Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

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Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by mbrudnic » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:30 am

My Mom would say that she and my Dad were "poor" when they were first married. I say they could always pay the rent, put plenty of food on the table, etc They were careful with their money and always put aside savings. Today they are in their early 70's, good health and take a large (expensive) trip, usually overseas every other year.

My Dad was the ultimate DIY-er. He worked a summer or two as a mechanic, he did all kinds of house maintenance work. My Mom worked as a nurse. It seemed as if most of my classmates had stay-at-home Mom's in the 70's & early 80's. Mom was not a clothes horse, but we had good shoes, attended parochial schools.

We had a boat and when I was in 5th grade my grandparents bought a cottage on a small lake in Michigan. Most of our vacations were at the lake. We went to the beach in NC a few times. I was 17 when the family went to Disney world.

Anyways, I learned to cook at home, be careful with how I spend my money. Not taking extravagant vacations every year. Try to do thing you can on your own and maintain what you have to make it last longer.

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Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:11 pm

ChristmasTrees wrote:My mother taught me so many things. She was a depression nothing was ever wasted. We had two clothes inside one in the basement. We did also had a dryer.
All of our meals and snacks were homemade. I learned how to make meals really stretch when unexpected company showed up near dinner time.
We learned how to sew and mend things. My Dad taught us how to repair things.
We all helped (and learned) making and canning jam.
All such useful skills that I passed along to my son and niece (who we raised)..and am now teaching to my grandaughters.
You got a great head-start. I've talked with so many people about this throughout the years, and whenever I mention the fact that eating-out at restaurants was something that I never knew as a kid, I find few others mention the same. I do remember how strapped for money my parents were, mom always sitting at the kitchen table figuring out how to stretch this or stretch that, and I remember mom and dad never had paper money in their person. When payday came along, bills were paid, groceries were bought, and that was that, no extras or anything.

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Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:25 pm

rinty wrote:Hmmm,

My frugal experience from my younger days are MORE actual good financial role models rather than June Cleaver/Little House on the Prairie sort of "frugal hair shirt trivia".

My father was chronically ill meaning DM had to work ......A LOT. He died in Canada 1972 so ,trust me, we also lived by the lower income standards of the time. Of course we cooked from scratch, what else would we have eaten. Of course we line dried, how else would you pay the electricity bill. DM worked 2 jobs when things were particularly hard. As a young widow with 2 children she worked. We helped at home , played rubber chicken S T R E T C H I N G the food budget, wanted less, were careful with what we did have. DM work meant we had all we needed and we remember our childhood happily, we went on school trips and it was all down to DM 's Work Ethic.

As a mother with 5 kids, youngest very disabled, did I work ? I certainly did. Partly for my own self esteem and mental health frankly ( caring for a disabled child is no picnic ) I could only work in school time when he wasn't home. Living in the Real World meant my earning got us through a redundancy with DH when he was 55, and prior to that my earning meant we had a decent savings plan and a nice home without working my DH into the ground.

But , the BEST thing I would say, is when my teen DD was asked, when careers/jobs were being dicussed............." Who do you know who would do their job if they weren't being paid ? " and she said ..........My Mother.

And I am so proud of that.

Go back and that is down to my mothers work ethic. Go back another generation. My DGM worked as a seamstress at home to supplement the family income. in her 60s she moved into house renovation " buying and flipping " houses. We scraped wallpaper and painted woodwork alongside her after school.

My Great grandmother worked in a paint factory in northern England in the early 1900s. She was widowed in WW1. She was a TINY woman with little education who worked like a slave but she WORKED.

My best frugal experience is definately that its a Work Ethic that will will be the best thing you hand on to your children rather than 1,000 way to use a corn cob. A very important thing to pass on to her daughters especially.
I LOVE your term, "rubber chicken stretching the food budget"! Gosh do I EVER love that!! :)

I know for many of us who were raised some 40 or more years ago, times were so much different back then, so It's easy to see why so many of us here carry on with those old, tried-and-true ways today.

For me and my sibs, the frugal financial side of living came quite automatic, thanks to being raised in a home where money was always tight, but also due to the fact that we never ventured far from home. Entertainment was of the cheap kind, where us kids found fun and interesting things to do, and really, looking back on it now, I can't say I feel short-changed at all. In fact, I feel almost blessed that I was able to experience a more reserved childhood, because it made me a better mom and homemaker.

I give you so much credit and admire you so much, Rinty, for having 5 children and still working, though I know you had no choice, it's still inspiring to me. :)

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Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:28 pm

Jens_Cats wrote:For me, it was always buy quality, even if you have to pay more for it. Things in our houses lasted FOREVER. I STILL have furniture and art and such from when I was growing up.

I also learned my work ethic from my mom. Unfortunately, from my experience, that doesn't mean diddly in today's work world. I did everything right when I was working full time, but I STILL got kicked in the face. Hard. All the time, which is why I'm not going back to work full time, ever, if I can avoid it. :( That said, I have not let go of that good work ethic, because it is the right way to be.

Also, not throwing things away if they are still good/working or can be repaired or reused.

Jen M, WV
I second your advice on quality. I'm the same. In fact, there are a number of things I would love to have, but until such a time I can see my way to affording them and obtaining exactly what I want, I'd rather go without and continue making due with what I've got. I've always been that way.

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Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:35 pm

jackie26us wrote:My family has always been frugal. We grew up chopping and stacking wood for winter as we only had a wood stove for heat . My parents had 5 kids so they couldn't afford a furnace. They bought their house as a fixer upper and completely renovated it over time. It didn't have plumbing when they bought it. They did it themselves over time.

As a kid we hand washed dishes, hung clothes to dry, had a huge vegetable garden. We learned how to fix things and make them last. Some years (didn't find out until I out of the house) my lost a job and we didn't have money for meat. So Dad hunted so we usually had venison or rabbit. We did have horses and animals so there were sacrifices to have these like not eating out.

DH's family is frugal and always has been. They don't make much money so always learned how to fix things. DH learned at age 7 how to take a vehicle apart and rebuild it. He learned carpentry, how to garden and most importantly auto repair.

As others have said we both learned to have a great work ethic. DH was out of work before a couple years ago. He ended up making more money doing side jobs for people than he did when he worked for someone else.
When I think about the past and the larger families that seemed to be so prevalent back in the day, having the ability to stretch things to the fullest, substitute certain things for other things, and simply make-do, never fails to warm me inside. As much as that sort of thing can be challenging... even tiring, there's an inner peace I enjoy (deep down inside) in doing things the old-fashioned way.

So much of what you mention in your post I relate to, like having a vegetable garden, having a dad that hunted and fished, and a man in the house who can repair and fix things and build things. It all fits so part-and-parcel into frugal living.

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Re: Frugal Experience (your younger days)...

Post by Heloise » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:40 pm

Shelsmiles wrote:Yes. :)

Picking crab apples from neighborhood trees (with permission) and hauling them home in old Pillowcases so momma could make enough jelly to have some for us and some to sell

Cutting up old discarded clothes into rags and stuffing them into bags to sell to the auto shops etc but making sure to cut off and save all the good zippers and buttons to reuse

Collecting cans to turn in for money

Helping momma take apart a piece of her old clothing with a seam ripper so she could reuse the fabric to make clothes for me

Wow. I haven't thought about a lot of those things in a real long time.
Oh my, your mention of pillowcases reminded me of Halloween in our house when I was growing up, always being outfitted with a fresh clean white pillowcase to hold our cache of candy! Such warm memories.

I also remember picking fruit (cherries, apples, and pears) off neighbours trees and bringing them home for mom to prepare. In those days everyone was so welcome to helping others, unlike today.

I also remember hand-me-downs from neighbours, too. LOTS of hand-me-downs, and we were always so grateful for whatever we received, because we seldom got anything new.

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