Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

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GerryL
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Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:26 pm

Found this somewhat lengthy article http://preppersgab.com/index.php/2018/0 ... ard-times/ interesting. I was raised by Depression-era babies and every supposedly “forgotten way” covered seems perfectly normal to me. That is not to say that I adhere strictly to the frugal practices as described, but I start there when deciding whether to spend money. I would guess many Bogleheads could write the same kind of list.

1. Do you really need it?
2. Don’t be in a rush to replace it
3. Think twice, buy once
4. Reuse, repurpose, recycle
5. How much do you really need?
6. Be willing to wait
7. Do it yourself
8. Repair it, don’t throw it away

I guess I would retitle the article: “8 Frugal and Still Useful Ways Your Grandparents Made It through Hard Times.”

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:13 pm

GerryL wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:26 pm
Found this somewhat lengthy article http://preppersgab.com/index.php/2018/0 ... ard-times/ interesting. I was raised by Depression-era babies and every supposedly “forgotten way” covered seems perfectly normal to me. That is not to say that I adhere strictly to the frugal practices as described, but I start there when deciding whether to spend money. I would guess many Bogleheads could write the same kind of list.

1. Do you really need it?
2. Don’t be in a rush to replace it
3. Think twice, buy once
4. Reuse, repurpose, recycle
5. How much do you really need?
6. Be willing to wait
7. Do it yourself
8. Repair it, don’t throw it away

I guess I would retitle the article: “8 Frugal and Still Useful Ways Your Grandparents Made It through Hard Times.”
Agree with most, but I think hoarders will do #4 to rxtremes.

I wish more shoes were repairable, but current rubber soles don't repair.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by aspirit » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:29 pm

Great thread!
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:13 pm

I wish more shoes were repairable, but current rubber soles don't repair.
I used Beacon Multi-grip marine glue to repair sneakers & rubber soles. :happy
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

2015
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by 2015 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:31 pm

9. Do without.

For a couple of decades before retirement, I practiced #9 above almost without thinking. Now, in retirement, if I see something I want, I buy it. Spending much more freely now I'm amazed at how much I did without almost without thinking. Interestingly, I never once felt deprived or dissatisfied.

The only caveat to spending now is it must meet the strict requirement of meeting my value of obtaining satisfaction from any spending transaction. This almost always involves getting whatever I want of good quality at a good price. An example of meeting the satisfaction value is the reasonably priced slippers I bought from Macy's.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:49 pm

2015 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:31 pm
9. Do without.

For a couple of decades before retirement, I practiced #9 above almost without thinking. Now, in retirement, if I see something I want, I buy it. Spending much more freely now I'm amazed at how much I did without almost without thinking. Interestingly, I never once felt deprived or dissatisfied.

The only caveat to spending now is it must meet the strict requirement of meeting my value of obtaining satisfaction from any spending transaction. This almost always involves getting whatever I want of good quality at a good price. An example of meeting the satisfaction value is the reasonably priced slippers I bought from Macy's.
I too use the "value to me" proposition when paying for anything. (Yes, I technically could afford to fly to Paris first class, but I don't think the premium fare is worth it.) But in retirement I am finding that I am buying less and less. I don't need to accumulate more stuff.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Steelersfan » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:09 pm

aspirit wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:29 pm
Great thread!
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:13 pm

I wish more shoes were repairable, but current rubber soles don't repair.
I used Beacon Multi-grip marine glue to repair sneakers & rubber soles. :happy

Shoe Goo!

It didn't work so well for me. :(

I was raised by Depression-era parents. Try as I might, I can't shake the lessons.

2015
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by 2015 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:21 pm

GerryL wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:49 pm
2015 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:31 pm
9. Do without.

For a couple of decades before retirement, I practiced #9 above almost without thinking. Now, in retirement, if I see something I want, I buy it. Spending much more freely now I'm amazed at how much I did without almost without thinking. Interestingly, I never once felt deprived or dissatisfied.

The only caveat to spending now is it must meet the strict requirement of meeting my value of obtaining satisfaction from any spending transaction. This almost always involves getting whatever I want of good quality at a good price. An example of meeting the satisfaction value is the reasonably priced slippers I bought from Macy's.
I too use the "value to me" proposition when paying for anything. (Yes, I technically could afford to fly to Paris first class, but I don't think the premium fare is worth it.) But in retirement I am finding that I am buying less and less. I don't need to accumulate more stuff.
Exactly! "Value to me" is very much a part of determining whether a transaction meets my value of satisfaction. I too can afford first class but can't justify it. Premium economy, OTOH, probably. Post analog life and now in the digital age, I want no clunky, space devouring stuff. OTOH, upgrading from my Moto 1st Gen to G5Plus model in December went off the charts in meeting my satisfaction value. Got a deal at Costco Black Friday (through friends), and the G5 is light years more efficient, effective, speedy, and easier to use than the 1st Gen.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by carolinaman » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:37 am

My parents grew up during the depression which had a lifelong impact on their frugality. I was reminded of this when going through my mother's old papers after her death a few years ago. Using layaway to buy things, Christmas Club savings, installment credit, savings accounts. Credit cards did not really exist en masse until the 1960s. They had store credit at grocery store and gas station/convenience store. Throwaways were a rarity. Things got fixed until they could no longer be fixed. I remember as a kid using a non-motorized push lawnmower. I did not need to go to the gym for a workout after using it. It was a very different era but we can learn much from them about managing money.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by DarthSage » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:04 am

Another side-thought on the "value to me" that I use is, "cost per use". Good-quality shoes might be expensive, but comfortable, long-lasting shoes save yoru feet in the long run, and if you wear them daily, the cost per use isn't much more--possibly even less, if the cheapo shoes mean buying more pairs.

I also believe in investing in tools that save money and/or time. For example, owning a quality sewing machine is very valuable to me--partly because I like sewing and make costumes for the dance studio (could easily turn into a side hustle, if I wanted to). But it's also good for tailoring clothes, fixing hems, sewing holes, and so forth--much handier and cheaper than even buying thrift-store clothing. I can also whip up easy Christmas presents, sleep pants for the kids, etc. Sewing is just an example--my husband could say the same thing about his shop tools, some of which he inherited from his father, so they're decades old, but still providing value.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by MrNewEngland » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:32 am

I wish I was a lot more frugal than I am. I generally just buy something when I see something I want. I also go out to bars and restaurants with friends way too often (this is pretty bad).

The two places I am pretty frugal is 1) I have a modest car and 2) I live in the same condo that I bought just after I got out of college.

I save about 40% of my weekly paycheck (mostly Roth) and it’s because of my low car & housing payments. I know several people that cuff their chests out when bragging about how “cheap” they are but they’re only talking about the little things and I’d be willing to bet they have fairly low savings rates.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:48 am

My parents were very into picnicking.

I grew up in Oregon in the 60s and 70s. We would take frequent weekend excursions out to the beach or up to the mountains. They always involved my mother packing up a picnic lunch. They would search out parks and roadside waysides that had picnic tables. We NEVER stopped at restaurants when traveling. NEVER. I know that's something they picked up from their depression-era parents.

These days when I'm out on excursions with my wife and kids I find that more often than not we are yelping up whatever good restaurants are in the area. Here in the NW I'm always looking for whatever new brewpubs I can discover for lunch. And it seems that nice picnic tables are disappearing or being abandoned, especially on wayside rest areas on secondary roads.

I think we should get back to picnicking with the family. Aside from the gas, it's basically free.

My parents also did lots of car camping with tents to state parks. Other than the $5 state park fee there was no cost. These days my wife and I mostly do VRBO rentals to places that have WiFi and a separate room for the kids.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Dinosaur Dad » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:45 pm

the simple principle I learned is that with a little creativity you can find lower cost substitutes for just about anything. I think back to growing up with 4 siblings and I think of all the ways my parents economized:

vacation: camping, visit relatives, lots of lower cost options if you read about local groups and events

clothes: pretty easy, some hand me downs but find the lower cost providers

food: lots of creative ways to make this work, especially if you don't mind quasi-vegetarian dishes

bicycles: we learned how to tune up and refurbish our own

you get the idea
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:49 pm

GerryL wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:26 pm
Found this somewhat lengthy article http://preppersgab.com/index.php/2018/0 ... ard-times/ interesting. I was raised by Depression-era babies and every supposedly “forgotten way” covered seems perfectly normal to me. That is not to say that I adhere strictly to the frugal practices as described, but I start there when deciding whether to spend money. I would guess many Bogleheads could write the same kind of list.

1. Do you really need it?
2. Don’t be in a rush to replace it
3. Think twice, buy once
4. Reuse, repurpose, recycle
5. How much do you really need?
6. Be willing to wait
7. Do it yourself
8. Repair it, don’t throw it away

I guess I would retitle the article: “8 Frugal and Still Useful Ways Your Grandparents Made It through Hard Times.”
Also raised by depression era parents. Grew up poor. Culturally frugal and ambitious.
It's hardwired down to the cells.
Walk by the "hedonic treadmill" and don't notice it at all.
In the era of Black and White TV, frugality was admired. Perhaps today, in the era of disposables, it is called "cheap" and not so admired.

IMHO: depression era folks and WWII folks were generations of Heroes.
j :D

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:46 pm

My parents grew up during the depression and their parents (I knew 3 of 4 grandparents very well) faced the financial challenges as parents of young children at the time.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by GerryL » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:29 pm

MrNewEngland wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:32 am
I wish I was a lot more frugal than I am. I generally just buy something when I see something I want. I also go out to bars and restaurants with friends way too often (this is pretty bad).

The two places I am pretty frugal is 1) I have a modest car and 2) I live in the same condo that I bought just after I got out of college.

I save about 40% of my weekly paycheck (mostly Roth) and it’s because of my low car & housing payments. I know several people that cuff their chests out when bragging about how “cheap” they are but they’re only talking about the little things and I’d be willing to bet they have fairly low savings rates.
If you are living below your means (LBYM) and paying yourself first (PYF), meaning setting a savings target and sticking to it, you don't need to feel guilty about spending the discretionary dollars in your budget on stuff that makes you happy. Those of us who learned to be happy with less -- thanks to Depression-era parents -- sort of have it easier when it comes to building our savings because it doesn't seem like a sacrifice. It's natural.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by boglegirl » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:30 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:48 am
My parents were very into picnicking.

I grew up in Oregon in the 60s and 70s. We would take frequent weekend excursions out to the beach or up to the mountains. They always involved my mother packing up a picnic lunch. They would search out parks and roadside waysides that had picnic tables. We NEVER stopped at restaurants when traveling. NEVER. I know that's something they picked up from their depression-era parents.

These days when I'm out on excursions with my wife and kids I find that more often than not we are yelping up whatever good restaurants are in the area. Here in the NW I'm always looking for whatever new brewpubs I can discover for lunch. And it seems that nice picnic tables are disappearing or being abandoned, especially on wayside rest areas on secondary roads.

I think we should get back to picnicking with the family. Aside from the gas, it's basically free.

My parents also did lots of car camping with tents to state parks. Other than the $5 state park fee there was no cost. These days my wife and I mostly do VRBO rentals to places that have WiFi and a separate room for the kids.
I love this post - it took me down memory lane to some fun times we had with our kids. Of course we should all picnic more. It's something frugal which is also at the same time better than the more expensive alternative! (I mean who doesn't prefer a tasty homemade Italian sub over a McD's meal?)

Although I have nothing against having lunch at a brewpub when the occasion arises. :D

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by FireProof » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:35 pm

For Bogleheads, replace "great-grandparents" with "parents" - the target group of that article is a little different! Although my great-grandparents had servants who lived more lavishly than I do.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:56 pm

Although my great-grandparents had servants who lived more lavishly than I do.
I recall my paternal grandmother relating that, as a young teenager, she had to stop going to school work as some kind of household help for other families. This would have been in the early 1890's. Maybe she worked for your great grandparents :)

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Lancelot » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:17 pm

MrNewEngland wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:32 am
I wish I was a lot more frugal than I am. I generally just buy something when I see something I want. I also go out to bars and restaurants with friends way too often (this is pretty bad).

The two places I am pretty frugal is 1) I have a modest car and 2) I live in the same condo that I bought just after I got out of college.

I save about 40% of my weekly paycheck (mostly Roth) and it’s because of my low car & housing payments. I know several people that cuff their chests out when bragging about how “cheap” they are but they’re only talking about the little things and I’d be willing to bet they have fairly low savings rates.
Deleted
Last edited by Lancelot on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by daveydoo » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:38 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:09 pm

Shoe Goo!

It didn't work so well for me. :(

I was raised by Depression-era parents. Try as I might, I can't shake the lessons.
It was great for tennis sneakers, though! Especially if you were a big server!

Aren't these 8 things really all just the same? :D
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by MrNewEngland » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:29 pm

Lancelot wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:17 pm
MrNewEngland wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:32 am
I wish I was a lot more frugal than I am. I generally just buy something when I see something I want. I also go out to bars and restaurants with friends way too often (this is pretty bad).

The two places I am pretty frugal is 1) I have a modest car and 2) I live in the same condo that I bought just after I got out of college.

I save about 40% of my weekly paycheck (mostly Roth) and it’s because of my low car & housing payments. I know several people that cuff their chests out when bragging about how “cheap” they are but they’re only talking about the little things and I’d be willing to bet they have fairly low savings rates.
If you pay your self first -40% savings rate- then then why not enjoy life a little :)

But that was kind of my point. I love this condo even if it’s a little small and cars have gotten less important to me as I get older. Beyond that I’m not particularly frugal. I go out more than I should and I go on trips as often as I can.

What I meant was that this article reminded me a little of articles that tell you not to get that morning coffee and you’ll save $500 annually (or things like that). While that may be true it’s pointless if you have a $50,000 car or are spending 35% of your salary on housing.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by tooluser » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:54 pm

GerryL wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:26 pm
1. Do you really need it?
2. Don’t be in a rush to replace it
3. Think twice, buy once
4. Reuse, repurpose, recycle
5. How much do you really need?
6. Be willing to wait
7. Do it yourself
8. Repair it, don’t throw it away
"Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or do without."

They were also more frugal with their words.

I do appreciate the aspect of thoughtfulness in the 8 items that is missing from the 4 items though.
Easy come. Easy go. But the rate of change for each seems quite different.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Lancelot » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:54 pm

MrNewEngland wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:29 pm
Lancelot wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:17 pm
MrNewEngland wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:32 am
I wish I was a lot more frugal than I am. I generally just buy something when I see something I want. I also go out to bars and restaurants with friends way too often (this is pretty bad).

The two places I am pretty frugal is 1) I have a modest car and 2) I live in the same condo that I bought just after I got out of college.

I save about 40% of my weekly paycheck (mostly Roth) and it’s because of my low car & housing payments. I know several people that cuff their chests out when bragging about how “cheap” they are but they’re only talking about the little things and I’d be willing to bet they have fairly low savings rates.
Deleted

But that was kind of my point. I love this condo even if it’s a little small and cars have gotten less important to me as I get older. Beyond that I’m not particularly frugal. I go out more than I should and I go on trips as often as I can.

What I meant was that this article reminded me a little of articles that tell you not to get that morning coffee and you’ll save $500 annually (or things like that). While that may be true it’s pointless if you have a $50,000 car or are spending 35% of your salary on housing.
I understood that. Sorry I quoted you, won't happen again :)
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by mariezzz » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:25 am

1. Do you really need it?
2. Don’t be in a rush to replace it
3. Think twice, buy once
4. Reuse, repurpose, recycle
5. How much do you really need?
6. Be willing to wait
7. Do it yourself
8. Repair it, don’t throw it away

9. Do without
This is the way I've pretty much lived my life - as the grandchild of depression-era people. I saw (or heard) how hard people worked, how much they sacrificed, the crummy jobs they had. It made an impression on me. It made me value education, as a way to move into better jobs and to gain financial security.

I learned during high school that there's not a lot of satisfaction in having "things" - I spent my hard-earned money on something I thought I'd wanted, and realized it wasn't such a big deal. It was an excellent investment, in the end - the item cost $25 or so, but I got a lesson that has lasted me since. I realized the anticipation is a lot more fun than the actual getting ... and quite often, if you anticipate something for a while, you stop wanting it.

I've realized I like the thrill of a good "find" - so will shop at thrift stores, or wait for good sales (I also like finding older, better made items at thrift stores, and of course, it's keeping an item out of the landfill (an example: I just bought a used Craftsman drill, made in USA, variable speed with reverse, works well - for $10 - how much better can it get?). I don't feel I'm missing out on much - so don't feel I'm terribly frugal. Consumer goods (esp. when they cost a lot) just don't thrill me all that much. I have plenty of "things", probably too many - although others typically have far more. What really makes me happy is building a secure financial foundation for now & retirement.

I think parents don't realize the habits they instill in their kids. To this day, I still rarely order drinks in restaurants (coffee's the one exception if I'm out for brunch which is rare; restaurants are pretty rare in general for me) - on the rare occasion we ate in a restaurant as kids, we drank water. No.n-alcoholic drinks can easily be 20% of a restaurant bill! For me, it's a habit to drink water in restaurants. But I knew many in college (when money was scarcer for all) who thought nothing about ordering soft drinks. It's one small example - but it establishes a mindset. If parents don't indulge their kids every whim, it establishes a mindset where going without something that you want is acceptable (and normal), and this transfers to many other areas of life.

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by MP173 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:52 pm

My father graduated from high school in 1929, my mother was 10 years younger than him and only had 10th grade education.

My father "worked" and lived on a farm as a hired hand and saw his income drop to the point where they could not afford to pay him. He lived with them and gave him $$$ when it was available. When he would tell me those stories, he always had a twinkle in his eyes. He was never regretful of that era and taught him life lessons.

Mom and Dad could squeeze 9 cents out of a dime. They owned a small general store in a town of 100 people and used cheap help (me). Dad retired at age 62 when he was told our store required tile floors in the meat department. He sold off the inventory and closed the doors. He paid himself $75.00 a week in 1970. We didnt have much, but really had plenty.

Upon retirement, dad began gardening in a big way and we ate fresh vegetables (also frozen and canned) year round. Dad would also help farmers butcher hogs and cattle and would receive "payment in kind" in form of meat. We had a small farm (50 acres) which he leased out but also grew fruits and more vegetables including peaches, strawberries, and grapes. He used the "rough" land to grow pine trees, which he sold at Christmas and also taught himself to make wreathes.

We lived in an old 4 room house which mom inherited. We drove very old cars (typically 10 years old). Dad had an old pickup truck which typically was at least 20 years old. Mom cooked all meals. We seldom went out for meals. Mom sewed and repaired clothes.

I recall how she would save the crumbs from the bottom of the boxes of cereal and put them into one cereal box. Surprize to the person who had that for breakfast. We went on one vacation during my childhood....to Colorado to stay with family...and rode a passenger train.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I was an only child and began assisting with financial matters later on in their lives. I was stunned by their net worth. Seems like dad loaded up on high interest bearing Savings bonds and CDs. That small farm became a cash cow when oil wells were drilled and started producing.

Mom and dad died within months of each other in 1994. I miss them, but value the work ethic, the morals, and the parental guidance they provided.

They were truly the greatest people in my life. Then and now. Sorry for the continuing discussion, but the group of people who endured the Great Depression and WW2 were amazing people. While my parents were special, so also were their friends and other family members.

Ed

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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Yukon » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:57 am

MP173 wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:52 pm
My father graduated from high school in 1929, my mother was 10 years younger than him and only had 10th grade education.

My father "worked" and lived on a farm as a hired hand and saw his income drop to the point where they could not afford to pay him. He lived with them and gave him $$$ when it was available. When he would tell me those stories, he always had a twinkle in his eyes. He was never regretful of that era and taught him life lessons.

Mom and Dad could squeeze 9 cents out of a dime. They owned a small general store in a town of 100 people and used cheap help (me). Dad retired at age 62 when he was told our store required tile floors in the meat department. He sold off the inventory and closed the doors. He paid himself $75.00 a week in 1970. We didnt have much, but really had plenty.

Upon retirement, dad began gardening in a big way and we ate fresh vegetables (also frozen and canned) year round. Dad would also help farmers butcher hogs and cattle and would receive "payment in kind" in form of meat. We had a small farm (50 acres) which he leased out but also grew fruits and more vegetables including peaches, strawberries, and grapes. He used the "rough" land to grow pine trees, which he sold at Christmas and also taught himself to make wreathes.

We lived in an old 4 room house which mom inherited. We drove very old cars (typically 10 years old). Dad had an old pickup truck which typically was at least 20 years old. Mom cooked all meals. We seldom went out for meals. Mom sewed and repaired clothes.

I recall how she would save the crumbs from the bottom of the boxes of cereal and put them into one cereal box. Surprize to the person who had that for breakfast. We went on one vacation during my childhood....to Colorado to stay with family...and rode a passenger train.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I was an only child and began assisting with financial matters later on in their lives. I was stunned by their net worth. Seems like dad loaded up on high interest bearing Savings bonds and CDs. That small farm became a cash cow when oil wells were drilled and started producing.

Mom and dad died within months of each other in 1994. I miss them, but value the work ethic, the morals, and the parental guidance they provided.

They were truly the greatest people in my life. Then and now. Sorry for the continuing discussion, but the group of people who endured the Great Depression and WW2 were amazing people. While my parents were special, so also were their friends and other family members.

Ed
Great read. Thanks for sharing.
Don't Work Forever.

sambb
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by sambb » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:10 am

frugality is a nice thing no matter what age one is, but i dont see any outstanding qualities to that generation over any current ones. In a time of economic downturn, people eventually tighten things up, i bet. The article's emphasis on frugality is a good lesson for all peoples.

Dottie57
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:23 am

MrNewEngland wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:32 am
I wish I was a lot more frugal than I am. I generally just buy something when I see something I want. I also go out to bars and restaurants with friends way too often (this is pretty bad).

The two places I am pretty frugal is 1) I have a modest car and 2) I live in the same condo that I bought just after I got out of college.

I save about 40% of my weekly paycheck (mostly Roth) and it’s because of my low car & housing payments. I know several people that cuff their chests out when bragging about how “cheap” they are but they’re only talking about the little things and I’d be willing to bet they have fairly low savings rates.
You are frugal enough. You've covered two big items and have a great savings rate. You will retire well.

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GerryL
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by GerryL » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:37 pm

sambb wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:10 am
frugality is a nice thing no matter what age one is, but i dont see any outstanding qualities to that generation over any current ones. In a time of economic downturn, people eventually tighten things up, i bet. The article's emphasis on frugality is a good lesson for all peoples.
Wish I could agree with your positive assessment of how people tend to behave. When 2008 hit, a lot of pundits were predicting that the generation that came out of the Great Recession would have learned the lessons of the people who grew up in the Great Depression and would be serious savers. Unfortunately, that does not seem to have happened, and the personal savings rate is back down. It's hard to live like the children of the 30s and 40s when surrounded by Consumerism (with a capital 'C') and raised expectations about all the goods and experiences you should have.

daveydoo
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Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

Post by daveydoo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:51 pm

sambb wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:10 am
...but i dont see any outstanding qualities to that generation over any current ones....
I'm a cynic about almost everything...but not this. It's not my generation but I do believe it was the greatest generation. They may not have invented Facebook but they did save the world. :shock:
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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