Poll

Were your parents spendypants, frugal or somewhere in between?  

Spendypants
71 (20.9%)
1 Spendypants 1 Frugal
57 (16.8%)
Frugal
142 (41.9%)
Somewhere in between
69 (20.4%)

Total Members Voted: 339

Author Topic: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal  (Read 3272 times)

One

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Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« on: October 11, 2018, 04:52:44 PM »
I'm wondering how many were influenced into this lifestyle by their parents.  I had one parent that was extremely frugal/smart with money, other parent was frugal but overly generous and would give everything away to anyone who asked.  This lifestyle of being frugal and saving money was imprinted on me by one of my parents from a young age.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 04:57:50 PM »
Bogleheads- spendy pants but with plenty of money to spend.

I learned very young you don't spend money you don't have and you leverage credit to your advantage.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 05:06:00 PM »
I picked somewhere in between.  My parents were frugal in that them made budget decisions based on the priorities that they set for the family.  ONTH because they had pensions they did not do much long term saving and I can't help but think if we only went to Disney 2 times instead of many more and they invested the difference we could have actually had more later.

Steeze

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 05:19:30 PM »
My parents thought they were frugal, really they were just bad at money, and spent quite a lot on lifestyle.

My dad's idea of success was to get the biggest credit line possible.

So not, take nice vacations, go shopping, and drink Starbucks every day type of spendy. But carry a credit card balance for decades, refinance your home and business multiple times, and always drive financed used vehicles. Be 60 with no savings and no retirement, that kind of spendy.


Knapptyme

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 05:36:51 PM »
My mom was frugal because it appeared my dad was bungling things. She had to make things stretch for four kids. From what I gathered, dad just used credit cards and made minimum payments to bridge a lot of gaps. But, he never was a spendypants, just a consumer sucka. Another example, he liked cable and still does.

ixtap

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 05:38:10 PM »
Parsimonious was the word in our house.

big_slacker

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 05:38:42 PM »
Very frugal. My parents are everything this site espouses except they didn't have a high paying tech job like MMM so no ER. But they did manage to raise 4 boys without much money even including some college educations in there. They're happily enjoying their retirement and travel a decent amount without breaking the bank.

Zikoris

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 05:54:54 PM »
Mom spent money like it was going out of style. Dad was pretty frugal day-to-day, but some of their joint decisions (i.e. housing) were not great financially, and led them to be pretty cash-strapped at the time. Now they're both spendy.

I suspect the mindset changes from growing up in the sticks probably helped more with Mustachianism than any specific skills or learned things. My sense of what feels "normal" is very skewed. We didn't have restaurants where I lived, so I've always been more of an eat at home person. Stuff like chopping wood, hand-pumping water, growing food aren't some horrifying alien ideas. I actually really love the thought of spending a winter evening in front of a fireplace, versus practically anything else one might do. I know it's weird because city people look at me like I have two heads when I talk about stuff like that, but it works for me.

OtherJen

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 06:15:15 PM »
They were frugal on big things, such as housing (we always had small houses), cars (always econoboxes or base model light trucks), and my college education (big push for scholarships and state schools). They differed on little stuff, though. Dad hates to spend money, especially on himself, whereas Mom is not really frugal and spends quite a bit of money on clothing, skin care, hair styling, cosmetics. She also used to spend on those things for me when I was younger. We ate in restaurants regularly and my parents have continued that habit, although I think Dad would maybe prefer a bit less of that.

Iím definitely more like Dad, except with almost no restaurant meals. I hate shopping unless itís for groceries.

startingsmall

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 06:28:12 PM »
My parents divorced when I was 12.

Dad was super-responsible, frugal, started a Roth IRA for me as soon as I got my first summer job, and talked to me about the importance of savings. I recently learned that he was a big FIRE junkie in his 20's & 30's but then decided to keep working once he hit it.

Mom was incredibly irresponsible with money. She got a lot of alimony & child support from my dad, but car repossessions and scrambling to prevent utility shutoffs were a common occurrence. Much of her income went to supporting deadbeat guys - buying them cars, bailing them out of jail, etc. She also spent a lot of money on herself - new Mustang convertible, cigarettes  burning every  single waking hour, expensive house (lost in foreclosure), etc. She took out a loan on my car (it was repo'ed several times for lack of making payments or maintaining insurance), emptied out my savings, etc.

Seeing the contrast between them made it incredibly obvious which lifestyle I wanted for myself.

BeanCounter

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 06:33:55 PM »
Iím at least the third generation of frugal. Could go back farther. I often wonder if the  anxiety about money that drives frugality is actually a genetic disorder.

mspym

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 06:41:48 PM »
My mum was super-frugal and proto-homesteader but she had to be to feed and clothe 6 children while married to an early adopter of computers & purchaser of books from overseas when the exhange rate was 3NZD=1USD/GBP. I learnt so much from her about managing on almost no money. Lady has skills.


Shinplaster

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2018, 07:05:32 PM »
My parents were children of the depression, so learned early how to live on next to nothing and stretch a dollar.  Dad started his own business in his twenties, so money was still tight for a long time.  They were very creative, so as my sister and I grew up we never felt deprived.  We credit our parents' example for showing us how to handle money and never go into debt (except our mortgages).   

Mr. SP's parents were the exact opposite.  Never saw a dollar they wouldn't spend, usually on fancy clothes and meals.  Luckily he did not emulate them - he hated the debt collector calls, having any money he had saved from odd jobs taken from him, etc.  He's also pretty frugal, so we're a good match financially.

ScreamingHeadGuy

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2018, 07:15:07 PM »
My folks were definitely on the frugal spectrum.  They werenít hardcore (neither am I) but they surely aligned spending with their values.  They probably worked longer than they had to by at least 5 years, but itís their lives.

nessness

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2018, 07:49:06 PM »
My dad is a definite spendypants. Mom is somewhere in between - fairly frugal when my parents were together, then after the divorce by necessity, but once she started making a good salary she got pretty spendy.

Milizard

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2018, 08:17:08 PM »
My parents were from the old country, so frugal because of that, but they spent on quality.  Mom always looked for deals and even shopped garage sales even though my dad was an engineer and we attended private school.  Still, the food we got was chosen based on taste and quality, and price was only secondary to that.  (Think--the best cuts of meat, and she'd put them through the grinder herself.)  Any clothing we got had to be of a decent quality as well, but that was easier to find back in those days.  My dad bought a flowbee to replace the $10 he spent at the barber every month or so, but we were the first people I knew who had a vcr when then cost a ridiculous amount, we got an Apple IIe computer when they were first produced, and he got all kinds of subsequent computers.  He golfed all the time but didn't spend too much on fancy clubs.  They bought their vehicles for cash, and drove them a long, long time.

They were both savers, though, which I picked up and my siblings did not.  Dad was also an investor, while mom never quite understood or trusted the market.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2018, 08:33:24 PM »
My parents are divorced and remarried. Both are spendypants.

The first set is high income and save 10%. Their retirements are full funded. Step-dad is retiring half-time at 68 in 2019. He hopes to be fully retired in two years at 69. I'm not worried about them. However, for me it's a little sad that he couldn't retire earlier. I would have liked to spend more time with them. 

The other set of parents is middle income and spend more than they make. They have a pension and social security (69 years old). They retired at 62 and inherited 300K at 64, when my step-mom's mother passed away. Now 5 years later, it's 75% gone. When it's all gone in about 2-3 years, I expect them to ask me for money. I will suggest that they spend less than they earn. The reason I have extra money is because that is what I do. If they go completely broke I will let them live at my house, rent free. However, I'm not giving them money. My dad gambling habit used to be 5-10K/year when he was working. Now it's a modest 2-3K/year habit.

 


mies

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 04:36:22 AM »
Spendy. My parents financed every car they ever bought, ran up credit card bills, and ate out like crazy when I was a kid. They werenít completely hopeless though. They paid off a 30 year mortgage in 7 years when the interest rate was 11%. The bad thing though was they ran up credit card bills and had to get a debt consolidation loan to get ahead. So they paid for there house a couple of times. Theyíve been better about staying out of debt since the turn of the century, but they still overspend on gadgets they can barely use, clothes, cable, satellite radio, and restaurant meals.

Their overspending caused a lot of arguments and general unpleasantness at home. I vowed when I was a kid that I would not handle my money like that. I have been pretty successful so far. Iíve never paid a penny in credit card interest, only financed one car, and paid off my mortgage decades ahead of schedule. Instead of using my additional cash flow to buy silly luxury items, Iím saving and investing like crazy. The sad thing is if my parents had been just slightly less ridiculous with their spending, they could have been retired years ago. Instead, they both are fretting about reaching social security and Medicare age so they can stop. All that extra stress just so they could finance new Buickís every 4 years and eat prime rib at chain restaurants.

NV Teacher

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 06:29:14 AM »
Frugal all the way.  My parents were raised in the depression, had eight kids, and worked as a carpenter and school lunch lady.  My mother was widowed at 54 with four kids still at home and less than $5000 in the bank.  What saved us was that there was not one penny of debt anywhere.

Abe Froman

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2018, 06:38:19 AM »
Spendy.

My folks divorced when I was real young - I think around 5. I remember right after that divorce things being tight - living in a small apartment with Pop and sis for a while (after having lived in a nice big house - at least what pictures tell me). Had to be quiet due to the renter downstairs. Remember lots of pasta and cheaper approach - but at the time I didnt know and didnt care.

Accelerate to grade school time and Pop and Wife #2 bought a big house in a new town further downstate. All seemed OK - but as I look back on it I remember >$400 grocery trips to the store, fancy restaurants, choosing to purchase a boat rather than put $$ on the house - and the piŤce de rťsistance - was once spring day when I jumped off the school bus - and walking home - there was a bunch of people outside our house. They were there for an auction on our house. Pop didnt know anything about it because he deferred all $$ responsibilities to someone who would run out to the mailman and sift the mail first.

Luckily GPop and GMom bailed them out - but wow. That only lasted a little until Divorce #2 - and house was emptied and ultimately sold. Remember returning from High School Senior Week - to a house that was empty. Slept on bare floor for a few days.

After seeing that happen and seeing Pop's Wife #2 (Mom #2) living in Section 8 - and not really trying at all - really sealed the deal that I was not going to be a victim - did not want to end up in that situation.

That and a couple other stories I will save you from - was the basis for me trying to be a shark about saving and embracing  frugality. I was not perfect and am not perfect - plenty of facepunch worthy moments.

I will leave you with this - I mentioned to Pop and Wife #3 (3rd times the charm right?) that I was thinking of taking a couple months off - and may swing up to see them for a little. They were flabbergasted that that could even happen.

Its the lack of freedom that I witnessed as a child that I am striving for now, because I see that that freedom and time would allow for more creativity, more time with kids, more meaningful moments with the family that makes life --- life. AMIRITE?

« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 06:50:01 AM by Abe Froman »

AM43

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2018, 07:49:02 AM »
My parents were very frugal. My mom was very good at knowing how to stretch a dollar and make right financial decisions.
Dad was never spendy pants, but did not bother or care to know where money was going.
There were no credit cards to tide you over if you were short, so every purchase was very thought out and with purpose.
Both of them did not make a lot of money and they lived paycheck to paycheck.
All this frugality helped them great deal when we moved to US.
They never made more than 80K a year combined, yet managed to buy real state properties and save in retirement accounts.
Both happily retired now with assets of over 1mill. Super proud of them what they have been able to accomplish.

PoutineLover

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2018, 08:29:33 AM »
My parents are a weird mix of frugal and spendy, and have also changed their habits over time.
Dad: used to drive all over town to get the best price on gas and sales on food, stock up like crazy on good deals and keep the heat low to save. Also, buys lots of new books, goes to live entertainment, doesn't think twice about buying things if he really wants them. Will say he doesn't carry a balance on his credit cards, but pays them off with the line of credit so is still living beyond his means. Invests regularly, but has also speculated and lost money on bad investments.
Mom: Doesn't spend much unnecessarily, but would love a good deal and would buy something if it was cheap even if she didn't need it. Scared of investing and would rather lose money to inflation than risk losing it in the market. Lives within her means.
I like to think I got a good mix of both of them. I have a decent risk tolerance and like to invest. I will shop for sales and stock up on things, but I don't have a car so I only get what I can carry on my bike. I will spend money on things like travel because I love it, but I won't buy crap to fill up the house just cause it's on sale. I never carry a balance, I paid off my student loans in a year, and have been saving and investing since I started babysitting when I was a kid. I try to help my parents understand finances better, but they are kinda set in their ways at this point. I do worry about their retirements, I don't think either have enough saved, but I think they will adjust to whatever they need to.

TomSelleckJR

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2018, 08:42:18 AM »

Frugal

My dad was a natural saver,  had 7 children, and still retired early.
Growing up, we always had what we needed, but rarely had what we wanted.
He had a high level of income, but never let fanciness creep into his life.
There was never a concern that bills would go unpaid, or there wouldn't be food on the table.  This brought a lot of peace to what could have been a chaotic situation  (remember... 7 kids)!!!


Retire-Canada

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2018, 09:17:20 AM »
My parents don't fit the poll question well.

- my mother was poor [divorced], but generous with her money. She saved and was responsible, but not frugal. She definitely associated spending with love and happiness. That was not great in that the saving was fairly invisible to me, but the spending money to be happy and show affection stuck with me.

- my dad had [relatively] lots of money and was cheap AF. I guess he was frugal, but in the most miserly way possible. Again the saving was invisible to me, but the cheapskating was in my face as was the intention to control people with access to money.

So I put my mom down as spendy and my dad down as frugal in the poll despite those labels not really fitting well.

On the brightside I did learn to not go into debt to fund my life from my parents. I learned to study and get a good job because money was important. On the downside I did not learn to save or invest from them and I blew a lot of money in my early working years having "fun". Luckily later in my working career I made so much money I could be spendy and save much more than average.

That was very lucky for me as I found MMM late. So even though I don't have as much time as someone in their 20's or 30's to get to retirement I had a reasonable net worth as a starting point to build off of.

I really wish my parents had taught me about compound interest when I was a kid. I had a very theoretical idea of what it was from math class, but not a practical save $1 now so you have $10 later to spend understanding.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 09:48:19 AM by Retire-Canada »

Milizard

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2018, 09:42:45 AM »
Yeah, I didn't think the poll really reflected my parents well, either.  One think I remember, I was in my mid to late -20's, and my mom asked me how much money I had saved up.  I said, $10,000.  She replied, "That's all?? That's not much."  <3  Well, I did have my 401k, too, but I forgot about that.  That was just what had built up in my checking account as I wasn't paying too much attention.  I must have been only making < $10/hr. at the time.  I thought that was pretty good!

FireHiker

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2018, 10:08:43 AM »
I chose spendypants because they were definitely NOT frugal, but there was never a whole lot of money to spend, and it's really hard to say when they were together whether they were both spendy or my dad was frugal-ish. They made really terrible decisions with money, always, and never saved anything. It had a huge impact on me. I grew up thinking I needed to earn a lot of money so that I would have "enough". Fortunately I did well in school and went into a lucrative career, but before I came across MMM I certainly had the lifestyle inflation to go along with it, though always maintaining savings.

My father passed away in 2007 and had gotten his financial act together and lived very minimally and frugally, well within his means when he died. My mom still doesn't have her financial act together and prefers to take the victim stance of "I've always had money problems" as opposed to being a grown up and acknowledging that many of her financial problems are because of her choices and that it doesn't have to be that way.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2018, 10:10:48 AM »
Mine were big on investing.  We almost never took vacations but my parents always wanted to live in a waterfront home and worked toward that their entire life.  Both retired at normal retirement age and they are well prepared for retirement.

madgeylou

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2018, 10:14:25 AM »
Beyond Spendypants including ruining his own credit and the credit of everyone in the family (including 7 year old me!) from undiagnosed mental illness and addiction issues. New stereo one month, evicted the next month. It's no wonder it took me until age 30 to get my head out of my ass with regards to money!

merula

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2018, 10:16:55 AM »
My parents were fairly frugal when they were younger, but in weird ways. For example, they often told the story of how, when they were first married and saving for a house, they would keep the heat turned down and spend the evenings watching TV in bed with boxed mac and cheese because their waterbed had a heater.

From my perspective now, I'm baffled by (1) having a waterbed instead of a regular mattress (those were the more expensive option in the 70s/80s, right?), (2) using a heater instead of more blankets/warmer clothing, and (3) boxed mac and cheese as the epitome of "cheap".

I'm a bit more forgiving of the food stuff because they both come from cultural backgrounds where "real food" means meat, and rice and beans are "weird ethnic options", so boxed mac was probably the cheapest thing they knew of to eat.

Through my teenage years through today, they slowly moved towards Bogleheads-style spending. They've been FI for at least 5 years, probably closer to 10, but Dad loves his job, so he keeps working. Mom always worked part-time until she got laid off in the recession, and she hasn't tried too hard to find anything else, but doesn't call herself "retired".

undercover

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2018, 10:19:06 AM »
I actually really love the thought of spending a winter evening in front of a fireplace, versus practically anything else one might do.

Yeah I think everyone loves that idea. But they wouldn't like the idea of cutting their own wood.

Aelias

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2018, 10:40:27 AM »
Bogleheads- spendy pants but with plenty of money to spend.

I learned very young you don't spend money you don't have and you leverage credit to your advantage.

Same.  Spent plenty but well below their means. The means were ample in the LCOL where I grew up.  My mom has been a SAHM since the 90s, and my dad semi-retired around 55 and fully retired at 60.

They did a good job of spending money on things they valued (vacations, restaurants, hobbies, modest house in a quality school district) and not on things they didn't (cars, clothes).  My mom thought of herself as frugal, and would occasionally have spasms of "WE SHOULD BE EATING RICE AND BEANS!", but we always went back to a pretty plush level of spending by MMM standard. 

But they absolutely drilled into me that thou shalt get a degree in field that pays and that thou shalt not carry a balance on thine credit card.

Hirondelle

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2018, 10:54:17 AM »
My parents were frugal by necessity as they were pretty low income. We always had the least 'stuff' and 'luxury experiences' compared to all the neighbour kids, but there just wasn't much more money. Although they've always been responsible, they've gotten quite a bit of lifestyle inflation over the years, but mostly on small things such as going out for lunch instead of bringing their own sandwiches on a day out (e.g. beach day) and buying slightly pricier foods.

simonsez

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2018, 11:06:06 AM »
I chose spendypants because they were definitely NOT frugal, but there was never a whole lot of money to spend.
Mhmm

Never a lot of money to spend until my mother started working as a teacher after my younger brother was old enough for her not to stay home.  They carried CC balances for decades and I just learned as my dad is nearing retirement that his 401k balance is LOWER than mine!  And mine's certainly nothing to brag about, this is first year I'm maxing out the limit.

They're very caring and full of love but they are just clueless about long-term finances.  There was never a 529 plan or any college savings or any conversations about IRAs or taxable accounts (they don't have these), etc.  They were decent at DIY and cooking at home and other shorter term expenditures and I wouldn't say I was deprived of anything tangible that's important.  Tithing in lieu of investing (the 'investing in addition to tithing' part wasn't feasible which is largely why I called them spendypants) has been a major culprit IMO.  Their blind faith that God will take care of everything really just boils down to me/my brother having to take care of them eventually.  This is fine, just my childhood motivated me to learn a thing or two on my own as it pertains to personal finance and retirement.  Unfortunately this didn't occur until about age 24 when the student loans had already been borrowed. 

I don't want my kids or other family members to HAVE to assist me/wife in any significant way if we make it to old age.  I think life regardless of SES/class is a lot easier for the future adults if parents can instill some financial habits/lessons in their kids early on.

dude

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2018, 11:21:09 AM »
I'm wondering how many were influenced into this lifestyle by their parents.  I had one parent that was extremely frugal/smart with money, other parent was frugal but overly generous and would give everything away to anyone who asked.  This lifestyle of being frugal and saving money was imprinted on me by one of my parents from a young age.

I can't really say I was influenced by my frugal mom, though I admire that trait in her now. Frugality was forced on us by our socioeconomic circumstances, so my response wasn't to continue that deprivation, but rather break free from it. It wasn't until later in life when the thought of working until 65 became such a repulsive notion to me that I saw the light. I was plenty spendypants up until the time I was in my late 30s (though I was socking away significant savings into my 401k because I'd heard the advice to "pay yourself first" somewhere and it made sense to me). Didn't achieve positive net worth until mid-forties, and now am sitting rather pretty at 53 with FIRE 7 months away.

Edited to add:  Stepdad was spendypants -- loved to blow money on his boat, financing cars, etc. Mom kept most of it in check, but had to relent occasionally because he was the main bread winner.

Dad was a broke-ass no-account pretty much his whole life.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 11:34:22 AM by dude »

familyandfarming

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2018, 01:10:57 PM »
I have to chime in. My parents were frugal though they were perceived as wealthy in our community. Their wealth was more intellectual than monetary. They were products of the Great Depression and were debt adverse. So debt adverse, that we lived in a tiny 800 square foot apartment with 7 people total until my mom and dad could build a house with their own hands that they paid off in one year! It's still one of the nicest houses in their small town.

My dad could have been MMM. He had a degree in Economics and invested wisely for decades. There was no early retirement, as there were 5 kids after all! He ran his own business with my mom taking care of the books. They did it right and all of their children and grandchildren are taking the same path. Dave Ramsey is right, you can change the family tree!

May2030

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2018, 01:50:55 PM »
My parents were frugal through necessity as my Father did not have a high paying job. Mum worked part timer for a little extra when not looking after my sister and I . They grew up in the 40's and 50's so knew how to make things last but also received no financial education so paid high interest on any borrowing. I was jealous of my friends who's parents  "appeared" to have money but I now know money does not buy you happiness. I would not change a thing. 

I think in my early years their frugal ways made me do the opposite and my Fathers little gambling habit rubbed off on me. However the fear of "the man" who would take your house if you did not pay your debts lead directly to me paying my mortgage off early.


diapasoun

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2018, 02:25:20 PM »
I'd say mine were mostly frugal, but with a very few spendy spots. They didn't have a ton of money -- my mom's hasn't worked full-time since before I was born, due to childcare costs + a disability. My mom is definitely the more frugal of the two -- almost approaching cheapness in everything except for food waste (she has some ground to make up there). They've lowered their expenses a lot by living in a LCOLA on my dad's median-ish salary, doing almost all the repairs and work on their house (except for e.g. the work the foundation needed), not eating out, being very frugal with heating until recently (combo of heating with wood off the back hillside + keeping the place cold), and so on.

On the other hand -- they bought a house with a ton of issues (dampness, foundation problems), always buy or lease new cars, and my dad has always spent some money at least on his "toys" (satellite TV, hunting/fishing equipment, etc). They have about a year's worth of salary in savings, but almost nothing saved for retirement. To be fair, their social security will cover almost all of their retirement expenses due to their generally low expenses, but it's a thing I worry about sometimes.

I suspect the mindset changes from growing up in the sticks probably helped more with Mustachianism than any specific skills or learned things. My sense of what feels "normal" is very skewed. We didn't have restaurants where I lived, so I've always been more of an eat at home person. Stuff like chopping wood, hand-pumping water, growing food aren't some horrifying alien ideas. I actually really love the thought of spending a winter evening in front of a fireplace, versus practically anything else one might do. I know it's weird because city people look at me like I have two heads when I talk about stuff like that, but it works for me.

This! Burning wood for fuel is just something we did, as was eating at home and spending time reading together in the living room at night.

golden1

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2018, 02:35:58 PM »
I chose spendypants, but now that I think about it, it was a mixture.  I lived most of the time with my mother and stepfather, who were super spendypants.  They had new cars constantly, had new fancy houses built every few years, went on extravagant vacations multiple times a year etc...Little did I know that this was all borrowed money.  My mother worked a good job for years, but saved absolutely nothing for retirement, and she divorced my stepfather, who was the primary breadwinner, and now lives on the poverty line.

My father was quite frugal.  He worked a simple government job, spent almost no money on himself, saved tons, but unfortunately died at age 47.  He left behind a fully paid off house, and was able to pay half of my very fancy private school tuition. 


Megma

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2018, 02:43:32 PM »
I had to promise my husband I won't loan my mom any more money. She makes a lot but she spends it all (and then some).

My dad is frugal AF. All of my grandparents are frugal, as in my grandma re-uses aluminum foil.

I am often thankful I take after my dad when it comes to money, my mom mostly raised me but only showed me what not to do. They are, of course, divorced in part because of money.

LG89

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2018, 02:54:42 PM »
I would say my parents were frugal but I know some posters here would probably berate them for being very not frugal.

My parents immigrated here and they dont speak English and work low wage blue collar jobs. But they were able to raise 3 kids, buy a house (NoVA no less) and house us through college. They probably completely overspent on food and overfed us (some Mustachians dont appear to eat all that well, sorry not sorry) compared to what they were earning and Mustachians probably would have told them renting is better (it wasn't, my parents scrimped and saved and put everything into a downpayment, and then rented it out instead of living in it) and that they were foolish for doing so. Each of the 3 kids are pretty frugal
 and probably more ahead than their peers than not (we're not super ahead but decent all things considered).

edit: "overfed" as in the variety and quality of the food, example my mom makes pho from scratch and she doesnt skimp on the herbs. she also made mooncakes (like back then it was considered weird/impressive and even now its like wow.. you make your own mooncakes?)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 02:57:34 PM by LG89 »

Money Badger

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2018, 07:51:56 PM »
Mine were Spendypants in denial thinking they were frugal.    The reality I appreciate today (but hated at the time) is they gave me the gift of showing all their bad decisions with money.   We lived on a big piece of acreage (later I found out was funded by gifts from their parents) with lots of animals (mouths) to feed and every dollar went into that...   I remember "Someday this will be our retirement plan and then you and your brother will be well off with what's left after we're gone.".   Lord, what a case of financial denial they had...   Reality was things eventually imploded financially in my 2nd year of college.   Fortunately, I went to state school and already had a Master's degree in Spendypants.  So I busted ass working and graduated early to get working in technology.  And my kids undergrad degrees are funded (and a good chunk aside for grad school) and we're close to FIRE at 50.   And my kids damn well know the value of self reliance and how to make their money work for them.   I pity any spendypants spouse that comes along for either one of them.    And yet, I don't care either!

Whew!   That was a bit of a rant... but I feel better.  ;-)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 07:55:40 PM by Money Badger »

TNT

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2018, 08:16:06 PM »
My parents have, and spend, quite a lot of money now, but were VERY frugal when I was young. My dad grew up in miserable poverty, my mom in a blue-collar, working class family. They know how to pinch pennies. They just don't have to anymore.

OtherJen

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2018, 08:22:17 PM »
edit: "overfed" as in the variety and quality of the food, example my mom makes pho from scratch and she doesnt skimp on the herbs. she also made mooncakes (like back then it was considered weird/impressive and even now its like wow.. you make your own mooncakes?)

I am a little envious. One of my best friends is Vietnamese-American and her momís pho...oh my lord. So good. (Also, your parents sound awesome.)

I hear you, though. My husband and I can spend $300 on groceries per month and still eat the varied, high quality, minimally processed, home-cooked diet that we prefer, but I refuse to skimp on quality to save a few more bucks. You are what you eat.

davisgang90

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2018, 04:44:39 AM »
My parents are somewhere in between.  I think they were pretty spendypants when us kids were still home.  They never carried credit card debt, but spent most money.

My dad tried a couple jobs after he retired from the Navy, but was basically retired.  My Mom worked for a while after he retired.  Today, they are both retired and living well.  They didn't save very much for retirement, but my dad has his pension and my mom has retirement accounts she maxed out before she retired.  They own their house outright and are both in pretty good health with free healthcare through the local Air Force base hospital and clinics.

I'm in a similar situation, having just retired from the Navy.  My pension covers our expenses and I don't plan to work full time again.  That said, I also invested more in TSP and IRA accounts (still not as much as I could have/should have), but we are in good shape.  In fact I just got a somewhat unexpected bump in income as my VA disability rating came in higher than I thought, so I have an additional tax-free paycheck coming in each month.

Trifele

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2018, 05:03:01 AM »
I chose 'Frugal' for both.  Both my parents grew up dirt poor -- living hand to mouth in rural areas.  My dad never had electricity in any house he lived in until he was 18.  Indoor plumbing was a luxury they had sometimes.  That upbringing impacted both of them, but differently:

When we were growing up Dad ran the household finances and was a frugal MMM-style ninja.  We had used things, and we repaired them to keep them going as long as possible.  He never made much and we lived very simply when I was growing up, but he saved and was able to retire comfortably from his blue-collar job at 62.

My mom was frugal in the sense that she did not spend much money, and she cooked all our meals at home, mended our clothes and cut our hair.  But her poor upbringing seemed to have caused some mental quirks.  She would go "shopping" just for fun, and buy cheap things that she didn't need, and would never use. For example, after she died we found she had stashed hundreds of pairs of pantyhose away, new in the packages.  She wore pantyhose very seldom.  She also hid money around the house in various places.  I could try to psychoanalyze her and guess that she had a permanent fear of being poor?  And buying something, anything -- even a pair of pantyhose for $1.50 that she would never wear -- kept that feeling at bay?     

Hula Hoop

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2018, 05:31:15 AM »
My parents were quite frugal when I was a child (and my dad was downright cheap) and they had less money.  My father was more cheap than frugal - he hated buying things and most of his furniture was stuff he picked up on the street - but at the same time, he knows nothing about money and was always late paying credit card bills so he'd pay high fees and things like that. 

Now they have both done really well in their careers and are retired in their 70s and 80s.  Their homes have also gone up a huge amount in value as they live in extremely HCOL places -so they are now quite wealthy on paper.

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2018, 07:27:57 AM »
Spendypants.  Money flowing out was never a thoughtless action, yet they still bought lots of stuff.  Both sets of their parents were very frugal and I have, of course, taken after them somewhat.  Now that I've been maximizing the utility of my dollars my parents have been purging a little bit and taking a closer look at their finances since they're nearing standard retirement.  Both my mom and my dad have sent me articles from GoCurryCracker and MMM, respectively, without knowing I have already read them! 

MrsPete

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2018, 08:34:55 AM »
My parents thought they were frugal, really they were just bad at money ...
I had to cut off the rest of this quote because it didn't apply to my childhood years, but this topic sentence -- yeah, that's my parents. 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 09:04:03 AM by MrsPete »

cricket

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2018, 09:24:01 AM »
My parents thought they were frugal, really they were just bad at money, and spent quite a lot on lifestyle.

This for me too.  My Mom used to buy the cheapest of the cheap groceries, but then my parents would overspend on housing, cars, and vacations.  We lived in a HUGE house growing up.  Now that I live in a much smaller house (which still feels huge for just me and the hubs), the size of the family home seems so outrageous.  Always bought new cars, on credit, and always big cars with awful gas mileage. 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 09:27:03 AM by cricket »

PhilB

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Re: Poll: My Parents were Spendypants vs Frugal
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2018, 03:11:22 PM »
I actually really love the thought of spending a winter evening in front of a fireplace, versus practically anything else one might do.

Yeah I think everyone loves that idea. But they wouldn't like the idea of cutting their own wood.
Speak for yourself.  I love coppicing and pollarding my trees for firewood and can't wait for woodcutting season to start.