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Old 07-27-2011, 11:06 PM   #61
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As a man who developed a robust musculature through weight training in his teenage years, I was on more or less on the caveman diet. I still like devouring 1# ribeye steaks, pork chops or shashlik (i.e., Russian shishkabob.) Kids need a lot of animal protein to grow - I wouldn't skimp on that, just to save a buck that you could easily afford otherwise.



A good exercise regimen is definitely beneficial; I always try to walk anywhere to get my 30 minutes of walking per day (which is super easy in Europe, but super hard in most places in America, since a lot of places have no safe sidewalks!)

But tell us, are you so cheap as to not pay for them to join kids' sports leagues? My sister laid out about $30K/yr for her kids to play in high quality leagues (that were so good the only way to find suitable competition was to go away on a 400 mile road trip!) Although since I was never a big "team player", I didn't join such leagues, I think for most kids, it's a big psychological development tool.
i don't know about other sports, but in soccer (speaking from personal experience), shelling thousands of dollars to be on a "travel team" is ridiculous.

If you're any good (meaning some realistic amount of pro potential) you don't need to "pay to play" competitively. I had the problem of people trying to pay *me* to play for them. i never paid a cent to play on any team.

If you're not pro potential, just play in a good local league and you'll get all the "psychological development" you are seeking..
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:11 PM   #62
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I grew up wearing second-hand clothing and loved it when my kids were either handed down clothing or I found something they would like at yard sales. I still wear clothes that friends or relatives have passed along to me and will find something at a yard sale every once in a while. I had a great time going to yard sales when my dear granddaughter was here. I bought all kinds of clothing, toys and books for her. I also frequented a thrift store that benefited a hospital that sold infant clothing and children's books for 10 cents each. I bought her toddler bed for our house for $20.00.

I grew up in PA and we never lived in a house that had air conditioning. We bought our house in WV in 1986 and it did not have air conditioning. I did not want it put in our house because I used to freeze at work and never felt like I enjoyed summer. We had central air put in and now we seldom open a window. I have to admit that I am glad that we have it now, but we also spend more time inside since it is so much cooler.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:59 PM   #63
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I grew up wearing 2nd hand clothes and my mother would take fabric from clothes worn in a spot or stained badly and make shorts with them. If an item was store bought it usually came from Kmart. The fanciest I ever had was "Bragin Dragon" from Sears. One time she had some left over denim fabric from making curtains and made me a hand made pair of jeans. I got teased a little but the funny thing is in hindsight I'd love to have tailor made clothes now! My kids wear 2nd hand clothes now, along with some new and they've never made a negative comment about it. It makes the rare "fancy" stuff even more of a treat for them that they don't take for granted and take care of.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:39 AM   #64
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Our kids had a mixture of new and hand-me-downs. Our son didn't seem to mind that some of his hand-me-downs came from his sister.
I don't have the photo anymore but there was a similar one of me about that age wearing my older sister's hand-me-downs. It doesn't seem to have harmed me any.

And I still remember Mom "going off the cliff" when I went out wearing a brand-new pair of blue jeans (which did not happen often!) and coming back home with holes in both knees. Opportunities for hand-me-downs were sometimes limited because I was the only boy. That was often good - I had my own bedroom and my sisters had to share one.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:39 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by swampwiz View Post
As a man who developed a robust musculature through weight training in his teenage years, I was on more or less on the caveman diet. I still like devouring 1# ribeye steaks, pork chops or shashlik (i.e., Russian shishkabob.) Kids need a lot of animal protein to grow - I wouldn't skimp on that, just to save a buck that you could easily afford otherwise.



A good exercise regimen is definitely beneficial; I always try to walk anywhere to get my 30 minutes of walking per day (which is super easy in Europe, but super hard in most places in America, since a lot of places have no safe sidewalks!)

But tell us, are you so cheap as to not pay for them to join kids' sports leagues? My sister laid out about $30K/yr for her kids to play in high quality leagues (that were so good the only way to find suitable competition was to go away on a 400 mile road trip!) Although since I was never a big "team player", I didn't join such leagues, I think for most kids, it's a big psychological development tool.
Hmmm, maybe she's trying to avoid getting into a position where she has to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy to game the system in order to stick it to the man, who would have ruined her life by not letting it turn out the way she wanted it to. Looking at her blog all I see is a person living by their own rules while not harming anyone else. She's got some good ideas there, although I think a solar water heater would be a better solution than cold showers. JMO, of course.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:22 AM   #66
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This is Miser Mom herself responding: It's wild reading all these comments -- thank you, all! I appreciate the chance to see my own life through other peoples' eyes.

I'll elaborate a little. Yes, we could afford store-bought clothes, but I "force" my sons (and myself) to wear yard-sale clothes. We could afford meat at every meal, but I "force" my kids to eat meat-less (or less-meat) meals often. We could afford to drive everywhere, but my sons and I bicycle or walk most places under 1 mile. I'm awfully tough on my kids. Oh, how they suffer!

If you saw my kids, you'd think they were very happy. (Maybe they actually are.)

Thanks again for a lot of encouraging comments -- and also for the comments that make me critically examine my life.
Miser Mom - great blog entry on used clothes. I am an infrequent poster here (too busy with retirement). My son (now 9 years old) has had used clothes (hand me downs from friends, thrift store) with the exception of some socks, underwear and especially shoes. (Also a couple sports team shirts, as these are for a team not local to our area.) My ex does most of the clothes "shopping" for him at the thrift store/food pantry. (I like the place so much I give them a nice donation every year - which makes up for all of the cheap clothes!) Back when I was working full time and needed some sports jackets for a new job, I also shopped there, and this was for a job where I made north of 200k.

Let's see: Used clothes, relatively cheap cars, save and invest resulted in retired at 51. Some of my co-workers? New clothes, expensive cars ...still working!

p.s. I had to laugh when I read your "Mom's bucks" blog entry because I kept thinking of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" mom's bucks chapters.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:04 AM   #67
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She's got some good ideas there, although I think a solar water heater would be a better solution than cold showers. JMO, of course.
Cold showers have other uses than saving money.

Ha
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:16 AM   #68
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Cold showers have other uses than saving money.

Ha
That's cold!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:52 AM   #69
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I would like to say to various people....

Do NOT buy your kids used shoes... usually they have a wear pattern that is based on the previous users foot and that can cause problem for your kids...

The only way I would do it is if I could not see any sign of wear on the soles...
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:03 AM   #70
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My sister laid out about $30K/yr for her kids to play in high quality leagues (that were so good the only way to find suitable competition was to go away on a 400 mile road trip!) Although since I was never a big "team player", I didn't join such leagues, I think for most kids, it's a big psychological development tool.
If your sister pays the 30K with her CC, that is a lot of points.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #71
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I can see hand me down clothes but taking showers outside with a garden hose to save money is over the top.IMO
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #72
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I can see hand me down clothes but taking showers outside with a garden hose to save money is over the top.IMO
And it causes a lot of giggling and pointing amongst the neighbors...
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:47 AM   #73
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my current favorite sweater was 3 bucks from re-sale shop. 100% Merino wool, heavenly soft
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #74
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I really hate how this thread is worded. Every time I see the topic it makes me cringe. "Force" your kids.

There's nothing wrong with some hand-me-downs, nothing wrong with being frugal, and nothing wrong with not being wasteful, regardless of your income level.

Force.

Bias the question much?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:10 PM   #75
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I have to admit that lately I've shopped the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet for most of my t-shirts, because their "5 for $20" deals have been beating out Goodwill's selection.
Everytime I visit Oahu, I go there to buy all my current and old T-shirts. Almost all my shirts are from that Stadium Swap meet. i love aloha style. I try to wear shorts and clubwear sandals all the time.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:11 PM   #76
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i don't know about other sports, but in soccer (speaking from personal experience), shelling thousands of dollars to be on a "travel team" is ridiculous.
Yeah, well, welcome to Hawaii.

And if you have a world-class instructor, then it's totally worth it.

http://www.oahutaekwondo.com/
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:31 PM   #77
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My second grandaughter is wearing a dress which was handed down to her by her older sister which was handed to them by their mother (my DD) who wore the dress 34 years ago.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:08 PM   #78
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Yeah, well, welcome to Hawaii.

And if you have a world-class instructor, then it's totally worth it.

http://www.oahutaekwondo.com/
yeah, i can see how for individual sports you would get value out of
(expensive) instruction, and since there is not (as) much of a team concept, there's nobody that's interested in getting you to "join" their team and provide for your instruction in the process.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:15 AM   #79
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I would like to say to various people....

Do NOT buy your kids used shoes... usually they have a wear pattern that is based on the previous users foot and that can cause problem for your kids...

The only way I would do it is if I could not see any sign of wear on the soles...
Which is why I mentioned buying my son new sneakers and shoes. Having run 7 marathons and many long distance trail races, I know how important good (meaning fitting YOUR foot) shoes are. (On the other hand, there are native american tribes in central america/mexico that run 70 mile runs with cut-up used tire pieces.)
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:47 PM   #80
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Even though my father made a great living as a physician, I grew up wearing second-hand clothes and stuff my mother bought (seemingly in bulk) on clearance from all sorts of stores. Some stuff was from JC Penny, while other stuff came from Bloomingdales and Dillards. Did I have a problem with it? Nope, unless she tried to make me wear stuff that was clearly out of style or was a shirt/pants combo that made me look like a dork.

These days, my wife and I do very well and could afford to shop at Nordstrom, Bloomindales, Brooks Brothers, etc... for clothes. We don't. For our daughter (who is 2), my wife goes to all the kids consignment/resale shops. Most stuff is brand name with some wearing, but plenty of life left. She outgrows the stuff so fast, it doesn't make sense to buy retail. The only things we do buy retail are quality shoes, but even then only when they're on sale.
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