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Old 05-27-2018, 07:44 AM
369 posts, read 150,242 times
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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 no intention to save money. As an example, they would trash the real oak ornate carved desk
and buy new desk of much lower value. I would just coat the old one with varnish to make it look better.
I learned to save money from my wife and her family, and I am very grateful for that.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:28 PM
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I think a lot of it comes from them. They weren't extreme like yelling to turn the lights off or not being allowed to run the window AC in my room when I wanted, even if I was downstairs. My grandfather was more the cheapskate. I never asked for much but we had everything we needed and never went hungry. I remember one year we didn't have a Christmas because my mother had an operation before and they spent all the money on bills. so I gave my birthday money to my mother that year. Plus I remember by mattress getting bad and some springs coming up and just putting a blanket there and not complaining for a new one.

I remember wanting a portable TV, black and white back then, and my parents gave it to me little by little so I could learn to save it. they also gave me candy money too and I remember you could buy a lot at the corner store for $1 in the 70s. One time my mother told me to buy her salt and handed me a quarter and I looked at her like she was crazy. i told her I was not going unless she gave me $1 in case it was more and it was only like 17 cents but as a kid I didn't know it was that cheap. I remember in high school when I wanted my class pictures and my father was mad because it was so expensive.

I remember where they kept the money and one time at the end of 4th grade when I had to turn a book in the teacher said it wasn't the book I was given and the teacher told me I had to pay $5 (about $25 now) so I just swiped it from where the cash was under a coffee can in the pantry closet. I was asked about it and I lied and said I didn't take it because I knew the yelling about the book would be worse.

My sister was also frugal and a saver, then she married her husband and that changed and she stopped saving and started spending. What ticked me off was when my father gave her money to buy a new stove she said she needed and she spent it on something else. Also she has a bad toilet for years where she has to use a bucket of water to flush it and hasn't bothered to fix it but takes vacations every year.

Last edited by LifeIsGood01; 05-27-2018 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:53 AM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
2,168 posts, read 797,279 times
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Neither of my parents finished high school. Neither of them ever had a job other than unskilled wage earner at the kind of job you could get walking in off the street where there was a Help Wasted sign. They raised two children, starting in the depths of the depression. They died living in a comfortable but modest house on a quiet safe street. In their retirement, they drove their newish car to 48 states and ten provinces. My mother left my sister and me more inheritance than we are likely to ever spend.

There are, in my view, two factors responsible for all this. One is the fact that in those days, you could do that. The second is Frugality.

They didn't do without. My mom was proud to have visitors in her home, and show them her knicknack shelf. My dad had a nice Browning shotgun and an outboard motor he could put on a rented fishing boat after work in the evening. Both were dapper and dressed up to go out. There was money for leisure and dignity, because it wasn't spent thoughtlessly. Mom grew vegetables in the garden and put them up in glass jars in the cellar. Frugality was a part of the thought process in every expenditure.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:08 AM
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Most of my frugality comes from my parents.

My father grew up very poor. His father (my grandfather) died suddenly when my Dad was only 6 years old. They lost their house right away. Soon my father started working odd jobs as a young boy to contribute to the household. Then his mother became very sick and my father started supporting the family starting in Junior High. He went to school, and then after school, worked all afternoon and evening until 11pm. And he worked on the weekends. Unbelievable. Fortunately, he was very bright, and did amazingly well in school despite not studying and not even doing homework (!) and got a full scholarship to an Ivy League college. He had a very hard time adjusting in college, as his background was so different from everyone else's. He also didn't realize that he could apply for additional scholarships to cover room and board, so continued to work through college to support himself and send money back to his family, and at times.... slept on couches, in dormitory bathrooms (some had cots at his college!), or anywhere he could find a place when he couldn't afford renting a bed in a communal living apartment (which were common back then). I was born when my parents were both in graduate school and our health insurance was Medicaid.

My mother came from a family of modest means. Neither parent finished high school, but her father had a decent tradesman type job and they lived very simply but securely.

My father thought we were very spoiled/entitled children, although we lived very frugally. Only now do I realize how much better I had it than my father did during his childhood. We were in the lower class part of a diverse town, in an old house full of problems. We never went on any vacations except camping and driving to visit relatives once a year. Obviously no expensive hobbies/clothes etc.... Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs from a family friend. But my parents were both alive, and able to work and support the family. They saved every penny and never upgraded the house. Simple used cars - only one for the family. They valued education and made sure we went to very good schools, and had opportunities to play sports and learn musical instruments in a school/town system that subsidized the costs (that doesn't really happen now...). They were very frugal, as they had no family assistance to fall back on. My father was even more rigid about savings than my mother was, and it was a source of much discord in their relationship.

As a child, I was a bit selfish. I wanted designer jeans or a vacation or a nice bicycle. But I learned to get a job myself, save my money and buy something only if I really wanted it. Oddly, much of my savings I used to buy gifts for other people. I learned how to find every possible scholarship for when I eventually went to school.

Now I live extremely simply.
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:55 PM
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Definitely got my frugal habits from my parents. My dad would water down the sodas and juices. I could only run a couple of inches of water into the bathtub to take a bath. He only wanted us to put mustard or mayonnaise on one piece of bread when making a sandwich. We ate EVERYTHING on our plates. We didn't waste anything.

He and my mom married when I was about 4-5. When we moved in with him, his house was just a shell with exposed studs and an outdoor toilet. By the time I was 8, we had hot water though.

My mom was the daughter of an itinerant farmer and one of 9 kids. Times were tough and hard, and they both lived through the depression. I'm actually glad I've always been frugal. I hate waste and excess.

My husband on the other hand was raised in a family of spendthrifts. Except for his grandmother, who was a poor child in Italy before coming to this country. He got his frugality from her. Fortunately, for the both of us, we feel the same about money and making do with what we have.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:29 AM
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There is no time I can ever recall where I wasn't frugal and cheap. My dad is a businessman and I wanted to be like my dad, so when I was about 7 years old I would comb the golf course at our beach house, go through the weeds, over the swamps and streams, in the trees, and I'd find golf balls. I'd clean them up, we'd run them through the dishwasher, and I'd illegally sell them on the 16th hole :P In a good weekend I could make $100 or so, a four-day holiday weekend like Labor Day or July 4th (if it fell right) or Memorial Day. I never bought toys with it, or video games, because I was obsessed with watching my money grow. I had a US Bank account and got it to $1,000 just selling golf balls, then I kept adding to it, and eventually I took $1,000 and put it in a bond or whatever where it had to sit there for 24 months but I remember being so excited when it came back to me as $1,100 (the good old days, wouldn't that turn into like $1,050 now at best? lol). I just felt like it was the coolest thing to keep saving money and making it grow, which I guess I got from my dad.

While my dad certainly gave me good financial lessons, he's one of those guys who will throw a fit and refuse to pay $11 for a hot dog because "that's absolutely ridiculous" and there are times he can be really weird about money with me, too. It's always the little things, like one time my friend and I drank "the last" of his beers on his yacht (yes, his yacht) and there were only 5 left, they were all expired, so if you ask me we were doing him a favor. This suddenly became a big deal that we drank his skunk beer. I was seriously baffled by it.

To my dad's credit, the absolute best thing that he did for me when growing up (maybe this sounds harsh, but if I had kids, I'd say the same thing) is drill into my head on a relatively repeated basis, "If you want to live this kind of lifestyle, you better work hard for it, because you're not inheriting anything. I'll pay for your school, but you're on your own, my money's going to charity." That would continue repeatedly and boy I felt motivated, I wanted those A's, I wanted to work harder than anyone because I saw the way he lived and thought, THAT is how I want to live one day, so I better work my butt off! I still thank him for that, because going to school with a bunch of trust fund kids who are the biggest losers you can imagine, there's no way it's good parenting to tell your kids, "Nah, don't worry about anything, you kids will be set for life. Daddy worked hard so you don't have to!" Gee, and they wonder why their kids turn into worthless drains on society? I don't think it's that shocking. For a lot of people, it's human nature to do the minimum required of them, so if nothing is ever expected, don't be surprised when nothing is ever achieved, either.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:08 AM
2,687 posts, read 1,770,456 times
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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?
Zero, zip, nada, nothing.

No frugality in the family at all. Knew nothing about money, learned the hard way. Come to think of it, maybe early childhood did influence me...in an opposite way.
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Old 06-30-2018, 04:18 PM
Location: New Yawk
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My father was Thoreau-inspired minimalist (long before it became trendy), so frugality and simple living are second nature for me. Until fairly recently, spending on anything but the bare essentials felt scary and wrong; I’m finally starting to live a little.
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:50 PM
Location: Minnesota
1,489 posts, read 1,272,594 times
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Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
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.
I think the same thing. While saving 10% is better than the average American saves, it's not enough to have a truly secure retirement....unless you're just looking to "get by".

In my peak earning years, and I was a middle income guy, I was saving well over that in my 401k, plus a fairly large amount going into post tax investments. As I neared retirement I lowered both those amounts a bit since my advisor said I didn't need to save as much anymore and to enjoy things a bit more in my last few years of working a job. That was kind of cool to hear....kind of a validation of what I'd done.

My Dad retired at 59....and I'm pretty certain I'll be exactly the same age when I pull the plug....I'm 58 now. He was a good example for me. He told me something I still remember when I got my first job at age 16. He said "just remember, retirement isn't a function of age, it's a function of income after you retire...plan accordingly."

There is no right or wrong answer to how much to save, or when to retire, it's all in what you want and are willing to make happen. My brother is still working at 70 and seems happy....so it's all good.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:32 AM
Location: Sector 001
7,129 posts, read 5,944,806 times
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Most behaviors do come from parents, upbringing, and culture. We are basically software programmed to the environment around us, which is why I no longer participate in favorite music, food, movie, etc. threads as they devolve into a bunch of egos arguing over things that have no significance... country is not better than rock, etc.. it's simply personal taste.

Around here 80% of people like country because their parents liked country. Where I grew up in WI there was decidedly more hard rock.. it was closer to 50/50.. does it matter? Not really.

To answer your question, I got my frugality from my father. It suits me. The biggest thing people waste money on around here is sports bars and expensive vehicles, particularly trucks.
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