Author Topic: Who started the lowest?  (Read 717 times)

Tom Bri

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Who started the lowest?
« on: May 14, 2018, 11:34:57 AM »
Interested in life stories.

In my case, I was one of 5 kids in a lower middle class home. So, not really that far down. We lived on a farm about 5 miles from the nearest small town, and 20 miles from a mid-sized city in the Mid-west. My dad purchased one brand-new vehicle in his life, a truck for the business. Otherwise we had decent older cars. Never short of food, but wore a lot of second-hand clothing. My folks paid for my and my sibling's college, if we wanted to go, and at the time I never thought much of it. I now know they were carrying a fair bit of debt most of the time.

I suspect some here started a lot further down, and I'd like to hear your stories.

simonsez

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 08:42:48 AM »
Lower middle class gets college paid for by mom and pop?

fell-like-rain

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 11:41:54 AM »
Lower middle class gets college paid for by mom and pop?

There was a time when college was affordable (or so they tell me).

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 12:36:22 PM »
In my case, I was one of 5 kids in a lower middle class home. So, not really that far down.
My dad was the son of a farmer, one of 13 kids, and we lived in a trailer on the farm my first 4-5 years. While there, he was building (actually building) a ranch home and owned a very small company that made and put in (later just put in when plastic came along) field tile for drainage - I'm in the Black Swamp area of Ohio so it's necessary. My 2 brothers, at an early age, went with him to work and learned the business then.

We lived about 3 miles from the nearest small town, and 20 miles from a mid-sized city in the Mid-west.

My dad purchased one brand-new car in his life, and a pickup for the business. That is the only car we had until he finished restoring classics. My 3 brothers each got an old car ('57 Chevy, ?yr Ford, and one I can't remember) in awful shape, that Dad taught them to restore and was drive-able when they got their license. He had to sell his '56 Crown Victoria when he bought his new car (family got bigger) but in the 90's was able to finally get another, and damn, if it wasn't the same one - worse shape though.
Mom had to go to work so he bought a '64 Mustang and restored it for her to drive.

Never short of food, but we raised a lot of our own, and canned and froze a lot. They would buy a steer to freeze each year.

My folks paid for my sister's college, and mine for a year - my choice to quit, not theirs. We were raised knowing we needed scholarships, and acted like that in high school.  I remember I owed the college $600 in 1976 - so yes, it was very inexpensive.

Looking back ,the debt they had was a lot to them, but they were frugal, as was the farmer way. But, my mother will never have to borrow from her kids to live.

For entertainment, the family went camping, PRACTICALLY EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND!  I grew to not like camping at all, though we did visit some places I'm glad we went to.
We also went to Cedar Point every summer as a family. I'm sure the $20 admission was not cheap to them.

I remember most years we went to my Dad's family's family reunion. That was always another form of entertainment because there were so many kids near my age. (Though they weren't all there, I have 85 first cousin, only 5 on my Mom's side!)

It was a very family based life. I was shown how important it was to do things for myself when possible, and though it wasn't a conscious thought, that's probably one of the reasons why I fell in love the TheHusbandHalf.

Forgot to add that there were a couple of years when  I was in elem/jr high that wee were eligible for free lunches. My Dad was adament that his kids would never get those?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 12:38:16 PM by TheWifeHalf »

Tom Bri

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 02:01:02 PM »
Lower middle class gets college paid for by mom and pop?

Sure, in the 1970s. My brother and I went 4 years, and my sisters went a year or two each then quit for non-financial reasons.

My dad and mom, both from farm families, also went 4 years of college in the 1950s, and both of my grandmothers in the 1920s and one great-grandmother also graduated from college in, I believe, the 1890s.

My dad claims that in the 1950s college was cheap enough that it wasn't much of a financial struggle. Several of his siblings also went to a 4-year university.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 02:03:41 PM »
Ha. Calling @WhiteTrashCash Have you seen his journal? Incredibly well written and well thought out. @economista explores similar themes in hers, although she posts less.
My journal: Hiding in the Ferns
Like babies? Have kids? Want to chat about Babies and Pregnancy/Infertility? Group Journal Here.

OtherJen

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 02:48:36 PM »
Lower middle class gets college paid for by mom and pop?

Well, my working class parents paid what my undergrad scholarships didnít (still possible in the mid/late 90s). But I was an only child, dad made good money in a unionized factory job between lay-offs, and we lived with my grandparents for 7 years of my childhood. All of those things helped financially.

My dad barely finished high school (a lot of pressure to work and support his mom after his dad died), and my mom dropped out to work and later got a GED. Three of my grandparents were immigrants, and I donít think any of my grandparents finished high school. My parents prioritized my education, so they saved heavily for it. We always had small houses and utilitarian cars, with minimal electronics, fancy clothes, etc. Vacations were almost always to my grandparentsí cabin (although they did save up to visit Toronto one year and Chicago another). My mom is a great cook so we always, always ate well.

I am beyond grateful for their work and sacrifice. I did well in undergrad, which meant that I had a full scholarship for my PhD. Since I had no student debt, I could live comfortably on a grad student stipend. Iím now the first doctorate holder on either side of the family.

OtherJen

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 02:52:23 PM »
@TheWifeHalf , wow! I canít imagine trying to keep track of 85 cousins. I have 28 and that feels like a LOT most days (my parents are both from 7-kid families).

And yes, Cedar Point! I donít think we did a family trip there. My first visit was with my 8th grade class. I havenít been since the Millennium Force was new. Iím looking forward to taking my niece and nephew in a few years.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 03:13:03 PM »
I started in Plato's cave......

Not many will get the reference, but I hope a few do.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 04:51:19 PM »
Ha. Calling @WhiteTrashCash Have you seen his journal? Incredibly well written and well thought out. @economista explores similar themes in hers, although she posts less.

Thanks for the shoutout. Following Mustachian principles, it's possible to go really, really far. I'm very pleased with the progress I've made and I'm glad I have the opportunity to tell my story. I hope it humanizes the poor just a bit.

economista

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 05:57:00 PM »
I love that we have bat signals now!

I can honestly say I started pretty low. Oldest of four kids and my parents are divorced - grew up living in trailers (also in the black swamp area of Ohio) with free meals and all ďnewĒ things came from goodwill or Walmart. My mom dropped out of high school to marry my dad and have me. I was the first person in my entire extended family to go to college and I was out on my own when I turned 18. Since then parents havenít given me a cent - no help with rent in college, no help paying for college, not even transportation help when I turned 16. At that point I was responsible for getting myself around by purchasing my own car ($500 beater), having insurance, and paying for gas.
Follow along on my journey toward becoming (semi) mustacian :) http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/economista's-journal/

economista

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 06:54:03 PM »
However, I will say that I think Iím better off and much more responsible of a person because I wasnít given any help
Follow along on my journey toward becoming (semi) mustacian :) http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/economista's-journal/

Malkynn

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Re: Who started the lowest?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 05:15:21 AM »
Lol.

...oh boy...um...well shit...

I tried writing a post that would make sense, but my story is a bit too dark for me to be willing to share with strangers on the internet, but letís just say that considering my history, itís insane that I ended up a high end professional with a doctorate.

Iím pretty lucky to be alive, and very very lucky to not have ended up homeless.
Digging out of over 400K of debt is a small price to pay for the life I have now compared to what it was and what it could have been.