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Old 06-17-2008, 07:47 PM   #41
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.... Painting and decorating occurred when the kid(s) was old enough to offer an opinion. Don't let Madison Avenue or a shopaholic co-worker get you all jazzed up.
In our house, painting and decorating occurred when the kid was old enough to do it herself.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:53 PM   #42
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Hey Jeff, just checked your web site, funny stuff with a great message - good work!

I'm gonna have to put in a request at our library, they don't seem to have it, unless 'The Ultimate Mae West' is another one in your series? ..... No, I didn't think so.

Good luck with the book - ERD50
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:37 PM   #43
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Had a friend drive me in an '80's K-car station wagon that had peeled roof liners, peeled vinyl roof, and rust everywhere. The kicker was the the tires were bald and out of balance, so we could only do 50 MPH on the expressway. Watching those semi trucks barreling toward us at 80 MPH was very scary. The constant vibration from the out of balance tires didn't add much to my sense of security.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:07 PM   #44
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Returning to the original topic of decorating a baby's bedroom, we had our first son in 1984, but we didn't know the sex of the baby before the birth. I was never into the pink vs blue idea, so we went with wallpaper featuring pairs of smiling animals, giraffes, elephants, hippos, zebras, lions, tigers and antelopes. And in the background are large bushes, grasses and trees. It's really cute wallpaper. We used the room for both sons (#2 came along in 1987) until they moved to larger bedrooms upstairs when they grew out of the crib.

Soon after the younger son moved out of the room we needed to use it as a guest room for out of town family. We didn't have the time or energy to redecorate and the wallpaper was still in good shape so we just moved in a sofa bed. Then we got a computer and moved in a desk and made this into the office/computer room/guest room. You can't help but wake up happy with all these smiling animals around you.

The sons are now 21 and 23 and here I am on my computer with these smiling animals staring at me. Some day we will move all the furniture, computer equipment and large desk out of here and do a proper redecoration. But for now it's just the way it is.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:47 PM   #45
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when my parents had their 1st newborn(late 60's), they didn't have a crib, so they used a dresser drawer.

when they built their second house we moved in before it was finished, so my 7 year old brother's bedroom was the master bedroom's 6X8 walk-in closet.

One year for my birthday my present was to get to pick the color of the carpet for my newly built bedroom in the basement.

They raised a lamb in the garage till it was ready to butcher. Boy did that smell horrible!

Dad had this quaint idea that you could heat the whole house with a wood stove in the living room. He would turn the heat off in your bedroom until bed time, so you basically couldn't live in your own room during the day.

As a result of all this frugality dad (65) is now a millionaire +, and doesn't even need it because he has a big pension that he doesn't even spend all of. They spend much more freely since they retired 10 years ago; vacations, cars, gourmet food.

Good times.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:37 AM   #46
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Actually, he may have had a very good reason to do so. Here's the reasoning (note personal bias):

A) I HATE faxes -maybe this person is like me.

E) I HATE faxes.

-ERD50 (who HATES faxes, BTW)
Ha ha! Gotcha..
But believe me.. however much you hate faxes, you would hate sitting in Rome traffic breathing exhaust for an hour MORE.. :P



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Old 06-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #47
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Most baby gear was hand me downs and/or second hand purchase including the crib. We did pony up for a mobile to entertain the little buggers. Then they graduated to a mattress on the floor so they didn't have far to fall, then a box spring and a mattress on the floor and finally up on a frame. Painting and decorating occurred when the kid(s) was old enough to offer an opinion. Don't let Madison Avenue or a shopaholic co-worker get you all jazzed up.
With the exception of the crib (we paid, but grandparents put the same amount in Euros in our German account ), we're going to do something similar to you. DD will sleep on the mattress first, but when she moves to the guest bedroom, we'll remove spring boxes from the queen bed, so she'll sleep less than 16 inches high.
Yep, I always listen to my DH as regards to shopping/decorating "Why care what other people think? If you don't like/want to do it, don't do it. I'm fine the way we live."

I rather spend on our vacation and traveling instead and we did quite a bit before kids, but a bit less with DD who's not flexible. But I'm looking forward to our future vacation.
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:31 AM   #48
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Seems to me the ideal room for an infant would be concrete floors with a large drain in the center...
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:55 AM   #49
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Seems to me the ideal room for an infant would be concrete floors with a large drain in the center...
What!!!? No bars?
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:28 PM   #50
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I don't know if this qualifies as frugal or just crazy.

My mother (86) accumulated a collection of jars, cans and boxes of odd assorted nails, screws, nuts, bolts and other odd bits of hardware over the years. When her father (who was a carpenter) passed away, she "inherited" his similar collection.

The "odd bits" includes such things as old storm window mounting hardware, old doorknobs, cabinet knobs, rusty hinges, hooks with layers of old paint, mystery items ("I think this may have come off that old record-player you kids used to have"), 3-way electric outlet converters, fuses, carpet tacks, skeleton keys, other keys to unknown locks, padlocks with missing keys, skate keys (anyone remember those?), clasp that came off an old trunk, bent screwdriver with broken tip ("you might need that to pry up a paint can lid"), dried out rubber washers, assorted metal washers, rivets, grommits, shower curtain hooks, drapery hooks, broken drill bit, hammer head ("that's still good, it just needs a new handle")...and so on.


When she came to live with me, the whole mess, of course, came with her, and now sits in my cellar. She has resisted several attempts by me to get rid of it, so it continues to sit there. It seems to have some sentimental value for her, or something. I think I did manage to toss a gummy 50 year old roll of electrical tape, once.

Of course, occasionally something in one of the jars has come in handy, which just reinforces the "you never know when you might need one of these" attitude.

I gave up letting it bother me.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:24 PM   #51
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I don't know if this qualifies as frugal or just crazy.
Of course, occasionally something in one of the jars has come in handy, which just reinforces the "you never know when you might need one of these" attitude.
I gave up letting it bother me.
HGTV and Oprah do a lot of "overaccumulation" stories. The worst cases of hoarding usually involve a psychological trauma or syndrome that requires significant counseling to overcome. It can also be an effect of aging-- when my grandfather went into dementia, no paper (other than toilet paper) left his two-bedroom apartment for over four years. Save a week's worth of junk mail & newspapers and then multiply by about 200.

But you've also described the business models of "Antiques Roadshow" and "Restoration Hardware"...
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:37 PM   #52
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The worst cases of hoarding usually involve a psychological trauma or syndrome that requires significant counseling to overcome. It can also be an effect of aging--...
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But you've also described the business models of "Antiques Roadshow" and "Restoration Hardware"...
Well, I don't think it's aging - this stuff has been accumulating for at least my whole life, It's nothing that began in her latter years.

She did grow up during the Great Depression, so maybe that was traumatic enough to trigger this.

If Antiques Roadshow should ever come to town, maybe I can rent a truck, haul it all there for an appraisal, and accidentally leave it in their parking lot?

Or, better yet, " Those skeleton keys are quite rare! Let's see, you've got 27 of them. At $18,000 to $25,000 apiece....."
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:32 AM   #53
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My frugality was influenced by my parents and my experience. They were immigrants here and had a business, but it really only did well enough to pay the bills, but it still was better than earning minimum wage. Yet we never went on vacation as a family because someone had to watch the business. We didn't have a TV until 1977 because they never had time to watch TV. I was always wearing sad looking clothes... so I could have gone the other way... and I did for a while because I was earning money and living w/my parents with no need to save up money... and one day I got this $600 credit card bill which to me is like someone else getting a $15,000 credit card bill. I stopped spending and set aside money each month to pay it off in 4 months... and I've paid my bill in full ever since. I was in college at the time and earning about $300/month working part-time, so the bill was 2x my monthly pay!

I am more frugal than my DH; I'm sure he thinks I'm crazy sometimes. My daughter is sleeping on a mattress that is about 15 years old... I got this mattress because I wrote to Simmons to complain about feeling many of the springs on the original mattress. It was still under warranty, so they gave me this mattress in return... in the early 1990's. DD was about 9 when this happened: she had a nice comforter and several blankets, but DH wanted her to have a goose down comforter... granted it was mega on sale at Kohl's... $35 and include a couple of down pillow. I wouldn't buy it because she didn't NEED it, but he bought it anyway. Yeah, it's good to have an alternate comforter, I guess, but I was really mad at the time.

DD's room in the first house was beige with no decorations. When she was 2, we moved here, and her room is still beige. I'm sure she'd like a cute room, but it's less the money, but more the time. In fact, we bought the paint. We just haven't painted.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:55 AM   #54
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I rather spend on our vacation and traveling instead and we did quite a bit before kids, but a bit less with DD who's not flexible. But I'm looking forward to our future vacation.
I'm curious about not being flexible.
While traveling with kids requires probably 4 times as much energy as before, we still like to travel together. We just need to cater to their interests, not only to ours.

sailor,
posting from a short, 7 weeks vacation in Europe, with DW and two small kids in tow.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:51 AM   #55
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I'm curious about not being flexible.
While traveling with kids requires probably 4 times as much energy as before, we still like to travel together. We just need to cater to their interests, not only to ours.

sailor,
posting from a short, 7 weeks vacation in Europe, with DW and two small kids in tow.
When I said DD not being flexible, in my mind I was comparing my DD to my manager's kids. My manager's kids are just HAPPY to sit in the car seats and our DD HATES being buckled up, so she screams, cries and whines. The longest she can sit quiet would be 20 min max. Entertaining is not really helpful (well, maybe she'll be distracted for 10min). And I refuse to buy a DVD player for the car. Since she isn't into watching TV, I assume DVD player will not help. But I do sit with her in the back and I do everything I can think of to entertain her.... Anyway, what I hope for is when she has a brother, they'll be able to entertain each other and our traveling will become easier .

I'd be curious what you visited in Europe with your little kids (how old are they?) and which places were very child-friendly. Our dream plan is different. Since both sets of grandparents live there (two different countries) we might drop kids off at their homes and we'd take a short trip or two in a different direction .
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:23 AM   #56
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Aida,
DD used to be the same way. Starting when she was about 2, I put a bag on the seat next to her with small toys/books/paper pad and crayons, so she could reach them herself. Keeps her occupied for hours! Especially if some of the items are new to her - kids books $.10-.25 at the thrift store!
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:09 AM   #57
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Here is a great example of frugality:
They saved almost ALL of their kids babyclothes and toys. Over 30 years later when we had kids, they packed up a trailer and hauled it over to us. Filled the better part of my storage room.

My wife and I are of like mind. We used it all. Picture my daughter in 2002 crawling around in groovy early 70s clothing, and playing with vintage fisher price toys...
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:21 AM   #58
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if you will check the link, current tax rates for median and half median incomes are as low as they have ever been, and even those at twice the median income are not much above 1955 levels.
That is an interesting table. You have to wonder about it's accuracy, though, when they clearly forgot the phase-out of the child tax credit for the last few years, which raises the marginal tax rate from 25% to 30% in 2006.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:33 AM   #59
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Also: don't forget FICA, 15.3% today and 3% in 1955. Combined median average rate would be ~20% today and ~9% in 1955. Top looks like ~24% in 1990.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:50 PM   #60
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Aida,
DD used to be the same way. Starting when she was about 2, I put a bag on the seat next to her with small toys/books/paper pad and crayons, so she could reach them herself. Keeps her occupied for hours! Especially if some of the items are new to her - kids books $.10-.25 at the thrift store!
Yes, this method kind of helped us a little bit on the airplane when we traveled to/from Europe. But the best distraction was playing with water: washing her table-tray and her seat... until her (leather) seat got very wet and a stewardess warned that there're electronics beneath the seat.
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