When I think back to what made me a Frugal Miser, I remember how Dad set the example:
- Dad believed the only debt you should have is your mortgage. You appreciated what you had more when you paid for things in cash.
- Dad paid for quality. He used Craftsmen tools because he said they were guaranteed for life.
- Dad took care of the things he owned. He never let the grass get too high in our yard, and he washed his truck every weekend. He regularly checked the air in his tires (and in our bikes) and taught me the importance of checking the fluid levels in my car at regular intervals. Dad was a neat freak, too.
- When I was really young (maybe 8 or 9), Dad made me and my brother each a piggy bank out of a peanut can. He told us when we had $100 in the piggy bank he would take us to his bank to open our own savings account. He gave us chores (some mandatory but many optional) so we could earn extra money. This gave me the foundation for the value of a dollar.
- After the divorce Dad would take us out to eat when he picked us up on Friday evenings. We got to pick wherever we wanted to eat, but he told us how much we could spend, and we stuck to it. He wasn't stingy, but we definitely had to be mindful of our budget.