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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have talked about how not teaching your children about money or frugality can hurt them. See thread "Momma don't let your children grow up to be Greebo's"

But on the flip side were you hurt by your parents frugality or have your children been hurt by yours? Share your story.

Here is mine

My parents frugality was by choice not need. I was hurt by my parents frugality. It was a defining moment in my development and I'm sure they don't even remember it or see it as a defining moment.

I was about 8 or 9. My Grandfather had let me take pictures with his camera while visiting them. The pictures ended up being good so he suggested to my father that a camera would be a nice present for my birthday. I received that year the kind that took that other kind of film not 35 mm. It was the kind that had a disposable flash also. Which they forgot to buy. LOL I received the camera, a film cartridge, and a promise that they would develop the film when it was finished.

The next day I headed outside ( no flash yet) with my dolls and took their pictures. I spent about two hours doing so. Was feeling quite proud of myself. As I was heading to going inside my mom met me at the door and asked what I was doing. I told her that I had finished the film and wondered when we could take it in to be developed.

My mom became so angry she wouldn't let me in the door. But kept me outside while she lectured me from the door about how wasteful I had been and how expensive film development was and how mad my father was going to be at me. She had me wait outside on the porch until dad came home.

After a few more hours in the hot summer sun. She decided I could wait inside at the kitchen table for Dad. When he got there she told him how I had just quickly clicked through the film and wasted it. I got another lecture similar to mom's. My punishment was to pay for the development myself. And that dad and I would have to sit down together and look at the pictures when they came back so I could learn why it had been so wasteful.

When the film came back the pictures were good and well thought out posed pictures. Definitively, good for my first role of film. So Dad said "that must have taken you a long time" I told him two hours. We talked about why I had taken some pictures that were similar. I told him I wanted to see which ones looked the best.
My dad was impressed and apologized for the lecture on just snapping away and how proud he was of me. He bought me two films and some flashes. My mom secretly pulled me aside and reminded me not to be wasteful. I never finished those rolls of film. I was afraid of being wasteful.

Fast forward to 8th grade I took photography for an elective. We had a photo assignment we had to take certain types of pictures and had a week to finish them in. Then we would learn how to development them in the dark room. While working on the assignment that would be graded. I was snapping away. Mom gave me a lecture about how wasteful it was to go though a film in a week and she was only allowing me to do it because it was a assignment and because I was developing them at school so it wasn't going to cost anything. From that role of film I won a few ribbons and at the county fair. One photo even won another contest and went with a traveling exhibit. Two roles of film ever completed and I was winning awards. But nothing ever progressed from there as I was afraid of being wasteful. I still don't take many pictures to this day. I always wonder what would have happened or could have been if I had been encouraged to hone my skill instead of being afraid of being wasteful.

The lecture had been so defining that I became so afraid of wasting anything. Even to this day it is still such a part of how I am. Example I have a bottle of lotion ( I have one bottle at a time) and I have had it three years. I tend to be so sparing with it that it doesn't stop the cracked hands or dry feet. Hubby keep trying to get me to use more. I like perfume but never finish bottles given to me because I don't want to be wasteful.

I wonder how any times something we say or don't say affects who are children become. I sometimes wonder if we even know we did it when it happens.
 

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Well, my story is on the other side- I WISH my mother could have been more frugal....when I was in 9th grade (14 years old-ish), my parents had split up, money was VERY tight, and I got only 2 pairs of jeans for the year- one blue, one black, purchased at a mid-priced store. Our town was very well off overall, it was obvious I only had 2 pairs of jeans, I got picked on MERCILESSLY for it, and I still, 18 years later, clearly remember the shame of it. My mother was VERY against shopping second hand or Salvation Army or similar...according to her 'that's where poor people shop'. If she HAD shopped there, I probably could've had 4-6+ pairs of name brand jeans, instead of 2 brand new off-name ones. Would have spared me a lot of teasing...but my mother was too proud to shop 'used' and our budget did not allow for anymore. Looking back, of course, they're just jeans...but such things are SO important at that age, and my mother's inability to be more frugal caused me a lot of pain. If she had had a more open minded about shopping thrift, I would have been spared a lot of social ridicule! No one would have been the wiser, and I wouldn't have felt so very 'less than' my peers for only having 2 pairs of jeans.

Of course now that I'm grown and have my own kids, we're all about thrift and hand me downs.....and my mother is still disgusted I shop 'there'. But my scrimping allows us to own a modest house and have me stay home with the kids...I'm happy to wear used clothing picked up thrift for the cause!
 

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I think my family was pretty good frugally without skimping too much. Our issues where wasting time, I couldn't be in track when asked to join by the coach because it would waste too much of their time to drive me back and forth. When I started working, my boss kept me after for 15 mins to help make salads one day so from then on, I had to call when I was done with my shift and then they would drive the 15 mins in to get me so that I wasn't wasting their time.

But having a comment stick, those I know about. Dad threw a fit when I was in 3rd or 4th grade that if I wasn't going to do something right the first time then don't %$$ #[email protected]#$ do it at all (yeah, nice language in our family) and to this day I really get down on myself if I do a less than 100% perfect job, it has taken over 20 years to try and fight that compulsion. Heck in college, I had a 3.4 or so GPA and he told me to drop out since I was too stupid to be there and was just wasting their money and get a job at the dump walking around and picking up garbage that was flying away.
DH helps me so that I don't poison ds too with my dad's messed up rules that are still stuck in me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DH helps me so that I don't poison ds too with my dad's messed up rules that are still stuck in me.
Isn't it great to have DHs that can do that for us.
I'm sure our children greatly appreciate it.
 

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My story is also one of emotional abuse with frugality used as the tool.

I was a fat child. My sister was not. My father is obese, my mother is obscessively thin.

I was constantly insulted, threatened and belittled as a child. My only relief as a child was the full feeling from the pleasant junk food my father insisted on keeping in the house.

My parents' arsenal of disapproval tools included my clothing. My parents only shopped out of catalogs after my mother quit making my sister and my clothing when she got a second job. I was presented with 'what clothing was available in my size'. I always had 3-4 outfits that fit with a huge suggestion that last years' clothing was available to wear if I lost weight.

I am totally aware now of how I filled the emotional emptiness, the teenage angst, the constant negativity and constant threats. In some situations, you can't feel anything emotionally. Your body is just physically capable of feeling full after eating. I call it 'crying with food'.

My requests for sports involvement in school were always met with a guilt trip. There was the whining and guilt trip for the transportation effort and money expected from my parents. It wasn't worth the effort.

I wanted to be emancipated at age 16 but had to endure the situation until I was 22 and finished with college (financial trouble started/grant withdrawn).

This story may not look like a frugality story it shows that when the free stuff, love and compassion, are missing from a childhood, the money was just a tool of torment.
 

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Wow, Imagine - you should look for a used (quality) digital camera on craigslist and start taking some pictures! Could be a fun hobby after all these years! And cheaper than therapy!

I am the same way about not wanting to waste beauty products or lotions, and they end up expiring!

My mother could not afford a lot of clothes for us, and it still affects me today. I feel guilty buying myself much needed clothes.

And she has a recurring nightmare that I am a child and I have nothing to wear. She says she wakes up and feels so bad and wants to take me shopping!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Wow, Imagine - you should look for a used (quality) digital camera on craigslist and start taking some pictures! Could be a fun hobby after all these years! And cheaper than therapy!

I am the same way about not wanting to waste beauty products or lotions, and they end up expiring!

My mother could not afford a lot of clothes for us, and it still affects me today. I feel guilty buying myself much needed clothes.

And she has a recurring nightmare that I am a child and I have nothing to wear. She says she wakes up and feels so bad and wants to take me shopping!
I have a digital camera. Just a simple one. I Think Hubby bought it for me afters after youngest was born because I was taking many pictures of her Still had a hard time snapping pictures. I remember Hubby and Dad reminding me that I could delete any I wanted so it wasn't beginning wasteful. Still having a hard time with that concept but I'm getting better.

I just recently learned how to put pictures up on the computer I'll put in as my avatar a flower picture I snapped real quickly a while back. It isn't one of my best pictures but it is one that you can see.

My favorite pictures that I have taken( besides those of the family) are the life cycle of a monarch butterfly that was growing right outside on our porch. Three stages- caterpillar, crysalis, and butterfly. I framed them an put them in the our bedroom. I don't think I can put those up for you though as they are off the camera a while back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a digital camera. Just a simple one. I Think Hubby bought it for me afters after youngest was born because I was taking many pictures of her Still had a hard time snapping pictures. I remember Hubby and Dad reminding me that I could delete any I wanted so it wasn't beginning wasteful. Still having a hard time with that concept but I'm getting better.
That sentence got butchered. Must get my finger and brain connection checked. LOL

Should say - I think Hubby bought it years after our youngest was born because I wasn't taking many pictures of the kids.
 

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Growing up I had handme downs. Which was ok. Although it sometimes perplexed me why my older sister got new clothes and I got her handme downs. Sure I realize money must have been tight but it also would have been nice to be able to pick out a new piece of clothing once in a while. It wasn't until I was eighteen that I actually bought a bra that was brand new and fit. Also never knew why my parents bought the other children sporting equipment and I got the grocery store pair of sneakers for my sporting events. Guess what bothered me the most was that both my parents were physical education teachers. Go figure.

I do not think you should go overboard on over thinking about what you say or do towards your children. No one is perfect. I do know that my over willingness to go to a thrift store is from the fact that I did receive handme downs. I found it funny that my mother would wrinkle her nose when I said I bought something at salvation army. The only difference is that I paid for the handme down. lol
 

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I don't know your financial situation, but clearly you are frugal ;-) Still, I would suggest maybe looking into in a used quality zoom lens, Nikon makes a great one... they take amazing professional photos.

Maybe you could borrow one for a day to see how they work - they are so much fun!
 
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How much do photo contests in state fairs bring in these days? I bet you can still win a few!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How much do photo contests in state fairs bring in these days? I bet you can still win a few!
I'm not sure. Most of the cash prizes I know of are offered to children/teens.
 

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Hmmm...it wasn't so much what Mom and Dad said, but the actions. For example I'd come down for supper and all we'd have was rabbit stew for 9 of us...from one rabbit my brother caught in his trapline that day.

Or coming home to find the neighbors or relatives had left a box of food on the steps for us. I'm still embarrassed to this day when people give me food. I don't know what to say. Thank-you is sufficient. But I still remember leaving the table hungry as a child.

I over-compensate now by having a lot of food around all the time. I try to make it healthy. Still, I suspect it is what contributes to my weight issues! I am not light! :(

I find planning menus to be very helpful for me because it reassures me there's going to be enough food in the house. And I like my freezer and fridge full, and lots of options in the pantry. So this spills into my over-buying groceries.
 

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Hmmm....I don't think I was hurt by frugality. My family's frugality made life bearable. I think in a way I was hurt by lack. We never really did have enough to make life pleasant. As a result, I find myself doing things to prevent suffering. I won't leave the house without a drink. If I bring the kids, it's drinks and snacks. If it's a day trip the car will be packed for every conceivable calamity. If it's a weekend trip we almost need a trailer. LOL! My purse is a mini dispensary. Our hall linen closet is a mini ER. I get very uncomfortable when shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and food stock runs low. It caused some very tense moments with my DH in the start of our marriage, until he figured out this was a serious quirk of mine and better to placate me then to deal with the repercussions.

My Sister on the other hand had a different take on things. She's quite a hoarder of clothing, making sure all her kids have clothing to grow into for years to come. She has 2 PACKED fridges AND a freezer in her kitchen, a MASSIVE stockpile of food (more then could possibly be eaten) She's terrified of being cold, and will break down into sobbing hysterics if she is. :(

These were the children poverty built, not frugality. My family being frugal meant that we never missed a field trip, always had food on the table (maybe not the best, but always food) We always had our pictures taken with the rest of the class, we got to do things like go to the fair and ride at least one ride and share a funnel cake, or be part of girl scouts, or be able to participate in any number of childhood things. My Mother saw to it.
 

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My mom was amazing with money. She was frugal, but never embarrassing. I can't remember a single time when I was "hurt" by her frugality. Well, we did drive a 1977 Volare in 1989, but that was only a minor thing :)

I remember reading a frugal blog once with a story of growing up having to shop at thrift shops. This person told a story of going to school one day and having a "popular" kid realize that they were wearing a shirt that the "popular" kids mom had donated. There had been a small stain on the shirt that this girl pointed out in front of everyone and ridiculed the poor blogger for a long time. That story stuck with me. I am very aware that my children do have feelings and I do not want them to feel embarrassed or be ridiculed because of my choices.

That being said, my kids will not be able to look down on others, because they have a healthy mixture of new and thrifted items.
 

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Frugality didn't hurt me, but "cheapness" did.

I remember always being cold and wet when I was a kid because my mom would always buy/hand-me-down the cheapest, thinnest winter coats. I always had hand-me-down leaky boots. I would wrap my feet in plastic grocery bags to try and keep them dry. My parents didn't do this because they had to, they chose to do this. At the same time, they were paying extra on their mortgage and maxing out their retirement contributions every year. Buying warm clothing for their children just wasn't a priority for them.

Skimping on clothing for your children is not frugal, it's cheap. When I had my own children I was obsessive about buying them good quality, warm winter coats and boots.
 

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Grayce: this always bothered me about my kids. I always wanted to buy them nice warm duvets for their beds, and flannel sheets. We live in Canada with -30 to -50 C winters.

But DH always had other plans for the money, like putting extra on the mortgage, or something. It was frustrating. I was so happy the day I walked in the store and bought those duvets for the girls. I just did it. Didn't ask DH for money or approval or anything. If you can't get a good night's sleep because you're too cold, then you can't function properly the next day.

And yes, DH insisted on the heat being turned down to save money. I pointed out to him the children were smaller in mass and didn't conserve heat energy as well as we did. It didn't work. As far as he was concerned he could stand 17 C at night and so could we. WE, it should be noted, had two woolen Hudson's Bay blankets, a duvet and flannel sheets on our bed!

Still makes my heart cry thinking of those kids so cold. I'd buy those warm fuzzy sleepers with feet in them at the thrift store to keep them warm at night. DH would never let us spring for brand new clothes for them at that point.

I am glad he has changed so he isn't quite so miserly anymore. It was really tough when the girls were growing up though. Really tough... I often wonder what effect it had on them...
 

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I don't know if I could say that I was hurt by my family's frugality when I was growing up. It was the only thing I really knew. I knew that other kids had more stuff than we did, but my mother always taught me that as long as we had the essentials, everything else was unnecessary.

I think back to not going to the dentist as much as I should have, and I think that had the largest effect on me even today. I have a hard time going to the dentist for myself, but I take the boys because they need it the most.

When it comes to my own family, we get the boys what they need and we make room in the budget for it. They don't get to eat a lot of the stuff I ate as a kid, but I feel it's good for them. They don't need all of that junk food. Lord knows we need more kids out there with diabetes, obesity and other problems. I'd rather teach them about the good things of frugality before teaching them about the 'what if we had this?' aspects.

The boys understand when we cannot have something and when we can. I always explain to them the reason why and I feel they have more than I ever had as a kid. My mother stuck to garage sales and getting things for free that were secondhand. My boys have secondhand items, but they're hand-me-downs from my oldest to my youngest and the clothes are in awesome shape. If we're out and about and the kids are hungry, I'm not going to make them starve because I feel the fast food's too expensive. I'll feed them and then we won't eat fast food for a long time after that. Heck, they're happy to eat oatmeal and plain cereal and scratch things. As long as I add things that they like (like condiments and such), they'll eat what I make for them. They don't complain much, but when they do, I give them explanations as to why and ask them how they can improve on it. I generally go with it unless it's something outrageous. My mother never did this. It was either eat it or go to bed hungry. I can't do that to my kids, but it did teach me to eat what's available and that's what I instill in the kids. They know I'm not a short-order cook. They know that if they don't eat, they don't get what's next. I make it a requirement for my oldest son to eat his vegetables before he even gets to his dinner and that's to teach him that his vegetables aren't all that bad.

I was picked on a lot as a kid but with these boys, I don't worry about that. I live in a neighborhood where even the hand-me-downs are better than what I see on DS7's friends. DS12 doesn't care what he wears as long as it can still fit on his body. He doesn't care about what his friends think because he's autistic and well, his friends don't care either because so are they. :)

I don't make the kids go without, which is what I had to do. I don't make the kids starve. I don't make the kids suffer. My mother did the best she could with three kids when we were growing up, and I'm thankful for that. I just wish there was more that could have been done.
 
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