April 22, 2014 at 10:07 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 5 months.
For me, it’s almost like a contest:
Can I be the cheapest parent that most people know?
I believe in the importance of just not buying things to begin with. I think that’s where the most money is saved.
I’ve covered some of this before in “5 Impractical Ways To Save Your Family Money In 2013.”
You are being raised in a household with a strict weekly budget, where our cars are over 10 years old but paid off; you live in a home without smart phones, without cable or satellite TV, without updated electronics, without pets… not to mention we rarely go out to eat because Mommy cooks basically every meal.
(And where Daddy does the dishes for all those meals. I’ve gotten really good at that, by the way.)
A credit card is used only to take advantage of the credit card company; earning points to get free stuff for our family. So we do use one, but it’s immediately paid off each week and is built into our budget the same way as a debit card.
We even reuse our plastic baggies.
You’re stuck in a household where we have an outdated 2005 TV with a mockable 30 inch screen with $8 a month Netflix streaming.
I admit, we do have an older model Kindle that Mommy bought… on clearance, after the newer model came out.
And that goes back to our trick about only buying stuff during the last two weeks of the month, when more items are on sale, like I’ve mentioned before.
Not to mention, I’m not going to deny that one of the reasons you are an only child (at least for now) is for financial reasons.
Part of your parents’ cheapness comes from us having 1st and 2nd generation immigrant grandparents from Italy and Croatia, who lived through the Great Depression. That rubbed off on us; I’m sure of it.
The rest of it has to do with us having to “learn money” the hard way.
We made a lot of financial mistakes that we didn’t realize were mistakes at the time; like moving away from a city where we had good jobs to a smaller city where we basically couldn’t find jobs for nearly 9 months- before finally moving back to where the jobs were.
However, I look to the positive. Living through that caused Mommy and me to forever think differently, for the best:
We ended up being able to pay off over $58,000 in debt, after living off credit cards because we thought that was normal.
Thank God (and Dave Ramsey), we have now begun reversing our debt into savings. However, I think that having to live through through our own “great depression” has forever changed us.
There’s just no way we could see things the same way again.
So while it may be weird that your parents can’t just look up the height of Tom Cruise on a smart phone in the middle of a conversation during dinner at Red Lobster…
And while it may sound strange that our family has to wait for TV shows and movies to hit Redbox or Netflix before we can see them, it’s okay by us.
Hey, our family is different. You get that by now. This is just me trying to explain what made us this way so you can tell your friends why your parents are so cheap… and/or quirky.