What It’s Like to Grow Up With Parents Who Are Obsessed With Saving Money

Some people grew up in homes where the parents were frugal and almost downright cheapskates. A Quora user wanted to know what it was like for people who grew up with such parents. We have sampled some of the best illustrations here.

Mixing Coca-Cola With Water

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Teresia noted that her parents mixed soft drinks with water, “I didn’t know Coca-Cola wasn’t supposed to be mixed with water first. They did it so we won’t run out of it.”

Father Never Spent Any Money on the Mother

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Hendon’s father never spent money on his mother, “My father was cheap. He’d gladly spend $15K on a new tractor but deny my mother a $7.50 pair of new shoes. He had us convinced we were poor, but we weren’t.”

Dad Never Did Any Home Improvements

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Jason’s dad never engaged in any form of home improvement, “Despite the fact that he can afford a 50-acre cattle ranch, and a deer camp, he never made any home improvements. When I was 12 or 13, the wooden foundation in my bathroom got termites and was spongey from being wet. So the toilet kept on leaning, and parts of the floor were soft. Instead of getting it fixed, he just told me to shower in his bathroom.”

Buying Large Clothing So That Kids Can Grow Into Them

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Connelly’s parents bought clothing that was bigger than him so that he would grow into them, “It was not pleasant to have only two pair of new blue jeans per year that were purchased at least one size too large so I could grow into them, nor was is comfortable wearing shoes that were purchased once or twice per year that were 1 or 2 sizes larger than my foot, because I was still growing and would grow into them!”

Refrigerating Tiny Food Scraps for Use Later

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Wilson’s parents grew up in the great depression and were frugal in everything, “My parents were born during the Great Depression and grew up with rationing in WW2. They are frugal in some respects but not cheapskates. They have large stores of canned food. They refrigerate tiny scraps of food to use later. They keep, wash and re-use all plastic containers. They buy inexpensive clothes, repair things, and generally make do with stuff that they could easily replace.”

Her Kids Think She Is Cheap Because She Hates Spending

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Jill notes that her kids think she is cheap because she does not like spending, “What do you consider frugal, close to cheapskate? My child considers me to be that way because she does not have a cell phone, her own television, or her own computer. I won’t drive her 16 hours to go visit a friend, and I won’t spend $70 on a pair of jeans; I won’t take her to Victoria’s Secret for undergarments; I ask her to turn out the lights when she’s done in a room, don’t run the water to pressure wash the food off dishes, and no, she can’t have everything she thinks she wants the minute she wants it.”

Frugal Parents Taught Survival Skills

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Jordan is glad that her parents were frugal because she learned skills, “My parents were frugal too. I also made my own clothes, my mother’s clothes, and my sister’s clothes. I learned how to save my babysitting money to buy a bike. I also got a scholarship and paid my way thru college. I’m glad they were frugal because I’m the same way. My daughter has also learned how to save. It’s not a bad thing to learn.”

Wasting Money Is Not Acceptable

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Rosemary pointed out that her parents abhorred wastage, “My parents were very wealthy, but they never wasted money. We, children, learned the value of money, and I can only think of one occasion my brother was bailed out of debt and once when I was bailed out of debt. We were bailed out on condition we NEVER got into debt again. I speak for myself when I say I never did.”

Siblings Must Share What They Have and Do Chores

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Carolyn points out that she expects her kids to chip in and do chores around the house, “I, as a parent, am not being a cheapskate if I do not buy you the latest phone, computer, electronic game, name brand clothing, shoes, jewelry, or car. You will pay car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance for your vehicle. You will pay for your phone and all its charges. You will eat what I cook or order for the family. If you want something different, work and pay for it yourself. While living in my home, you are to cook, clean, wash your clothes, make your bed, do yard work, and pick up after yourself, the same as your father and I do. There is no payment for this, and it is what one does as a family member. “

You Learn Not To Spend Your Money on a Whim

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Yvonne learned a lesson or two from her frugal parents, “You learn to first earn your money before spending it. You learn how to reuse things, how to mend things, and how to make things with your own hands. (I have braided kilometers of rope to make bridles for cows.) You learn how to care for your bike, motorcycle, tractor, fence, paintwork of the house, and how to tend a garden. How to plan ahead, and how to preserve food. How to save money. In my opinion, every parent should teach these skills to their children.”

Living Frugal Enhances Financial Independence

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Cindy illustrates the difference between being cheap and frugal through her family, “My husband’s parents fit that description. They lived well and did whatever they wanted to do, but they always were very frugal. They left us a fully paid-for house, and their 3 kids will most likely receive a significant cash inheritance. My Mom wasn’t cheap at all. My Dad let her handle all money. After nursing home costs, they died penniless. My brother, sister and I were handling minor expenses at the end while Medicaid was handling the nursing home.”

Frugal Living Helped Educate the Kids

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One user pointed out that being frugal helped their father take them through school, “My father was frugal in that he always lived within his means. He helped me get through college. He genuinely cared, and it showed in what he spent his time, talents, and treasure on. He left his affairs in order when he died.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.