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Part of the American Dream is the idea that things get better over time. But this doesn’t take surprises like a recession into account.
When the housing market crashed in 2008, my parents’ business took a nosedive. Our family’s entire lifestyle changed. As a result, I’m living a much more frugal childhood than my old siblings did.
My oldest sister is 16 years older than I am. Back when she was a teen, our family was better off. My parents were able to help her with college tuition. But next year, I’ll pay for college on my own. It may not seem fair, but I understand the recession was out of my parents’ control. Instead of being resentful, I focus on doing what I can do to make ends meet like pitch in on rent and groceries with money from my after-school job.
At home, I still notice little signs of the better times. Like, the dusty fine China on our antique hutch. I try not to dwell on these treasures from the past. I’m too busy working hard to make sure someday, we’ll be able to afford that stuff again.