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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-08-2006, 08:31 PM   #41
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

I'm sure that, as most of you have already said, I picked up my inclination to save and prepare for the future from watching how my depression-era parents did it when I was a kid.

But the odd thing to me is that my younger brother grew up in the same exact environment and is a spendthrift to this day...at age 54. My wife has only one brother, and he barely makes it to the next payday, but she's as frugal as I am. I wonder if being the oldest child in each of our families had anything to do with that?
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-08-2006, 09:05 PM   #42
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

I don't think being the oldest has anything to do with it. I am the youngest of my siblings. Dad frequently brags about how much my oldest brother makes but Dad has had to bail him out on many occassions. My other sibling spends everything that comes in. I don't understand how siblings can be so different.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-09-2006, 10:20 AM   #43
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusk_to_dawn
I don't understand how siblings can be so different.
Maybe they have different parents!

My brother and I look absolutely nothing like each other. Other than a Y chromosone, there seems to be zero genetic overlap. When we were growing up, people assumed that I resembled our parents and that he was adopted.

When I joined the Navy my family moved from Pittsburgh to Denver. When I'd visit, neighbors/friends would assume that my brother looked like our parents and that I was adopted.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-09-2006, 11:00 AM   #44
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

A mailman joke would obviously be tasteless here.

Oddly, my money influences are...odd. We grew up pretty poor, clinging to windowsills because we couldnt afford floors. Actually we didnt have hot water in any of our apartments and didnt have it until my dad bought his first house, which was a real knocker-downer. The basement used to fill up with about 3' of water a couple of times during the spring rains and there were huge tree trunks with screw jacks on top of them holding the house up :P

My dad was a depression baby and stock market investor in the 65-75 suckage period, so it was EE bonds for him as an investment plan.

I was on my own from about 16, didnt have a pot to piss in until my 20's. Once i had income I promptly ran up a huge pile of debt with credit cards and a car I couldnt afford. Consolidated that, paid it off, and with few exceptions learned my own lesson about debt. Tried a little investing at the suggestions of a couple of managers, but didnt have much luck with it. 20-something disease...if it didnt work for six months I was done with it and sold. Dumped my retirement plans every time I left a company for cash and took the penalty hits. Started making great money in my 30's and spent most of it.

In other words, about as far from the 'save and invest' route to FIRE as you can get. Stock market and real estate windfalls and a years pay with benefits to walk away from the job thrust me into the position.

Difference I guess is about a million people were similarly thrust and most of them didnt know a good thing when they saw it.

I'd have to say that on whole, my greatest investing/money influences have come from right here at the forum over the last 3 years.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-09-2006, 12:44 PM   #45
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

My dad remembers the depression, being born in 1920. His father was a DDS which was a luxury, not a necessity. So he remembers being poor and was cautious with his money as an adult. He had a good income and invested well, and is in great shape today at almost 86.

He taught me not to get into debt and to invest for the long term, which was the greatest lesson for me. I did run up about 2K credit card debt was I was in my 30s. Once I had 2 kids to support, I was very careful to get out of CC debt and worked on paying off my mortgage as soon as possible. Raising 2 kids on my salary was very tough, so I lived below my means as my salary went up. It all paid off thankfully !!
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-09-2006, 01:14 PM   #46
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

The best advice my dad ever gave me was in the form of a question.

I was single, my mortage was at 18% (yea the good ole days) I was going to refinance for a lower rate and thought adding a car on to it would be okay since the one I had was on it's last leg.

His first question

Him "What happens if you can't make your car payment?"

Me " They come and take your car away"

Him " what happens if you can't make your house payment?"

Me (as the light bulb turns on) " Oh............ "

I refinanced down to 13.5% then went for a car loan.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-09-2006, 01:15 PM   #47
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n' Fuzzy Bunny
I'd have to say that on whole, my greatest investing/money influences have come from right here at the forum over the last 3 years.
So what are you going to do now that JG is gone?
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-09-2006, 11:02 PM   #48
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Growing up poor and seeing my parents struggle was a huge motivator for me.* The four-year degree in Finance was also a big influence (time value of money).* *I am 36 and should be able to retire in my early 50's.*
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-10-2006, 11:32 AM   #49
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Parents were a big influence. They always paid cash for every item. No charge card for them until my dad was in his mid-70's and the bank sent him a charge card. We were out to dinner, and he took out the card and my mom started elbowing him and whispering to him "not to use it." It was really funny, and we all knew it would be dad's first and last time he charged and that he would pay the bill off immediately. Amazing generation that paid for everything in cash, no cell phones, no cable, etc. lived simply.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #50
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Interesting that someone brought up JG, because he reminds me a lot of my dad.

I spend a lot of posts here ranking out my family, which is not exactly fair since you only get my side of the story. Actually my dad is one of my influences for converting from spendthrift to saver.

Dad was a depression child, and frugal to the point of miserliness. But he never really wanted anything. Material objects had little appeal for him. He retired at age 56, had a paid-off house and no debt. He had a credit card, but as far as I know never used it.

Dad liked to take long walks around town and pick up things he found in the road. He had a collection of tire weights, of all things. He was the sort who would dicker at a garage sale and come away with all sorts of useful objects, books, coats, etc. for next to nothing. He enjoyed riding his bike along the river. He didn't like to travel and pretty much stayed at home doing "nothing", if you call living your life nothing. We would call his savings and income from a pension, ss, and investments inadequate, but it was plenty for him and my mom.

My mom, on the other hand, loved to spend money and chafed at Dad's miserliness. She could really tear through a pile of dough. I guess we kids were grew up confused about money ... I'm glad I finally figured out how to save money and stay out of debt, despite the mixed signals.

And I want to agree about becoming overly miserly: at some point it becomes an obsession, and it is not an attractive one. I'd like to find the balancing point for myself. I'm still searching for it.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-10-2006, 08:19 PM   #51
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Easy question.* I was poor.* Family was poor.* Still have some family who are regarded that way.* It has probably affected my capacity for spending, as I have plenty of money.* Need to adopt some of the more carpe diem posters' attitudes on this forum.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-10-2006, 08:59 PM   #52
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

OK, here goes. I think the person who most influenced me was dad. He was a VERY successful entrepreneur and remains so. At one point he was the majority owner of a multi million dollar private business. All that with a GED! However, he didn't trust the stock market and was not what you would call a financial sophisticate. He eventually lost the business (it went BK) after a debt fueled expansion went bad in the early 90s recession. I remember things not being very good once I went off to college in 1991. He recovered and now makes a very nice living in a totally unrelated line of business. I doubt he will ever fully retire since he has few interests outside his business (likes to fish and gamble, that's about it).

I learned a few important things from him:

- Don't piss your money away on consumer junk. A lower base expenditure level gives you a lot more flexibility.
- Be suspicious of debt. If you choose to go into debt, it had better be for a damn good reason and you'd better have an exit strategy.
- Cash flow reigns supreme.
- Don't miss out on all the great stuff in the world besides work. He doesn't understand this, and it is the most important lesson I learned from dad.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-11-2006, 03:56 PM   #53
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345

- Don't piss your money away on consumer junk.*
When my mom would come home from a shopping spree, my dad would sing a little song:

"A pile of stuff, a pile of stuff, a-piled up to the sky... and underneath the pile of stuff, a helpless little guy.... singin'... How high the pile?* How high the pile?...."

They later divorced.* But I think he made his point, in counteracting her influences.* *
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-11-2006, 05:35 PM   #54
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

I am thinking that the fear of being poor is powerful.
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-11-2006, 06:17 PM   #55
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

I was the third oldest in a family of nine children. My dad earned a modest income as a union sheet metal worker.* If I wanted something for myself, I normally had to earn my own money to pay for it. I always paid for my own clothes, but also dressed very well. While growing up, I found numerous ways to earn extra money.* One of my earliest recollections as a 12 year old was buying soda pop by the case from wholesalers. My dad would drive me down to Pepsi Cola or CocaCola on Saturday and I would purchase several cases of pop.* Then I would put the soda in an ice chest and place it in a wagon and pull it* to a nearby construction site and sell it to the workers. At the time, this seemed like a great way to earn extra money. My depression era dad always stressed the importance of saving money. There was a thrift & loan* called "Fireside Thrift" on the other side of town that had the highest interest rates.* A friend's parent had* told me about it. I rode my bike there one day after school and opened up a passbook savings account.* The teller explained that I could also "bank by mail" and gave me special envelopes to use for future deposits.* Looking back, I think running my own small business as a child and my dad emphasizing how important it was to save money helped me learn valuable lessons that have always stayed with me.

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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-13-2006, 12:52 PM   #56
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

My addition to this interesting thread:

My parents were business people in the Philippines.* They had all sorts of businesses from when they first got married in the 1940’s—selling textiles, dress-making shop, textile retail stores, hauling-and-filling trucking business—one after the other.* At some point, they became well-to-do but lost it all due to bad receivables and over-expansion.*

After I came to the family, they had one big successful contract which allowed them to remodel the house, but after that, they were struggling.* I remember a few days when they would raid my piggy bank to buy household food for the day.* Also, my dad got sick from stress and poor attention to his health—had heart attacks, strokes, and was house-bound for 13 years before he died.* So, I was influenced to think that employment with a known salary each month is better than the boom-or-bust opportunities of going into business.* I was also encouraged by parents to go to school so that I can find a good job after college.

Coming to America, I was a blank slate as far as financial knowledge goes.* I did live with uncles and aunts, all employed professionals instead of business-owners.* They were frugal in certain ways; they seldom ate out and likewise, I seldom ate out when I was first working, although I did buy over-priced clothes at malls.

Somehow, I did understand that participating in a 401(k) was good.* An older friend told me about opening a ROTH IRA account.* Then, surfing the Internet exposed me to The Motley Fool and to this Forum.* Oh, and I read "Your Money or Your Life" and began tracking my expenses.* I also started thinking in terms of opportunity costs of stuff I buy--how many hours did I have to work to get certain things.* I did not get serious about saving for FIRE until 1999, when I was 37.* I bought a small house in 2000 and have paid off about 45% of the loan amount I took out.

I grew up in a society that scholars have deemed “fatalistic”, with a come-what-may attitude.* Planning and working for a hopefully-secure financial future came late to me and it is currently an ongoing activity.* I eke out savings from humble employment.* It would be nice if I could supplement it with a side business.* I just came back from visiting my mom and brother in the Philippines and it would be good if I could come up with some business to help them out financially.

flipstress who's not so young but still a dreamer
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Re: Influences on how you think about money
Old 03-13-2006, 03:42 PM   #57
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Re: Influences on how you think about money

My depression-era parents were a little different from most. My mother grew up urban poor,*and the trappings of success meant a lot to her. My father grew up upper middle class and wasn't particularly hurt by the depression (family business). My mother worked as an executive secretary adn married the boss's son(!). He bought her lots of nice stuff in the good old days when his business was flourishing, before they had kids.

My parents lived at their means--never in debt, but never saving either, except to pay cash for a car. My mother used "charge plates" whenever possible--again, I think that made her feel successful. They funny thing is that by going back to work to pay for "extras," she really was successful (final salary was nearly $100k 14 years ago).

My mother still doesn't like to hear about anything I do that's frugal or even about investing--it upsets her to have to "think poor" (her description of financial planning). She's always pleased to hear about money being spent on something nice (but not on something intangible, like travel ;-) Her pension is what funded my parents' retirement, plus Social Security. She took a lump sum and gave it ot a broker to invest (about 2/3 individual corporate bonds, most of the rest in dividend-paying stocks--they don't churn her account). Despite the fact that my mother was a bookkeeper and my father was in business for himself, they never taught us anything about personal finance and didn't encourage us to study it ourselves or in school. And we didn't!

So, I learned to avoid debt at home, but it took me a long time to learn on my own to save and even longer to invest. My husband and I actually hadover $500,000 sitting in savings accounts till I got a clue (he remains uninterested). My husband's father was an accountant and taught my husband nothing about personal finance either--and their family also lived at their means. Genetic defects?!
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