Apr 24, 2009

"The Frugal Family Guide"

I love Newsweek.  I disagree with it's slant and politics 96.7% of the time, but I still love it.  Can't help myself.  I regularly cancel my subscription in protest of their liberal bias--then see an intriguing cover story while waiting in the check-out line and re-subscribe.

The other day, I stumbled on a short gem of a piece that made all of my conflicting feelings worth it.

When I went to find the digital copy, I couldn't remember the title and therefore had to sift through dozens of bleak articles all related to money (or the lack thereof)--stories that may never have been written if more people were like the parents of Steve Tuttle.  

I, for one, am going to start trying harder!

The Frugal Family Guide

Be like my mom and dad: buy stuff you can afford.


Melonie said...

That is an awesome article. Loved it. This portion of the last paragraph says it all tho:

"But there are still valuable lessons to be gleaned from their example, which boils down to this: the people who have been living the thrifty life all along, doing the right thing—crazy stuff like buying houses they can afford and saving up money for things they want to buy—are the smart ones now. And they'll be the ones who adjust most easily to a leaner time. While the rest of us watch and worry, my parents, with their paid-for house and their old rusty mousetraps, have peace of mind to spare."

I just can't add anything to that!

mountainmama said...

Love the article. It reminds me a lot of Travis' family. He grew up on 10 acres in Northwest Montana. They grew fruits and veggies in a 1/2 acre garden and hunted deer and elk for meat. They built their house and dug a well for water. Their mom would make everything they ate from scratch. In fact Travis told me he was embarrassed for having to eat a sandwich made from fat homemade whole wheat bread for lunch when all his classmates were eating white wonder bread. They did not have TV. Just five boys growing up in the wild. Travis is very frugal because of this. He will only buy clothes at second hand stores. One time I was helping him move and he packed a sliver of soap about the size of my pinky finger in a plastic bag to take to his new apartment to use later. I would have just thrown it away. Now I know why he dreams of living in a yurt in the mountains and living off the land. Sorry about the long comment. I sure miss you!!!!!

Unknown said...

enjoyed the article. makes me wonder what i did with all that money.
i was careful, but i spent when i wanted some fun and pleasure, to see the world.
i'm not sure the Tuttles had LIVED. son didn't say. just two sons, not missionaries.
the things i have are my treasures, with no one to will them to, no one to appreciate them. no bankroll to give.

Thora said...

I enjoyed the article - I want to be more like that. I'm trying to be (although my husband's in School for a Phd, so we're here for the long haul, so we're kind of forced to be frugal, which I'm sure you can empathize with). In fact, I stayed on and read tons my financial articles, and it's funny, because I disagreed with a lot of the viewpoints, but I just kept reading! Maybe it's something like reading cocaine they give you, to make you keep on going.

FOX said...

Emmy I totally dissed you on my blog!!!! I am not sure if you read all my posts since you don't COMMENT. jk

But this one you have to read!!!! Go there now!!!

BTW... I love that your fam taught me to be frugal... it like in your Bars** DNA!!! (how did you like my anonymity there!!!)

Prudence said...

Hey Emily,
It's your neighbor over on 43-C . . . well, that article talked me out of buying an ipod! Hahaha! If they can live without a dryer, I can live without an ipod!!!!! Great article. I think I'll try harder too.

acte gratuit said...

Dear Prudence,
You're thrifty enough. Buy the i-pod.

shauna said...

Great find. Helps me understand my grandparents even more. I need to be much more like that.

Pinspot said...

Well, you KNOW I'm gonna love an article that honors the value of thrift store shopping! We just finished paying off our minivan, and are planning on continuing to pay the amount of our previous payment into a savings account each month so we can pay cash for our next car. My thrifty dream is to get a 15 year mortgage on our next house instead of a 30 year. But alas, all the houses for sale in the good school districts are too expensive!

Beeswax said...

I totally agree. And it all seems so clear, when we are talking about other people.

But see, if I find my own house infested with rodents, I have a hard time not calling the exterminator, much less reusing the plague-carrying traps for 50 years.

I am always shocked by what we tell ourselves (and each other) are NECESSITIES. Things that hadn't been invented 10 years ago are things I don't want to live without (er, TIVO).

I know that thriftiness is not learned in a day. A person cannot feed themselves with food grown in the first garden they ever plant (not here in the desert, anyhow.) Living providently takes lots of skill and practice. And it is easier to learn when we can afford to make a few mistakes.

You know what magazine I love? The Economist. I don't agree with everything, either, but it is totally fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Interesting...When you were growing up, we believed in travel more than things. "Travel begats experience
Experience begats knowledge, and knowledge begats wisdom." Now with my wisdom in my older years, I appreciate even more the trips, vacations, family reunions, trips to the beach,Disneyland and Disney World, mission (and missions yet to be) we took, more than the boats, cabins, and expensive toys many of our neighbors had.

Linda M said...

Great article! I grew up wearing flour sack shirts and my sister's hand-me-downs. We never had left overs, they were the beginning of the next meal. My parents practiced frugality all their lives and were appalled when we bought a home with a mortgage. No time payments for them--on anything! We now do the same--cash for the new cars, pay credit cards off monthly, and our home is now mortgage free. Very liberating!

marissa said...

It was a good article...a really good reminder that we think we are living the poor life when really we aren't toughin' it at all! I miss you!

LaLa said...

You know I love that article. We've had to take thrifty living to a whole new level lately. Good thing I was taught how to do it or life would be tough right now. I couldn't give up my dryer but I do tear my dryer sheets in half. :)

Jenni said...

so true. i once heard of a family who turned the lights out everytime they said prayer...smart, you don't need 'em when your eyes are closed! now that is thrifty!