Technically, I spent half my childhood poor, I remember my mom working 2, sometimes 3 jobs to avoid welfare. She clipped coupons, washed and reused tinfoil and plastic bags, and baked her own bread. But, we always had a place to live with homemade curtains on the windows. Even if we did move every 6 months or so. Sometimes we shared the house with silverfish, and the odd shrew ... but I never knew I was going without anything. We had food, I had clothes, and we usually had a car. We had our ups and downs, but we laughed a lot. And that was enough.
Many times I've found myself feeling panicked that we don't have a 4th bedroom, and if I were to have another child 2 might have to share, or that my car is *gasp* almost 10 years old. We really should have a flat screen in the bedroom, and maybe the kids should have one too. You know, to save space.
Then I stop and give myself a little smack and realize that we...have...enough. I have a husband that loves me, 2 amazing kids, a family - both blood and in-law - that I would fall on a sword for, and friends that make me laugh and let me cry when I need to. I have a house. It's a bit small, but so is my mortgage. My car, well it's small too but it runs good and gets me where I need to go.
I want to grow old and be happy. I don't want to be worried about money when I'm old. I don't need to be rich. I want to be smart and prepare for the day when I no longer want to work. I know I'm on the right path, but I still find myself needing to check in every once in a while when I get caught up in the babble and spit about buying a bigger house, TV, iPad, iPhone ... none of that stuff matters. If I want to save up the cash and splurge once in a while, that's fine but I've been under debt's thumb before, and I refuse to be again. I plan on enjoying my life, now and when I'm ready to retire.
I know it can be done, I just need to keep on the right track. And know that what I have now is enough.