I talk a lot about my mother on Almost Frugal, especially because of her tightwad ways. (In a good way, Mom! In a good way!). But beyond talking about the system that my father and I have figured out on how to pay my student loans, I don’t talk about my dad much.
My father recently wrote me wrote, however, as part of an email about how they are managing to survive in these financially challenging times, some interesting thoughts:
I actually enjoy buying my cheerios at Costco. We buy all of my soup (for lunch at the store) and my prepared dinners when they are on sale, saving a bunch of money every week. Nothing wrong with that. I hope that I buy that way when you strike it big and start supporting me as I would like to be supported. (Yes, you might notice, I have given up on winning the lottery!)
But buying just to not buy? Why? Of course we should all live within our budgets and save for the future and for our kids (and old man). And nobody needs a third car, or one that costs really big bucks and returns single digit mileage. Likewise houses, fancy clothes, etc. But a 2oth shirt that you absolutely love? Or the OCCASIONAL CD (I haven’t bought one in years, even for Christmas!) I mean life has to have some rewards, and you can’t deny yourself too much, especially when it hinges on not being worth it personally.
My attitude is live as cheap as possible 90%of the time, but well most of the rest. Like drink less but get drunk more often? No, I don’t need excess in any form. But the occasional nice dinner out is OK in my book.
I think this is a nice balance between starving yourself, and never enjoying anything, and being a total spendthrift.
What did/do your parents teach you about money?