Were you taught to be frugal by your parents, or is it something you had to learn for yourself?
Even though my parents were very frugal I had to learn it myself. I reached the point in life where I finally realized that I am running out of time to be prepared for my retirement years. I need to be more careful with my money and not be so wasteful. It is a practice that I continuously learning and hoping to teach to my children.
When you're broke, it isn't teaching... it's immersion. It's not like we came from the entitled generation of today that can't understand the concept of drinking water from a hose and a non-remote controlled TV without cable.
My parents taught me to be careful with my money and wouldn't let me buy something unless they approved when I was younger. This led me to think about my spending habits, and on my own I discovered different ways to save money by researching online and looking at my options. My favorite options are thrift stores and garage sales. You can find just about anything except food!
More like we had no choice or we would not eat. Today I am very frugal and budget. I also learned in my adult years, that it is okay to frivolously spend now and again. It is not the end of the world if you get something you don't need, so I don't feel the guilt I used too.
I was definitely taught by my parents, and I am so glad they taught me. I think this is one of the values that has to be handed down by your parents, or whoever raises you. We always shopped at Goodwill, tried to buy things used or on sale, and also tried to use any extra money we had to donate to good causes.
These values are now very strongly ingrained in me, and I am trying to pass them on to my children. I think they are best handed down not by talking about them, but by how you live your life.
Growing up, my parents were very good at saving money and only buying essentials, which provided a great example. When I went to college I had almost no money and would describe my lifestyle then as "Involuntary Simplicity". I have continued pinching pennies ever since.
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