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Old 04-17-2018, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,219 posts, read 9,097,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I remember being about two years old and instructed by my mother to only use four sheets of toilet paper. (seriously!) I remember "making do" with cardboard boxes for toys, and comic books went through my older brothers, then me, then to my cousins. If something like a toy was no longer useable, I salvaged parts off it.

What do you remember from early childhood that influenced you?

My parents went through the depression when they were young and learned to be frugal during those years. Then they ended up having six kids and HAD to be frugal. Growing up most of our clothes came from thrift stores and my mom did 'some' sewing but we always looked good. We had two pairs of shoes each, one for 'good' and one for play. I don't recall ever feeling deprived probably because all the families we knew were the same as us. We weren't poor but were probably lower middle class. My dad worked in the aircraft and missile building industries so made a decent wage for the time but there were rarely many 'extras'. My mom once found a W2 from my dad's working years and I couldn't believe how small the amount was for a year. It was from the late 50s.


I don't know if it was their influence or that I am just naturally frugal but I always have been. I'm also a saver and try to never touch that money once it goes into the account. Of course I have to at times, because it's also my emergency fund, but I 'repay' it too, first chance I get. Unfortunately my kids aren't as frugal as I am. One out of four is so I must have done something wrong with the other three!
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,458 posts, read 2,149,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I remember being about two years old and instructed by my mother to only use four sheets of toilet paper. (seriously!) I remember "making do" with cardboard boxes for toys, and comic books went through my older brothers, then me, then to my cousins. If something like a toy was no longer useable, I salvaged parts off it.

What do you remember from early childhood that influenced you?
Parents being poor.

Then moving out on my own and wanting money for the things I really wanted to do (concerts, drugs, alcohol), so really watching expenses and cutting corners elsewhere.

Then things got REALLY tight, mainly due to the crazy rise in cost of living, that I had to cut out the drugs and alcohol too.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:42 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,555 posts, read 51,767,813 times
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Quote:
How much of your frugality comes from your parents?
All of it, and some. I was never wasteful, or a spender, but living first three decades of my life in Europe (mostly Germany) helped to master those habits. The Germans are so frugal that the government has suggested they spend more to give the economy a boost. Banks are annoyed because they have more money in deposits than they know what to do with. Many Germans don't even bother with credit cards, and the average household savings rate is about 10%.
https://cdn.howmuch.net/content/imag...d-123-874d.png
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:56 PM
 
24,718 posts, read 26,785,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I remember being about two years old and instructed by my mother to only use four sheets of toilet paper. (seriously!) I remember "making do" with cardboard boxes for toys, and comic books went through my older brothers, then me, then to my cousins. If something like a toy was no longer useable, I salvaged parts off it.

What do you remember from early childhood that influenced you?
My parents had a big influence on my frugality. I am more frugal than they are, however. I think that's because of the experiences I had in my late teens and early 20s, where I really struggled financially. When I finally earned even semi-decent money, I went into semi-hard core frugality (not Mr. Money Mustache levels, we'll call it quasi-Mustachian).

We were comfortably middle class, probably upper middle class by the time I graduated from high school. But we always lived at least a step below where we were "supposed to" for our income level.

Our nice, but modest 3BR suburban ranch house was paid off in 13 years. Mom always shopped for clothes on sale and clipped coupons for groceries (and for stuff we'd normally buy, not just because we had a coupon for it). My parents always paid cash for new cars but drove them until they weren't worth fixing. They didn't buy us cars in high school or even college for that matter. But we certainly had more than we needed.

It was always stressed that being in debt (other than for a modest mortgage that was well under the max what the bank would lend you) was a bad thing.

I remember in the 1980s my mom saying she always assumed that 1/2 of people in any given neighborhood couldn't really afford to live there. To my parents, just barely affording something with no savings cushion meant you couldn't really afford it.

I think it took with me more than it did for my sister. I'm not sure how much of that is personality vs. general life experience. I think at least part of it is personality as my sister was always more of a spender than I, even when we were kids.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 04-17-2018 at 11:09 PM..
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:02 PM
 
24,718 posts, read 26,785,278 times
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Originally Posted by Pat Answers View Post
I personally think some of our handling of money might come from our personalities. Do happy-go-lucky people tend to spend more? Do people with whatever side of the brain dominance causes them to be more organized tend to save more? Would be interesting to find that out too..
Yes, I definitely think a good bit, but not all, of peoples' approach to handling money comes from inborn personality traits. I don't think a formal study has ever been done, but some informal online surveys have been done. If you look at the personalities of the people who retire very early, the vast majority tend to come from 3 different introvert Myers-Briggs personality types. INTJ, ISTJ, and I forget the other one. Although saving money is hard for most personality types, extrovert types seem to have the hardest time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Answers View Post
I am a very organized person and like to keep track of accounts, etc. to the penny and save what I can. I think it all goes hand in hand.
Yes, being organized and having a propensity to plan are both traits that increase one's chances of being a saver.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:07 PM
 
24,718 posts, read 26,785,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
All of it, and some. I was never wasteful, or a spender, but living first three decades of my life in Europe (mostly Germany) helped to master those habits. The Germans are so frugal that the government has suggested they spend more to give the economy a boost. Banks are annoyed because they have more money in deposits than they know what to do with. Many Germans don't even bother with credit cards, and the average household savings rate is about 10%.
https://cdn.howmuch.net/content/imag...d-123-874d.png
I don't think a 10% savings rate is all that frugal. I know it's a lot better than America's though. A 10% savings rate was actually pretty typical in America until the late 1980s, early 1990s.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
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My parents were not smart enough to be frugal.

They were just cheap and stingy.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:21 AM
 
Location: on the wind
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Both parents were frugal but in different ways. Both had comfortable upbringings. Mom sewed a lot of our clothing, shopped responsibly, didn't spend much on luxuries, fashion, and didn't waste much. She seemed to have a good sense about when to be generous and when not to. Dad started off pretty reasonably thrifty, but in his mind money meant more than almost anything else even though our family was secure and comfortable. He made the kids manage their few dollars with a full blown accounting book; giving our allowance in nickels, dimes, quarters so we could divide out $0.10 for this, $0.50 for that, $0.25 for savings, all kept separate in little cardboard jewelry boxes. Every week we had to sit down and reconcile everything with him even though there was very little to tally up. He would spring unannounced "inspections" of our little boxes. I know he got a lot of satisfaction about his ability to save....he would talk to anyone he could grab about it endlessly. His own finances over the years became more and more bizarre as his personal savings grew. He seemed to lose track of what made sense and became the worst miser I've ever met. What started out as thrift became obsession. His house was dirty, cluttered, poorly maintained, full of broken cheap objects he would not pay to fix, would not part with, and couldn't use. He ended up bitter, angry, and trusted no one though I can't recall anyone ever cheating him in any significant way.

Though he did teach me how to keep track of my money and be responsible for my own living, he also taught me what not to do; let love of money swamp everything else and deaden my heart.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:32 AM
 
3,963 posts, read 1,593,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Interesting. Was that a factor for you?
Yes. My father spent every dime he had on nice suits and dining out. Yet he was always telling his four kids how broke he was. We were always one step from the poor house, but he would come in the next day with a new pair of shoes.

I practically martyred myself working my way through college, literally forty-hour weeks to pay tuition. I exhausted myself, didn't have a dating life, but made it through with a good GPA and not a dime in student loans.

He died a few months later at 57 with zero savings and a $10,000 life insurance policy, leaving my mother in the lurch. My mother gets on her feet selling real estate. But every time she got a little ahead, she would blow her money on a trip to Europe or something. Met a guy when she was 60 who was married but separated and gave up real estate to pursue a good time, taking Social Security as 62. He lived with her for 20 years and died recently, leaving her not one thin dime. As a result, my two brothers, my sister, and I have to write her monthly checks to keep her afloat at age 84. At least she's not in a retirement community.

So I guess you could say that I learned by negative example. I'm 55 myself. Fully insured, savings, and we live well below our means. We bought a home fully one-third the price that the underwriters said we could afford. We buy base model cars and drive the wheels off them. We do splurge on annual vacations (South Africa next week!) and do have fun, but we pay for everything in advance. I believe in being frugal, not cheap. Frugal is a means to an end. Cheap is just living with money as your chief motivator in life.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:00 AM
 
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My parents were the complete opposites. My mom was a chronic spender and my dad saved money and cut corners everywhere he could so I love to shop but I am also really good at saving. The shopping habit comes in waves.
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