As part of a new normal here of featuring my readers, I thought we’d start off with this question sent to me by Daisy.
“I didn’t enjoy being part of a frugal family as a child. I was conspicuous and just wanted to fit in. I never had the ‘right’ clothes and my lunch box was strictly home-made. No processed pre-packaged items like the rest of the kids.
“I did grow up in the eighties, which was definitely a time of conspicuous consumption and things have certainly changed. Home made is cool (again? for the first time?) and people are wary of processing, packaging, preservatives, pesticides, etc.
“It is no longer an insult to say that your mom makes your clothes, but I’m guessing it will never be cool to have your mom cut your hair.
“Despite the embarrassment I felt as a child, I too have become quite frugal. I see the benefits of what my parents did, but I’m doing things a bit differently. I’m trying to find a balance that suits me and my family
“When does being frugal go too far or become embarrassing?”
Good question! While my parents weren’t particularly frugal, like Daisy’s, I did feel pretty goobery.
The popular kids ate cheetos, Wonder bread PB&Js, and oreos from their Dukes of Hazard tin lunchboxes. I had carrot and celery sticks and sandy all-natural peanut butter on multi-grain bread in a red plaid lunchbox. I didn’t get to stay up late playing ghost in the graveyard or watching Love Boat.
It’s so funny, because just like Daisy, I have adopted the same embarrassing practices with my own children. They take healthy (sometimes strange) food to school, they don’t watch TV shows, and they aren’t allowed to stay up late unless it’s a sleepover or New Year’s Eve.
So here is another question:
Is it OK to embarrass your children in order to do things your way, uphold your values, or save money for your own retirement?
Please let us know in the comments!