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Thread: Were your parents super cheap?

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    CaLoonie Brad's Avatar
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    Mine were. I'm curious to see if anybody else's parents were cheap when you were growing up, and what kind of things they did to save money. Here's some ways mine were cheap:

    -Heat was kept very low in winter, if I complained I was cold I was just told to layer up. We had no a/c.
    -My mom would cook very large batches of whatever she was cooking and we had to eat it over the next few days.
    -My parents never threw anything out, because "you never know what you might need". Our house was full of crap we didn't use.
    -I had to walk to school, even when it was really cold or raining. This wasn't a big deal when I was in elementary school cause it was only a 5 min walk, but high school was a 40 minute walk. In fact our car barely moved, it would only get driven like once a week.
    -They put old blankets over the couch/sofas so as to not wear them out.
    -I had to take very quick showers or my parents would bang on the door and threaten to turn the hot water off.
    -I wanted a dog and a cat but we didn't get them cause my parents said they were too expensive to maintain.
    -No cable tv.
    -No vacations, ever.
    -I never did any kind of after school activities or clubs cause they all cost money. I badly wanted to do karate but my parents wouldn't pay for it.
    -We never ate out, not even fast food. My mom would let me get something from McDonald's like 3 or 4 times per year, it made me so happy.
    -I had much fewer toys/electronics than all my friends. In fact almost all my toys were gifts from relatives, not bought by my parents.
    -All my clothes came from the cheapest stores, eg Biway, Zellers. When the other kids were wearing Nikes or Reeboks I was wearing "Champion's Choice". I got made fun of a lot for it.
    -We never had any visitors over cause it was expensive to entertain. In fact my parents had no friends, I suspect their cheapness is why.
    -My parents never donated a dime to any kind of charity or helped anyone out.

    To be fair my parents were not well off, but I think most of the things they did to save money didn't really save much.

    Can anybody relate to any of this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    Mine were. I'm curious to see if anybody else's parents were cheap when you were growing up, and what kind of things they did to save money. Here's some ways mine were cheap:

    -Heat was kept very low in winter, if I complained I was cold I was just told to layer up. We had no a/c.
    -My mom would cook very large batches of whatever she was cooking and we had to eat it over the next few days.
    -My parents never threw anything out, because "you never know what you might need". Our house was full of crap we didn't use.
    -I had to walk to school, even when it was really cold or raining. This wasn't a big deal when I was in elementary school cause it was only a 5 min walk, but high school was a 40 minute walk. In fact our car barely moved, it would only get driven like once a week.
    -They put old blankets over the couch/sofas so as to not wear them out.
    -I had to take very quick showers or my parents would bang on the door and threaten to turn the hot water off.
    -I wanted a dog and a cat but we didn't get them cause my parents said they were too expensive to maintain.
    -No cable tv.
    -No vacations, ever.
    -I never did any kind of after school activities or clubs cause they all cost money. I badly wanted to do karate but my parents wouldn't pay for it.
    -We never ate out, not even fast food. My mom would let me get something from McDonald's like 3 or 4 times per year, it made me so happy.
    -I had much fewer toys/electronics than all my friends. In fact almost all my toys were gifts from relatives, not bought by my parents.
    -All my clothes came from the cheapest stores, eg Biway, Zellers. When the other kids were wearing Nikes or Reeboks I was wearing "Champion's Choice". I got made fun of a lot for it.
    -We never had any visitors over cause it was expensive to entertain. In fact my parents had no friends, I suspect their cheapness is why.
    -My parents never donated a dime to any kind of charity or helped anyone out.

    To be fair my parents were not well off, but I think most of the things they did to save money didn't really save much.

    Can anybody relate to any of this?
    Soo - my question would be - were your parents in debt - or did they live within their means? Personally, I would prefer someone living within their means vs being in debt.

    My parents were VERY thrifty - but both had been brought up during the war years. At one point my father had a new commission job with no pay for almost 6 months.

    When graduating from various grades, I do remember wishing there were lavish gifts for getting good grades etc at our house - no bikes, cars or diamond necklaces for us.

    We went camping (in a canvas tent) on vacations, dinner or meals at a restaurant were unheard of or extremely rare. Oh - and long before safety laws emerged - we headed to the local dump for building supplies for a backyard fence etc. The majority of my clothes were hand made - mostly because store bought never had long enough sleeves or pant legs - but also because costs were prohibitive.

    We all were in the Guiding movement, learned how to swim (because my Dad was adamant that we should) and learned how to play the piano. Mom was a leader in Guiding and after he retired -Dad was so adamant that we (society) needed to be doing conserving - he started a community recycling store.

    I tried to pass these values on to my children by practicing what I preached. However, I feel they have your same resentment - and I am not really sure how to change that.




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    Judstir Judstir's Avatar
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    I don't know what age your parents are but most people who lived through the war and depression erra had that mindset. Waste not, want not was what I heard growing up. Did your father have a job that paid poor wages? Did your mother have to work outside the home? There could be so many reasons for their actions that you didn't understand.
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    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    My parents lived through WWII as adults. They were very thrifty in some ways and very generous in others.
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    No.

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    Wow

    Towers (in your display pic) Biway ad Zellers in the same post.

    What's done is done
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    Canadian Guru avoncallingu's Avatar
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    My parents had a very lean income when I was very young. My mother worked out of the home and ran several businesses from our home. I recognize the frugal ways you describe. Heat turned down, our entertainment, though, consisted of getting together with friends- laughing- singing-telling stories. I have to say my parents smoked and drank a bit - which finally killed my dad (lung cancer.) But I remember those times as happy. I had home-made clothing but my mother was a seamstress which brought in many $ to our home.
    I didn't appreciate it at the time as I wanted those "Kitten" sweaters and "Chatty Cathy " dolls. But many years later, I met up with one of the "in" girls from my highschool whose comment was, "You always had such beautiful clothes."

    All in perspective.

    We went camping in canvas tents and my mother made the campcots which ripped and everyone's bums dragged on the ground. Fun and family stories.

    You will find many people on this site are proud if using the same techniques that your parents used. It's too bad that they, it seems, Did not get enjoyment out of their situation. Did you ever discuss this with them? They might have thoughts that you would be surprised at.

    Hopefully you are able to buy the things you need and want and can now enjoy your situation.

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    Canadian Genius Tweets77's Avatar
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    My parents came to Canada from Europe and got married here. My father had no skills and my mother was a midwife in Europe ( at that time midwifery was not recongnized in Canada). They found jobs immediately and worked hard for their money. I was never without what I needed but they were very careful with their money. They paid for the first home they bought in 10 years. They never owed anyone anything and did it all on their own. That being said, I was told that I had to go to college but that I had better pay for it as there were 3 other children to consider. Whatever, it made me a hard worker and I learned how to save money as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    -I never did any kind of after school activities or clubs cause they all cost money. I badly wanted to do karate but my parents wouldn't pay for it.
    No after school activities for us either.
    But at lunch time at school, played volleyball, helped with the drama club, was on the yearbook committee, was in dance club and was in the band. Got time off to go to track and field events and cross country running competitions.

    If the community center had free swim or free skate at March Break or Christmas, we were there.

    One summer there was free tennis court time available. We found a tennis racket at Salvation Army
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    Smart Canuck frugal50's Avatar
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    my are very generous and kind
    we always everything we needed like food and clothes, medical needs, entertainment etc..
    and went on family vacations
    they weren't wealthy but they always made sure we were comfortable and never deprived.
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    My parents weren't that extreme. But they knew where to cut corners and where not to.

    We had pets, but only one for the household. We went on vacations, but never out of province and that was the big one that they would save up for so we could enjoy it. We usually rented a cabin on a beach or a campsite for two weeks kind of thing. we took alot of road trips that were day excursions the rest of the year. I never felt we went without even though some of my friends had Disney or other things. We weren't poor but we weren't well off either or even middle class.But again my parents never let us know.

    We would go for dinner only once a month and it was to a nice steakhouse or chinese.

    My mom usually paid by cheque at the grocery store and i do remember her clipping coupons and putting things back if they werent needed.

    we stole cable from our neighbor.ha ha. he knew it and my dad paid him an amount of money so we could steal it. lol

    My grandma grew up in the depression and was super cheap so i imagine my only child mother wanted her kids to have a little more than she did. She never let us go without new clothing or things like that.

    I guess i was a normal penny pinching kid who grew up in the 80s. I cannot spend a 20 in my pocket for the life of me but i can spend a 20 in the interac card.

    ~just your average nerd~

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    I wouldn't say my parents were super cheap but thrifty ,my dad was in the army so it was a good life we never wanted for any new toys ,my mom made all my clothing and my dolls and Barbie dolls clothing also-I have saved some Barbie and baby doll clothing from my daughter and now my granddaughter plays with it ,but then life changed my dad was on welfare as he was paralyzed and couldn't work in his 40"s so it was
    -hamburger hash-hamburger gravy type mix piled on top of mashed potatoes ,tomato soup cake etc
    -no activites for my brother or I except baseball in the summer as it was very cheap
    -my mother took me thrift shopping all the time, and to this day I love thrift shopping
    -we always had a good xmas as my dad always wanted us too (mom and dad had us later it was my mom's second marriage)
    -I had biway clothing also plus walked an hour to highschool and back everyday my tution in highschool yes there was a tution fee back then (I worked in the bookstore to pay if off as my mom couldnt afford it ,as my dad passed away the summer before I started highschool
    I remember walking past a ballet studio as a 10 or 11 year old and wishing I could go ,but still had a pretty good life and I am in my 50's
    -no vacations ever ,I remember going to my older brother's apt in London,ont on the bus that was my vacation to visit them and their little boy

    all in all my mom taught me the value of a penny ,always save for a rainy day (my dad took me to open a account at the bank at age 12 ) as I was babysitting and for every dollar I would only keep out .25 (it got you a lot of candy back then or comics)oh and my mom worked in factories before she had me ,knitting mill ,etc then she babysat a baby once or 2 kids for before school, lunch and after to make ends meet
    Last edited by coupon girl; Mon, Jan 8th, 2018 at 10:53 AM.

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    My parents were very frugal. My father ran a small business with "profits" that went up and down, seemingly without reason. He was a wonderful father but I don't think he was a good businessman. Mom worked at the business part time, and stayed at the home the rest. Their "big" splurge on Saturday night was to buy 2 paperback novels and a bag of peanuts. They would read the novels, switch when done, all the while eating peanuts. Christmas was very frugal but there were always a lot of presents under the tree for us. They would buy inexpensive gifts, like packs of cards.

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    Canadian Guru macw1960's Avatar
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    I come from a broken family, sometimes times were tough and we did without but we always had fun. That is what I remember most.





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    My parents migrate from SouthAmerica to the USA and the always had to watch there money because we were never well off . We came for a better life. It was a struggle for a long time. But once my mom and Dad got work and was able to put food and shelter over our heads and able the buy clothes for us we we were contented We were all In our teens 4of us. Can't remember taking vacations . But we always get together with our relatives and have a good time.I learn from my parents how to be frugal and even though I am in a position now with a better life I am still a penny pincher. and always find a way to give back.To this day both my parents are still working part time even though the are way past there retirement age it there choice to do so to stay healthy. And the money the. Make goest to there Grand children and great grands. Even though I did not get much growing up . I would not complain because I have 2 great parents and in those days the could not have done any better . I have 2 girls of my own and I thought them how to save for tomorrow and to be independent and don't depend on any one and I a, proud of that.

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