes a few skills, perseverance, and above all, the right attitude.

In this little experiment I want to share the skills that I’ve learned with others. While I’m not a financial expert, I’ve had to learn to budget the hard way. I grew up poor, worked my way through an exclusive (and expensive) private college, and scrimped and saved for grad school – all the while trying to live like a million bucks.