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At what age did you become a saver
Old 04-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
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At what age did you become a saver

Everyone had to start at some point in their life - when was your turning moment or did you start from the get go as a saver?

Myself - in and out over my life. I started when I was twelve. My father asked me if I wanted an allowance - yep yep yep to that one... He took me down to Sears - bought me a push mower and a gas can, which he filled up and then said "Here Push". 1st he made me pay him back and then he made me put 25c for every dollar I earned into a jar. I opened my first bank account at age 16 with $2,500 worth of quarters (pre 1964, which I wish I had held onto)...

I lost and or spent deeply into my savings two or three times in my life when I was young (first car, first house down payment, divorce, etc.) and it took me until age 40 or there abouts to be truly debt free and was able to enter semi retirement around age 53... Now I am teetering on full retirement - been on vacation for almost the last year testing it out...

When did you start - there has to be some really good stories on this board?

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Old 04-27-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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My is pretty bizarre. Ever since I was a very young child I was very interested in the tax system. I would spend time reading the various tax forms and instructions at a pretty early age. I took over filing taxes for my parents when I was 11. I pointed out to them around the same that several stocks they owned which has significant gains should really be gifted to me and then sold. This way we pay capital gains rate for me and not their marginal tax rate. As a result various assets was put under my name. I remember in 1986 when I was 14 they passed the kiddy tax and mostly closed this loophole which really angered me but all good things come to an end. Of course it did not really matter that much since around that time, anticipating that I will go to college I told my parents to shift their assets including under my name to our grandparents so we can scoop more money from applying for need based financial aid at the elite university I will end up attending. That worked like a charm as well. But that is my story how assets were under my name. Of course real savings that I earned was from when I worked in college started my own personal savings.

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Old 04-27-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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Like you, I've always been a saver. I've worked since I was 12 -- newspaper route, camp counselor while that young -- and while I never saved a set amount, I hardly spent any money; certainly not frivolously.

I lost a ton in my marriage/divorce (put my ex-husband through med school and got screwed) and in the sale of our marital home, but I'm rebuilding and hoping to still be able to ER (I'm 34 now.)
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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It is hard to remember, but about 8.

I remember getting that passbook and putting money in the bank. Later, we put more in. I got the passbook back and there was magic money added. It was simple enough to understand for 3rd grade math, even if I didn't know how to do interest, I saw the "+" mark and Mom explained that the bank pays us for letting them use our money.

I was hooked.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:22 PM   #5
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I started working about 30 hours a week after school and on weekends when I was 14 making 75 cents an hour. I've always saved some (but I did spend and enjoyed life too) By the time I was in my 50s I making a lot more per hour and able to save 1/2 my take home pay. Now that I'm retired I'm still saving more than I'm spending.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Late 30s.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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I wasn't very conscious about saving as a teenager/young adult, but I never really went into debt, except for one credit card bill I couldn't pay off in a month at the end of my BA studies when I made an out of town trip for a friend's wedding -- having to pay interest that one month really bugged me and I never wanted to have that happen again. Read YMOYL near the tail end of grad school and got the LBYM message strongly -- started actively reducing expenses and building up savings at that point. DH and I finished grad school soon after (I was 30, he was 40), got two full time jobs and tried to live mainly off of one salary. Been pretty successful with that ever since.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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Started when I got my first job at age 15. My Dad said if I wanted a car I could get one. Only catch was I had to save the money for it.
I started saving and I think he realized that he needed another reason to delay that, so he said I couldn't get it until after I graduated from High School. The day after graduation we set out together and I bought a 1965 Mustang with cash. I have been saving regularly all of my life.
When I served in the US Navy I purchased savings bonds and when I got my civilian job at Megacorp I took advantage of every savings plan I could invest in. When I topped all of the pre-tax plans I still saved in after tax account.
Now I am retired and still not spending as much as I should. (I'm working on that)
We always lived within our means, always owned good vehicles, boats, home etc. etc.
I think starting early is very important.
Officially retired........Class of 2011
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:41 PM   #9
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Have always had the 'saving' mentality - even as early as, say, 6 or 7, when I would do things like eat the edges around an apple danish, 'saving' the apple chunks in the center for a super-indulgent, delayed gratification finish. Or eating around the edges of a Reese's peanut butter cup, saving the concentrated peanut butter center for last.

I will admit to splurging on video games and baseball cards in my teenage years, but I still saved a majority of my money.

My dad gave me the opportunity to mow the lawn at his office starting at 10 ($25 for the front and back). At age 12, my brother taught me how to caddy at the golf course he sometimes caddied at on the weekends. Still mowed the lawn until about age 16, and caddied as much as possible in the summers, and weekends during school (even sometimes going out for 2 rounds some weekends).

Became an intern estimator for my dad during college, making $13/hr. Definitely earned my keep, since my conservative nature always added extra fluff to the bids 'just in case' (we didn't get a huge % of the projects I sent out competitive bids on, but when we did get some, they were usually pretty profitable).

Because my basic needs were taken care of growing up, I didn't feel a need to waste money on fancy gadgets or clothes or a car (see clarification on baseball cards and video games above ), so had a decent start when I finished school - and the net worth graph gradually kept increasing from there.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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Mid-20s, when I finally got a 'real job', I started socking it away. From the age of 10, I saved up for specific things to purchase.
Retired - Class of 2011
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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I'm actually not a saver. I just DESPISE being in debt. To anyone. For anything. The savings is just a byproduct of that and a certain frugality (read:cheapness)
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:24 PM   #12
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I started collecting silver dollars way back in 1965. Also had a passbook savings account when I was 12 or 13, from collecting and returning soda-pop bottles for deposit.
"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do" --Bob Dylan.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:26 PM   #13
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Real young, maybe 10 or 12. My parents started a savings account for me with money that i earned in the summer doing odd jobs. But the balance would go down during the school year when I wasn't working. Eventually my partying expenses got to the point that my savings ran dry and I got a real job. Then the savings started again.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:03 AM   #14
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I do not remember a time in my life that I was not saving money for something. I was delivering papers and mowing lawns and mopping the floor at a 7/11 store at night at age 12. Back then I was saving for a bike and then later I worked in gas stations and was saving for a car. Around age 25 I started saving for retirement.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:18 AM   #15
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Around age 47? I didn't mean to save before then, but my savings somehow got bigger, but not at the rate I am saving now since I am making more of a conscious effort now. I was never an extravagant spender.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:38 AM   #16
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I'm impressed with all of the previous comments of this thread.

I feel like I've got to get something off my chest. When I look back, I wasn't a saver. I was a spender, but not much of one, because I never made that much money. I did not like debt and have only gotten a couple of loans my whole life, and they were all paid off quickly.

I got "lucky" and with real estate made enough money to give me a great foundation. Now I make my money work for me, and try to not spend in a frivolous manner.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:19 AM   #17
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Yes, a lot of interesting comments. I think a good many of us would probably be initial savers - just for purchases - it gives great motivation...

I have studied this topic a bit in the past and most savers start saving in their late 30's - probably because they notice that their no where near where they want to be in life and now feel they need to rectify it. And their is another set that it hits them when they reach their 50's...
If you want someone to believe in you - First you have to believe in yourself and then you go from there...
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:37 AM   #18
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I was 4 years old. My grandpa gave each of us kids $10 the first time we met him. We saved the money, then bought our first dog. After that, i saved quarters from any birthday, tooth fairy, or other gifts, and collected them in the nice, cardboard sleeves. Sometimes I would take them all out, stack them, count them, and then put them all back in. When I was 8, I started picking and selling blackberries, and saved enough money for my first bike.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:41 AM   #19
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I started saving at age 9, when I first began working as a paperboy. I stopped saving 40 years later, when I stopped working for a living. Now we live off the savings.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:51 AM   #20
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19 or 20

I had an interesting experience around Money growing up, both of my grandparents were professionals with good jobs and good habits, but I watched both sides of divorced parents having issues, much of which was related to money.

I really started putting two and two together and realizing that money doesn't equal happiness, but not having or needing money for basic things can create substantial life stress. (My favorite movie clip of all time is when Forest Gump goes to the mailbox, says "Lieutenant Dan invested in some sort of fruit company and said we don't have to worry about money any more. I said great, that's one less thing")

I also got married to someone with similar beliefs.

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