Group Discussions

Were you born frugal or did you have to learn?

  • Are you just thrifty by nature? If so, why? What about those of you who have had to learn the art of frugality? Is it something to do with your upbringing?

    I know I have had to learn how to be frugal! My parents didn't ever buy much stuff, but what they did buy was usually full price. Horror of horrors! So I didn't learn about that till I was in my late 20s.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 8th February 2008
  • Born frugal, I think. I was counting my change before I knew how much each coin was worth! I have a very clear memory of being about 3 years old and proudly telling my uncle that I had 43 cents. What I had was 43 coins. He taught me the difference between pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and I was so amazed...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 8th February 2008
  • Definitely born frugal. Mom was a single parent, born during the depression. I didn't eat out in a restaurant or go to a movie till I was dating! Never got an allowance, so I had to earn every cent I spent.

    I remember going grocery shopping for my aunt one day as a young teen, and coming back to give her the change - she was in shock that I got everything she asked for and spent less than she ever had.

    As a single parent myself for many years, I found all I learned from my mom to be a lifesaver!

    Catherine, from
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Catherine on 8th February 2008
  • I really think I was born this way.... my mom is very much in the frugal mindset and since I grew without money, it's just something in my genes. I really like it actually
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 8th February 2008
  • We are very slowly and sometimes painfully learning. We're not hugely extravagant. But I had to teach my husband to use the library instead of buying books. Ditto for videos. He was single for so long and earning so much that if he wanted it, he bought it. He still has that mindset. I usually stew over something I want and wait at least a month before actually buying it or deciding I don't want it. But I often buy things I don't use. Or things for a project I haven't planned out and never complete.

    Then again, when I met my husband, I carried a couple thou in cc debt. No big, I thought. My husband hates debt and we got rid of it pretty quickly once we were married. We both plan to drive our cars into the ground.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenns on 8th February 2008
  • It's definitely been a learning process for me. My parents are definitely well off, they aren't rich, but they both work and I really never wanted for anything when I was a kid. At least not that I remember. Okay, I'm sure there were times when I wanted a DVD or something like that and my parents said no, but for the most part, I got what I wanted. I know, I'm spoiled. However with my husband off work we're forced to become VERY frugal.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenni on 8th February 2008
  • Learning. And learning and learning.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 8th February 2008
  • I'm with the "missing my inner frugal warning sytem."crowd. So I married a man who has his fully intact. Together we both horrify and help one another. We carry debt, which we really wish we didn't have to have, I have no credit cards in my wallet, we cap our spending at $50 before we pruchase something that isn't essential (meaning, we have to call and check in with one another about the expense). In years past we have had much higher caps (sometimes up to $500, those were the days!). But, we get that this economy is not one to mess about with, and we are teaching our kid the same thing. Not by sharing our debts or anything like that!! By showing him the value of his dollar. But that's another "frugal topic" all together.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 8th February 2008
  • Born frugal. My parents were extremely poor when I was born . . . we actually lived in a goat shed with a dirt floor for two years of my childhood! My mom used to feed a family of five on $100 a month, she´d go shopping once a month and grew all her own vegetables in a massive garden.

    We never got allowance, so from a young age, my sisters and I had a number of businesses. We used to ask for a loan from my dad and he would make us write up a business plan, even when we were just little, we had to figure out exactly how much we needed and estimate how long it would take us to pay him back . . . even if it was just $25. That really taught me a lot about business!

    We didn´t have much at all, not even a television set. Most people are shocked by that, but the truth is, my upbringing has stood me in good stead, I´m very thrifty and don´t mind buying second-hand and know how to fix up cheap things as well as make a lot of stuff myself. And, of course, I work for myself, so that has been the best lesson of all!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 9th February 2008
  • hrm a little of both? we were very poor when my sister and i were little and then again in highschool (long story) but my mom was really good at making it fun - we would still go out to eat - but it would be for lunch and we would have a set budget. this made it kind of fun to figure out how the three of us could eat out for $15 LOL certainly limits your choices but you still get out and have a good time!

    we would also collect and roll all the change in the house. we once purchased a pizza wiht rolled coins! silly but fun thrifty doesnt have to be a chore!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 9th February 2008

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