Lessons From the Previous Generation
My parents grew up in Britain during the Second World War. North Americans may not realize it but wartime rationing continued for several years after that. So, when they arrived over here, they had lived with deprivation for most of their lives.
They continued with this lifestyle for all of their working lives - and into retirement. They found that it was a great way to save money – a lot of money. There were not a lot of new clothes or eating out. Vacations were taken around my father’s business trips. The thermostat hovered around 53 degrees during the winter months. The cars were always bought used and driven into the ground.
There were times though that frugality crossed over into just plain cheap. The Christmas turkey was cooked at Dad’s workplace so that it wouldn’t use our electricity. As soon as the kids got part-time jobs we had to pay rent. We didn’t buy sugar or jam or anything else that was available in small containers at restaurants. Every time my father went out for coffee he would fill his pockets with jam and sugar packets, and bring them home.
So, the frugal living tips I offer come from a lifetime of experience. Some of them are ones that I learned from my parents and some that I’ve come up with on my own. A lot of what my parents did to save money, I chose not to practice. I know it worked for them, but it just seemed impractical in my life. However, if any of us had grown up in their circumstances, we would probably behave the same way.