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But I've learned my lesson about posting there! ;)

So we were in Costco and I over heard a couple talking and they had to be in their 30's or 40's. The woman (I'm assuming was the wife) said "we have to be more frugal now". The man (I'm assuming was the husband) said "what is frugal?" We were going in opposite directions in the isle so I didn't hear her response but when I glanced back they were comparing items.

How do you get that old and not know what frugal is?


Utahtea
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But I've learned my lesson about posting there! ;)

So we were in Costco and I over heard a couple talking and they had to be in their 30's or 40's. The woman (I'm assuming was the wife) said "we have to be more frugal now". The man (I'm assuming was the husband) said "what is frugal?" We were going in opposite directions in the isle so I didn't hear her response but when I glanced back they were comparing items.

How do you get that old and not know what frugal is?


Utahtea


I have no response. I just couldn't stop chuckling at this!
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How do you get that old and not know what frugal is?


Utahtea


Good question! I don't think vocabulary is taught in schools anymore - or else their parents are not teaching them!

Fifi
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This would surely create far too many snarky responses on other boards. But here, it just creates chuckles. My parents went in the other direction. I remember when they were really struggling when they were young. My youngest brother, 15 years younger than me, remembers only the days of what he calls "privilege" and what I call being upper-middle class in a blue collar town. Now, when we talk about our different experiences growing up, we keep in mind that our experiences of frugality are actually quite different.

ThyPeace, "we can't afford that, Virginia!" is a phrase I heard a lot more.
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ThyPeace, "we can't afford that, Virginia!" is a phrase I heard a lot more.

Mine was "Money doesn't grow on trees"

It's funny about children in the same household and how different they can be about money spending and habits. DH and his brother are only 14 months apart so there wasn't much difference in their up bringing but they are total opposites in the way they think about and spend money. My brother and I are 4 1/2 years apart so I could see how things could be a little different and we're as different on the subject of money as DH and his brother. What DH and I have in common is we are the oldest child in each family. We are the ones that are frugal and will wait until we can pay cash for things. Our brothers are complete opposites. But then we have friends where the frugal and responsible ones are the younger children. Go figure!

Utahtea
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My brother is the spender and I’m the saver, always been good with money. I’m younger too...girl/female/woman. :)

My mom was the spender and I take after my Dad.

She would always tell us to clean up our plates and think of those “starving Ethiopians”. Only Ethiopians...imagine that? Well, I’m a bonafide member of the clean plate club for sure.

LD
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My siblings and I are all basically savers, though with different thresholds and different risk tolerance. One brother is a hardware guy in Silicon Valley; he's the one with the most need for speed and willingness to take risks. He spent more when he was in his 20s, learned the hard way that credit card debt stinks, and then bought a condo right before the housing market crash and took a bath. He will likely still end up with the highest net worth in the long run just from having been the first IT guy on the ground at the startup that IPOed pretty well.

The other brother does poverty policy work in Wisconsin with a wife who is a public defender at the appellate level and two little boys. They have enough money to live a nice life in a low-cost-of-living place, which is the intelligent choice they made when she finished law school and he finished graduate school. And he can't help but be an entrepreneur. His first business was a biergarten that seems to be doing well. I'm sure there will be others -- he has an abundance of energy for projects.

Our sister is disabled and thus has a different set of issues. She loves to buy people presents, but does so carefully and always ends up with a little extra money after her Christmas shopping, which she puts in her savings account. It builds up for a while and then she gives that excess to places like Ronald McDonald house.

We have learned, since Mom passed away in April, that Mom refused to do a lot of charitable work because she wanted her money to go to us kids. She also worked hard to make sure we each had a good starting point, financially speaking, and with Dad's hard work in the business, that paid off better than either of them would have guessed. Which means that none of us really need her money, though we all appreciate it. So we'll build for our own kids, those of us who have them, and otherwise help the communities around us.

One thing that I have learned out of all this is that setting up kids financially early in their lives is far more helpful to them than leaving them a nest egg later. Obviously this needs to be balanced against your own need for a nest egg for retirement. But saving so that the kids can inherit is maybe not the best strategy.

ThyPeace, hm. Gifts. Hm.
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The differences in spending between siblings hits me, too! I remember having 4 dresses for 5th grade - my closet was empty otherwise. A few years later, I looked into my little sister's closet and it was overstuffed with clothes - I thought, Mom never spent that kind of money on me!

It's funny now, but at the time I was a bit jealous....

Fifi
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But saving so that the kids can inherit is maybe not the best strategy

I couldn't agree more.

I never understood why people would "go without" because they want to leave what they have to the kids. The kids will be fine and hopefully will have learned good saving/spending habits from their parents. But people need to save for and then enjoy retirement.

As one without kids, but very close with godsons, we know they'll one day benefit from what they inherit from us. But we never-never avoid doing for ourselves because we feel a need to leave money.

But that's just us. Your mileage may vary.

Tony
...but I still am...

JumpingLateIntoAThread
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I'll wander back in. Mom passed away recently, leaving a substantial sum that she had built from wisely investing an inheritance from her mother. (CAGR for the portfolio over 39 years: 9.41%.) Because she and Dad built their estate plan when all of us were much younger and things were different, the funds are locked in trusts that we get the income from, but can't touch the principle of, until Dad passes away. At 51 and with a net worth of my own that is larger than the amount I'm going to inherit, that all kind of amuses me.

Mom never really limited what she wanted to do in her lifetime, though. She used the income from that inheritance to further what she wanted to do -- paid for half of college for me and my brothers, bought herself a condo, paid for the spectacularly comfortable and nice clothes* she wore. She also paid for the family's vacations for many years.

So it is possible, with thought and some really darned good business sense, to do both. That money was also the beneficiary of dad's hard work, as much of the money was invested in the business that dad ran for many years.

ThyPeace, not as good at investing, buying clothes, or decorating as mom was.


*The number of Pendleton jackets in her closet was amazing. I'm currently wearing one of her Peruvian Connection sweaters with a scarf that I gave her from the Monticello collection. Oh, and her clothes were sorted by season into two different closets. Within each closet, things were sorted by color. There was a mock turtleneck in every. single. color. She wore green most, and there were probably a dozen different shades of green. I kept a minute fraction of it all, things that I thought I could wear, and doubled my total wardrobe. DD was delighted when I offered her a set of Leon Levin sweaters that were in DD's colors -- identical, but 5 different colors.
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