Frugal living comes naturally to me. I have no idea why, exactly.
I just can’t remember a time where I wasn’t consciencious of money and the value of a dollar.
It shouldn’t necessarily have turned out that way, actually. I grew up in a world where some might refer to me as ‘priviledged’. I guess I was for a time. That would have been before I was old enough to actually understand the cost of things though.
Before I even graduated from high school, medical bills were piling up for my dad, my mom had to return to work; something she had never done my entire childhood, I had to leave my private school and we were forced from my childhood home. My senior year my father died and everything changed forever.
It was however, long before those teenage years that I was aware of the cost of things. I understood you should save up for things and that sometimes we sacrafice certain things to get something else.
I remember a Christmas when I was about 12 or 13. I had discovered a doll in a designer baby shop that was within walking distance to my house. It was wicked expensive, and not the prettiest doll in the world. However, from the moment I saw her, I wanted her. I went up and visited her quite often. Yes, me – a 12 or 13 year old, going into a baby shop several times a month for some time to visit a doll that I was pretty sure I had no hope of every having.
I asked for her for Christmas. I remember my mom telling me no almost immediately. I also remember all the arguments she presented me with.
“You’re too old for dolls.”
“The doll is too expensive.”
“You’ll never play with her.”
“Your friends with laugh at you.”
When I finally took her to see the doll after she was the single, solitary item I had placed on my Christmas list:
“That is the ugliest doll I have ever seen.”
I was losing hope rapidly as Christmas approached.
My parents were not the type to give in easily. When they said no, they meant it. And I had pretty much heard nothing but ‘no’ about the doll since I had first discovered her.
However, come Christmas morning, there she was.
I remember so many things about that Christmas, but most of all her. I loved her for a very very long time, and yes, she really WAS an ugly doll, but that didn’t make me love her any less.
I will also never forget the day I realized she had ceased to exist in our house.
Coincidentally, a lot of things ceased to exist when we made the move from my childhood home to the one my mother still resides in today.
The frugal side of me cringes still today when I realize all of the wasted items she tossed, and the things that would have had value to others.
Perhaps, that is when my frugal side was born. Though I still stand firmly that it was much earlier than that.