I love saving money. I love shopping. I love living the good life. Sometimes those worlds collide with each other. I wonder if the occasional going out or buying something with a coupon or on sale, makes me a frugal fraud.
Here is my story. I grew up with a single mother, brother, and sister. Money was always tight around our house. We lived in a tiny two bedroom apartment. There I met Mrs. Hatter. She was the lady who lived above us. I use to run errands for her. She would always invite me for tea. Mrs. Hatter lived in a smaller apartment than ours. She had a lot of stuff and I was completely fascinated. She had china, several different tea pots, lace dollies which she made herself. Her walls were filled with pictures, needlepoint and anything you could hang on a wall.
I love visiting and working for Mrs. Hatter. She would teach me things. She had the largest couch and chair I had seen. She taught me how to crochet, knit, needlepoint, and she tried to teach me to sew (that was a disaster). She taught how to serve refreshment and pour tea, how to fold a napkin. What she taught the most was how to wring every last drop from what we spend. Everything in her house was made by her or her group of friends who came over for tea, talk and crafting. I didn't know I was in my first crafting circle. I was still a girl of 9 years old.
She taught how to take old furniture and make it new again, or to cover up something that was ugly with several yards of fabric. She was a treasure. She passed after we moved into a house. Her passing broke my heart. All things she instilled in me, into my soul and life. I will never forget her. She is the one who started on my path to creating.
What does all this have to do with being frugal? Sometimes you have to know where you have been, to find out where you are going. This will all make sense, from my opening statement, I promise. Next post, Part Two: Growing Up and Wanting More
By Georgetta from Waterloo, IA
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Editor's Note: Here are the other two essays in this series
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By Sheilah Link 07/23/2012
I thought the whole point of being frugal was to have money for the other stuff. That is the way I live. I use coupons, take advantage of sales, hit the yard sales, and then have money for a blowout on something I want. Having money just to have money seems pointless, but saving money for a purpose isn't.
By SuzyQ82 07/17/2012
This is a sweet story, I am glad you shared. It reminds me of a close neighbor I had as a child, she was an elderly lady who was like a second grandma. I miss her dearly!
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