Growing up, I had the privilege to be able to afford name brand clothes and shoes. At the time, I didn’t realize not everyone had that same opportunity. With that being said, now as a wife and mother, my desire for designer and name brand material things has become almost non-existent. Actually, at this point in my life, those things are nice of course, yet I do not care about them as I did in my past life.
I have been married to my immigrant husband for the past 10 years; he grew up on a ranch in Mexico and did not have the privileges my brother and I had. Since we’ve been married, my opinion of how to shop has changed drastically. My husband is in construction and works VERY hard for the life that my daughter and I are afforded. Therefore, I have learned to become a good steward of our money as a way of showing appreciation for how hard he works for us. We have everything we need and pretty much everything we want; it usually doesn’t have a designer label and that’s perfectly fine with me.
We are about to enter into a whole new phase of our lives with our daughter starting PreK. The task I am now facing is how to continue to live in a name brand materialistic world on a budget. And how to teach our daughter that while it is great to have these things, it’s also great to have similar things, just without the name and most importantly the cost. This has been weighing heavy on my mind lately, in addition to the simple fact she is going to school where she will face differences and struggles to overcome in this world we call life.
Since my daughter was born, I have always provided everything she would need. Let’s face it, a lot of things she probably didn’t need, yet she has never been dripping in gold or designer brands. But she has always been extremely cute in all her little outfits and shoes purchased on a budget. I have shopped consignment stores and bought some things that the tags were still on them. And of course, my daughter was never the wiser.
I do not want to deprive my daughter of the finer things in life; however, my main goal is to teach her that you can actually have the finer things in life on a budget and appreciate and love them just as much. As I know myself and my daughter and all the love, affection, communication and understanding I have given her over these past four years will play a huge role in approaching this topic with her.
The best advice I have for others, as well as myself, is try not to “keep up with the Jones’.” Explain to your children that everyone is different and comes from different social and economic backgrounds, and we are to be grateful for where God has placed us in this world. We should remind ourselves to be thankful for everything we have, even if it doesn’t have a name brand associated with it. Easier said that done right? However I am preparing for the time to come that I have to explain this and I will be praying consistently until then.