Disclaimer: I am home with the flu, taking Tamiflu ,which apparently can cause confusion. Swell. So why not write about something a little taboo?
One of the joys of blogging is reading other people’s blogs, and I don’t think there is anything I enjoy more than reading/hearing about how people do things -including managing their time, their homes, their gardens, and yes- their money.
We are all , regarding the issue of money and money management, a product of our upbringing , and the messages we received , both heard and not heard .
In addition, for those of us who are married , we live a sort of hybrid money management theory- which comes in all shapes and sizes : there exists a mutual, balanced approach to money, one spends, the other doesn’t, or there is a power struggle, or a life of complete financial bliss and agreement. The combinations are endless.
In my home growing up , it was never discussed , other than those rare occasions, when in a moment of childhood insanity, you might state your longing for something so far fetched, it was ridiculous to even ask. Yet even in the no answer, I knew it was still OK, and we were OK.
However, I did receive money messages from my parents, and I am so glad I did. My parents were not remote, silent, or disenaged.
They simply modeled and expected. As a matter of fact that was their entire parenting technique.
What were their messages?
*We were not wealthy people, and while we had everything we needed and some of the things we wanted, the focus wasn’t on the wanting. Because of my father’s work, we were around people ‘who had more’, but it was never discussed. They were more focused on our manners and our respectful interactions with others.
*My brother and I were raised to consider the feelings of others, to share, and to not show off. Humility was a high commodity in our household.
*We were not raised to be frugal.Was that even a term in the 50’s and 60’s? Isn’t it funny how in skirting the issue in today’s world ,and above all not talking about it, we have given it a name?
We weren’t raised to be frugal, yet our parents modeled frugal living. You were supposed to watch and learn.
*My mother treated the things in her home, including the food she prepared, with respect. She rarely threw out spoiled food or produce. It just didn’t happen. One of my first lessons in the kitchen was in learning to peel an onion without taking off a thick layer. She used newspaper to line her kitchen trash can, made hash out of leftover roast beef, and her pantry was full, because she was always prepared.
*Her greatest maxim was ‘stay out of stores’- bargain or no bargain, want or not. Although she was a collector and a flea market shopper, general restlessness was not a good reason, in her mind, for searching/shopping.
Why? There was always work to do at home.
First things first- isn’t that the best definition of frugal living?
Have I always modeled these behaviors? No, but I know better.