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View Poll Results: Were you raised by parents whose lives were impacted by the Great Depression?
Yes, I was. 146 84.39%
No, I wasn't. 19 10.98%
Something else, feel free to explain. 8 4.62%
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Were you raised by Depression-era parents
Old 11-08-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Were you raised by Depression-era parents

To get a handle on how many posters may have been impacted into frugality/FI* by being raised by Depression-era parents, here's a poll.

(*as mentioned in this post What % of FI'ers are motivated by childhood memories?)


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Old 11-08-2018, 03:36 PM   #2
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Parents born in the 1930's, but there was never any talk of substance about the Great Depression. They were frugal though for the most part.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:41 PM   #3
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The Depression and WWII made significant impacts on my parent's lives. Lots of hardships that were a topic of discussion in my home. I was always interested in their stories.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:47 PM   #4
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Most definitely. I was raised through the age of 8 by my grandparents (born in 1927 and 1932) and lived with my mother from 9-17'ish and the way they dealt/respected money and how my mother dealt/didn't respect it was night and day. Thankfully, I took my grandparent's cues over my mother's and I give them a good 75% of the credit for my financial ways.

My Grandad (who was always my "Dad") was also raised in an orphanage for a significant amount of his childhood, so there were lots of lessons to be learned about how damn lucky I was as a kid.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:59 PM   #5
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Oh yes, it had a huge impact. Dad was born in 1910 and Mom in 1913, so both were young adults in the 1930's. Dad was an electrician and he never mentioned long-term unemployment, but I'd imagine that perhaps that was a valued skilled trade even during the Depression. I don't know for sure though. Mom left Buffalo, NY where her family was to take a job with the then War Department (now Dept. of Defense) as a secretary because she couldn't find any work in Buffalo.

Because Dad had a hearing loss in one ear most military services wouldn't accept him but he did get into the Coast Guard and served there during WWII.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:03 PM   #6
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Most definitely. Parents born in 1917. My dad's DF was an orphan raised by his GPs, married before the civil war. DGF died at work in 1929, months before the depression. DGM had 3 kids to take care of including DF. He was a scared kid, never openly talked about it. I learned, perhaps not how I wanted to.

I remember a night when DM was making something from cabbage, something I'm not too fond of. Being a 8 yo kid I said something, that discussion was fast and furious. I was thereafter grateful for cabbage to eat!

I saw older family do all kinds of things, most greatly influenced by their experiences in the depression. My Aunt always saved her bacon grease for cooking, started in WWII. The number of times females in my family heard "that is your husband's job" was pretty weird to people in 2000s.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:03 PM   #7
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My dad was born in '27 and grew up in steel area in eastern PA. He will be 93 next year, and is doing great, but moving slow. As a kid, a favorite story is how they used to use the black pitch off the streets for chewing gum. He retired when he was 56, and set the bar way too high for us 5 children. But his model made me frugal all my life.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:05 PM   #8
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My father was born in 1920 and his father was a dentist. During the depression, dentists weren't necessarily paid with money, maybe vegetables or other food, so my grandmother had to go to work to put food on the table for 4 kids. That definitely had an impact on my dad.

My mother was born in 1924 and the impact wasn't very pronounced, her family had money so the depression really didn't affect her.

My dad was a saver, my mom was a spender. My dad talked a lot about saving, not getting into debt and smart spending. My mom spent. It was a very clear picture for me.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:07 PM   #9
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I was born in 1952 when my dad was 59, so he was a young adult during the depression. He used to hide cash in his dresser. After he had a stroke, my mother found $3000 in cash in a drawer. This was about 1963 so about $25,000 today.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:26 PM   #10
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Parents were born in 1919 and 1920. I heard many stories from them growing up as kids in the Depression. Crazy stuff.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:31 PM   #11
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Both parents born in 1918. Dad lost his savings in a bank, but got something back many years later. After the war went on to a successful career on Wall Street and there was always plenty of money. They always had the best of everything and when my Dad passed at 99 was still a multi-millionaire.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:37 PM   #12
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my folks were born in the late 20s in Oklahoma (i.e. not well off by any stretch of the imagination)

the depression had a huge impact on them growing up, obviously
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:41 PM   #13
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Dad was born in 1922 and remembered and the time he spent in the south pacific in WWII. Mom was born in 1936 but was too young to remember the worst of it. Heard a lot about it from my Dad - it definitely influenced him his entire life.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:12 PM   #14
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Man, you guys are old! Jk! My wife and Iís parents were terrible examples of frugality even though they were raised by depression era parents.
Our grandparents were very frugal but also worked in some capacity into their 70ís, though most of it was part time.
Retrospectively, the 2008 recessionís affect on our finances coupled with our grandparents passing seemed to solidify our frugality.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:13 PM   #15
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And of course all these stories about growing up with hardships in the Depression, impressive as they may be on the surface, would be considered trivial to anyone living in Yorkshire.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
And of course all these stories about growing up with hardships in the Depression, impressive as they may be on the surface, would be considered trivial to anyone living in Yorkshire.
+1

And you try to tell young people today that - and they won't believe you.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by KB View Post
My father was born in 1920 and his father was a dentist. During the depression, dentists weren't necessarily paid with money, maybe vegetables or other food, so my grandmother had to go to work to put food on the table for 4 kids. That definitely had an impact on my dad.

My mother was born in 1924 and the impact wasn't very pronounced, her family had money so the depression really didn't affect her.

My dad was a saver, my mom was a spender. My dad talked a lot about saving, not getting into debt and smart spending. My mom spent. It was a very clear picture for me.
My Dad was born in '24, and his Dad was a dentist. All four of his grandparents emigrated from Sicily. My grandmother was especially frugal, and it rubbed off on my Dad. By the time my kids knew my Dad, he was a "rich" retiree. My kids don't believe me when I tell them stories of Dad putting water in the ketchup bottle, to stretch it. (It sucked. It stretched it because nobody would use it after that), and Dad strictly enforcing the "2 pieces of bacon" rule, and scooping the ice cream himself so nobody took more than 2 scoops. (Of course, after we went to bed he'd demolish the rest of the half-gallon)...

My mother was born in Italy in 1926, her father died before the war, and they became war refugees, homeless, trying to keep the brothers out of the Nazi's hands, and eating cats when they could find them. Eventually a war bride, yeah, she was pretty frugal.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:03 PM   #18
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My parents were older when I was born. My mother was born in 1909. So I guess she was a young women during that time. My husbandís parents definitely lived during that time.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:09 PM   #19
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Mom was born in North Dakota in 1914. When she was 2 her father died. Her mom remarried, and by the time her second husband croaked (a natural death, I assure you) there were 10 kids in the house. Mom left school at 16 and went to Chicago to work as a nanny on the Gold Coast. One of her employers was a mobster named Frank "Skippy" Cerone, whose little brother Jackie "The Lackey" eventually ran the Chicago Outfit.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:12 PM   #20
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My parents were born in the early 1930's, so yes they were impacted by the Great Depression. My grandparents were impacted more. When I was a youngster, my grandmother told me that they lost the farm in the Great Depression. I had a hard time figuring out how someone could lose something as big as a farm.
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