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View Poll Results: what were your general influences growing up?
mostly Spendthrift models; tended towards being spendy 5 4.07%
mostly Frugal models; tended towards being Frugal 76 61.79%
mostly Spendthrift models; reacted by being Frugal 8 6.50%
mostly Frugal models; reacted by being spendy 5 4.07%
Average models; more Frugal by nature 22 17.89%
Average models; more spendy by nature 7 5.69%
Voters: 123. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-24-2008, 10:09 AM   #21
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voted frugal/frugal. Parents were poor, still are, relatively speaking, but I never new we were poor. We were rich where it counted. We do have nice things, go on a few nicer vacations although about half are financed by frequent flyer miles due to my status as a heavy business traveller. But, we also have a huge (comparatively) amount set aside for retirement, and we'll need it because our tastes have grown up a little as my comp has grown. But we have always lived the LBYM lifestyle: no cc debt, mortgage on our first home paid off in about 5 years, built the second with no debt. Sis 1 on the other hand is bankrupt - extremely lazy but amassed huge cc debt. Bro 1 was 27k in cc debt when he graduated from univ after 7 years of attending, married a girl with similar cc debt. Don't know where they stand with that now after 10 or so years of marraige. He is a "know it all" and always has to find a way to dismiss others as dumb (if he was so smart, why is he a scraping by as a gas station attendant??). Sis 2/BIL does better but still spends way too much compared with her/their ability. Sis 1 and Bro 1 make sure to tell me it is not fair that I have what I have, and they don't...but sis 1 has A LOT of things we do not have, even though we have a nicer home.

I'm the first sibling out of four, and I wonder sometimes if the first apple lands closer to the tree as far as frugality is concerned. DW thinks so. Her parents were spendthrifts, FIL died without a penny to his name, and about $4m in debt. SIL fell very close to the tree, while DW is much more frugal (mostly learned from me but perhaps from seeing the example of what debt can do to you from her parents and sis). Any opinions?

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Old 07-24-2008, 10:37 AM   #22
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Not really saying much Marquette, just that you mentioned on another thread that you felt having frugal parents led to kids being less frugal (when they have the money, they tend to spend it not knowing what to do with it). I respectfully disagree.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:44 AM   #23
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She also seems to be willing to pay other people to pay attention to her....
I've tried this. People take my money and then still ignore me.

Frugal/Frugal vote here.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:48 AM   #24
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I chose spendthrift/frugal.

It was a hard choice though. My mother knew how to stretch her very little income to cover groceries and anything on the side we wanted BUT...she never saved for retirement, had a credit card with money on it (pretty sure that was my dad's fault but still), and never concerned herself with how my dad paid the rest of the bills.

My dad had the same set of issues and he ran the household finances. That said, he did get his act together, started saving for retirement and got his mortgage paid off before building his garage that he wanted. He still does lots of credit card debt and auto loans but he did teach me one very valuable thing. The sooner you start saving for retirement the better (do as I say, not as I do).

Once I had a job, I paid for the extras I wanted like clothing when mine was ratty and food at the high school. I still had enough leftover to give lots of money to my father. Paid for college myself and lived as cheaply as possible while allowing myself a few splurges.

I think it was the last year of college and the two years after that I was the most outrageous with help from my dh who had no experience with finances. But even at my most spendthrifty, I always kept the monthly bills exceptionally low. As a result, when I cracked down the year after, the small mess we had made was easily cleaned up.

So back to my frugal self.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #25
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I voted average/frugal. Depression era parents with very average lifestyle, living in a very small town in a midwestern state. I never felt deprived of anything, but I know we weren't really well off. My parents always had a garden and canned tomatoes and green beans as well as other veggies. We took nice long road trips for our vacations every June. I had a good part time job that allowed me to spend more on nicer clothing when in high school. We lived in a very small house. I had a nice average life when living with my parents, even tho, I'm sure they were being thrifty...I just didn't know that - it was just "normal".

My husband's family was 2nd generation immigrants, also of Depression era parents. They were VERY frugal. They built up their own business over time and with very careful management of their money.

I become more frugal after marrying my husband. My husband and his family taught me quite a bit about being frugal. Not so much in words, but just by what they did.

BTW, my husband and I are/were both introverts and my husband was the first born.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:58 AM   #26
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Not really saying much Marquette, just that you mentioned on another thread that you felt having frugal parents led to kids being less frugal (when they have the money, they tend to spend it not knowing what to do with it). I respectfully disagree.
From that thread:

Quote:
Growing up poor is actually the biggest detriment I've faced... not because I didn't know what it meant to stretch a dollar or live on as little as possible, but because, by golly, I finally had money! All those years of not getting the latest and the best, I was finally entitled!
I wouldn't know about other people... note the use of the pronoun 'I'. Maybe we are the world, but I ain't.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:00 AM   #27
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I didn't know what to vote. My parents had no money so I couldn't put my finger on their spending habits.

I myself was a spend thrift till the age of 47.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:05 AM   #28
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From that thread:



I wouldn't know about other people... note the use of the pronoun 'I'. Maybe we are the world, but I ain't.
I am with you on this one, so there are at least two who found that growing up poor and then having money contributed to me going on a number of buying sprees.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:09 AM   #29
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One would think so, but observing my own siblings and their spouses, plus my friends and their spouses, I only see a weak correlation. And there are plenty of exceptions.
So much for my second career as a social scientist.

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The introvert/extrovert thing I have not noticed. I feel that introverts slightly spend less money than the extroverts (which would be agreeing with the case). I feel extroverts think about money more, however, so if they are reasonably intelligent, many extroverts are more aware of their financial situations or have ambitions of savings.

Maybe I am just biased because I am very frugal and very extroverted.
My post on my introvert/extrovert observation was poorly worded. When I wrote that "this often seems to be a determining factor", I was referring to Sue J's question on how 2 sibs from the same family could have turned out so different.

I do believe that in general extroverts will feel more social pressure to spend, which can explain why someone from a thrifty family would become a free-spender. There are no absolutes, though: DW has 2 sisters, both extroverts. One is an extreme spend-thrift, and the other is truly the most frugal person I know. Dang human beans, just when you think you got 'em figured out, they turn out to be all complex...
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:15 AM   #30
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I am with you on this one, so there are at least two who found that growing up poor and then having money contributed to me going on a number of buying sprees.
So you mentioned that if it wasn't for Greg that you probably never would have ER'ed... once you saw the light, did you find it easier to go back to your roots?

I did, although I'm still more talk and less walk than I could be. My mom told me that she made garbage soup this last weekend (long standing tradition I've mentioned before... she cooks and freezes meals for the month so she's only out one day a month. When it's time to clean out the freezer, everything that might go together does... through the food processor first if needed). Me, I at least save leftovers and mostly get through them but we still go out a fair amount.

Mom was always a coupon-clipper and would compare the coupons against the store brand and go on double-coupon days. Me, I go right for the organic isle and buy the brand that I know is consistantly what I want and I buy it as needed.

Mom would buy in bulk when things were on sale. We had to help with stock rotation... the rhythm was to go to the store, buy a lot, go home and then I'd get to put the new stuff in the back and bring the old stuff forward. We had everything sorted by type and we'd pick out what the veggie was with dinner based on what needed to be used. Now, I'm buying fresh or frozen, even if the canned can be had cheaper (a choice I make because I'm fortunate enough to be able to)

Still, some of what I learned and observed growing up has stuck with me. And, at least I have a role model of what a frugal lifestyle is supposed to look like. I'm guessing a spendthrift child of a spendthrift is repeating some mistakes because they don't know better.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #31
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My post on my introvert/extrovert observation was poorly worded. When I wrote that "this often seems to be a determining factor", I was referring to Sue J's question on how 2 sibs from the same family could have turned out so different.
I'm the first born. I'm the eldest by 7 years. I'm also a borderline extrovert (fwiw, Meyers-Briggs pegged me at just a few points this side on that scale... but I'm an introvert at heart I think [hard to explain, I hate people, but I love acting up]).

I can tell you without a doubt that I'm the most responsible of the three of us. However, I was the babysitter and I was the one working the earliest. Brother was the middle child... he's the most caring and thoughtful. He also had a bit of an identity crisis, I think. At first he wanted to follow in my footsteps career-wise, but I think he realized it wasn't for him. He's a paramedic now, which I think is way more rewarding and successful than what I do. Sis was adopted, so it's hard to say what's nature and nurture, but she's on her way to an MBA and a CPA.

Brother is a bit of a spendthrift but I've beat him over the head with money lessons quite a bit (my wife and I helped both of them out with college and, as a result, I felt it was only right that I assign homework as well). Sis doesn't have money to spend, but she's not overly frugal or spendthrift.. I'm guessing she understands the value of a dollar pretty good.

Hope that helps with your thesis! I'll see if I can get personality types for you.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:35 PM   #32
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I am with you on this one, so there are at least two who found that growing up poor and then having money contributed to me going on a number of buying sprees.
I vote as a third, hence the 3 year period of insanity. Fortunately I recovered quickly.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:38 PM   #33
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My parents grew up during the Depression and both developed a frugal nature early in life. They never earned a high income but were still able to minimize debt and save up for big ticket items. My frugality was abandoned for several years while I was young, earning a decent income and surrounded by friends and co-workers who were buying all the cool toys. Still, I always kept some emergency savings and contributed to the 401k (though not as much as I should have been.) I've now rediscovered my inner frugal nature as my wife and I prepare for ER.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:43 PM   #34
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Dang, my theory is out the window on this one!
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:44 PM   #35
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On the other hand, my DH is also an introvert, but he has a mental block when it comes to money. He's the oldest sibling of five. In his family money was not talked about. Dad worked, Mom stayed at home. They had cars, food, electronics, traveled to see family, had an occasional vacation. But no one ever talked about money. Everything was just taken car of. No one got an allowance or learned to budget or plan. You just got what you asked for or needed, some got more if they asked for more or needed more.

As an adult he is very "hands off" about our family finances. It makes him uncomfortable and itchy. It's like a dyslexia for money. Very weird. It wasn't until I told him that he could retire in 2013 if we changed a few things and made a plan, that he forced himself to pay attention to our money. He still wants to run out of the room if I start talking about spreadsheets or interest rates or bank balances. But he's gotten better and tries to stay focused.

We've been doing a debt snowball since about March and I'd love to show him details. I remind him that the car loan will be paid off next month instead of in 2010 and that's his tolerance level. The details would not matter to him. I get a great sense of accomplishment each month and I have to celebrate it all by myself.

He's not dumb, he just finds money to be a topic to avoid. That's how I feel about football. But money is so personal, I wish he was interested.

I watch Dave Ramsey in the evening. DH would not come sit on the couch and watch with me, but I know he's listening. Ok, maybe not listening, he's hearing. He'll comment from another room about something on the show, like how the advice makes sense or about some funny comment.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:07 PM   #36
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I had both models, Mom was frugal and a good financial manager -- Dad was the opposite. They both influenced me, but I chose spendthrift/frugal since I think Dad had the greater influence on my behavior.

My sibs all turned out to be financially responsible too.

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Old 07-24-2008, 03:18 PM   #37
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It does not surprise me that almost 57% voted frugal/frugal so far. This is a group of lifetime savers and passive investors who have a long-term view of investments.

I was raised by parents who had to scrape through the depression and ended up with 5 kids that they insisted on sending to Catholic schools even though the local schools in FL were not that bad. I learned from them that you save your $ and spend it on what you feel that you really need for the long term. All five of us have advanced degrees from excellent universities, so I guess the extra $ spent on schooling from grades 1-12 did not hurt and perhaps helped us.

To this day I believe in saving as much as possible and spending my money on what I believe will produce quality in the long term. A simple idea that developed me into a index investor who sleeps well at night, and occasionally in the daytime too.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:44 PM   #38
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Didn't vote on this one as my models were probably equally mixed. Must have been about 30 when a friend observed, "you never spend anything!" Guess I was a bit retarded as I still was also doing the college habit of sitting cross-legged on the floor. After a few years I did learn to buy enough stuff to furnish an apt. and my clothes closet but now am back to not needing anything. Really really enjoy not going shopping.

A favorite role model I met as an adult owned a house but every time he got into Macy's to buy furniture, he would turn around and say, "I'd rather be golfing." And he would head out to the course.

OK, I'll go back and vote, "frugal."
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:52 PM   #39
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Didn't vote on this one
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OK, I'll go back and vote, "frugal."
Can't believe that you talked yourself into voting after making your comments. Awesome!!

Are you part of the USA that is generally catorigized in political polls as "undecided"?

I always wondered who those folks were...
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:37 PM   #40
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My father was very frugal. When I got older, I knew what a real man he was. One that could sacrifice he own wants for the needs of his family. I work with alot of men that want some kind of dumb thing while thier family is on poor ground money wise. It makes me sad and I am a man.
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