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Why did I become frugal?

February 1st, 2008 at 04:06 pm

This question, asked on the forum, has got me thinking.
I learned from my grandparents (all were young adults during Depression)how to use up what you had, save for what you needed, and don't fall into the trap of the latest trends.
They raised gardens, sewed & crocheted. My Mom made most of our clothes right up thru High School.
Money was sometimes tight when I was growing up, but I never knew it. We had family, food, clothes, and a roof over our heads.

When I married, had my kids (4 sons in 6 years) I HAD to be frugal. Used cloth diapers, bought clothes at yard sales, made most of my own clothes, raised a garden. Didn't have all those government programs back then and most people wouldn' even think of them anyway. We got by. My boys didn't have a roomful of toys they didn't play with - they were raised on a farm and everyone pitched in and helped. Not alot of $$$ in the bank but we didn't have any debt except for our home. Lots of good memories for me & them. We drove used cars/trucks and still I won't buy a new one. I use coupons, watch for rebates, and shop for holidays & birthdays all year long from clearance sales. Alot of gifts are hand/homemade.

We even had a Pediatrician that was wonderful! My boys would go thru what we called ' the vicious Strep Throat Cycle'. One would get it and within a week or two, ALL would have it. This was twice a year. He would write one prescription, with refills, with a note on dosages for each of them, to cover them all plus charge us for ONE doctor visit. All my boys eventually had their tonsils removed and the cycle stopped.

Now I'm frugal by choice. $$$ in bank and being able to invest are wonderful things.
I've made some bad choices along the way but have learned from them and moved on. Credit Card debt was a BIG mistake aka lesson!

Saving money is like a game now. The Tightwad Gazette has been a blessing! I re-read it cover-to-cover twice a year and reference it often in between. The Internet has also been invaluable in finding information on how to do all kinds of things cheaper and for DYI projects.

I travel, do genealogy research, run my home business, attend church, and have wonderful dear friends! My immediate family lives close by so I spoil my grandkids with love and homemade goodies. I donate to local charities, love to go to yard sales, and continuously look for bargains.

Believe me, my life is rich and full!

6 Responses to “Why did I become frugal?”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    Sounds like a great life!

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I enjoyed reading this. Smile

  3. nance Says:

    Isn't it great to know how to manage money, and not be worried and afraid, when the economy is not good? We know how to live on less, so if we have less, it isn't a huge problem.
    Living well, without spending more than we make, saving, and investing are all the rewards of being frugal, or "managing" money.

  4. thkgranny Says:

    Thanks to all of you! Yes it is great not to worry!

    One other thing I do is when I think I 'want' something, I write it down and wait. Seems as time goes by, I really didn't 'need' that 'want'. Money saved!

  5. NJDebbie Says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I learned to be conservative with my money the hard way. Growing up, I watched my parents mismanage their money and always in financial trouble. They are now retired and still unable to handle their finances. I love my parents with all my heart and I help with money as much as I can. Luckily my husband and I are on board with our financial goals.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. nance Says:

    When I got started on my "frugal journey" the Tightwad Gazette was my Bible. No one has motivated me more than Amy Dacyczyn has, through her books. Dave Ramsey is another whose influence has caused me to look at how using credit cards makes spending much easier.
    I, too, re-read the Tightwad Gazette book to stay motivated. Those success stories really keep me on track!
    I enjoy your entries.

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