It’s almost father’s day and can you believe it, I haven’t bought a card yet. I feel like such a procrastinator. Problem is, I can’t stand all of the contrived cards anymore: “thank you for this and that” “gratitude for whatever” “thank you for being you” UGH *shudder* Thanks for the crappy cards, Captain Obvious.Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/2814818491976620/
I suppose my attitude towards way over priced greeting cards are all those years as a kid making my dad cards, which interestingly enough, my dad still has. Every once in a while, when he goes through a drawer of stuff, there they are, my kid made, personally drawn cards from when I was six. Then of course, we grow up, and feel the need to buy our dad “stuff” thinking it will make him love us more or somehow prove we’re a responsible adult. WRONG!
Occasionally I’d buy the right tool or gadget for my handyman dad, but when I look back, it’s all the personal, handmade, more frugal gestures that had an impact. My dad has to be the most frugal person out there.
How frugal? Okay, you asked for it!
- His undershirts have holes in them; apparently, they are just getting “worn in and comfortable”, oh and my favorite “extra ventilation”. When they’re really done, they’re used as rags for working on the car. He’s done the repair work on all the cars he’s ever owned, as he doesn’t believe in car dealerships, they’re just a bunch of “scammers”.
- Dress pants and shoes are vintage from 1977. Replace them? NEVER! And even if the soles of his shoes fall off at your wedding, he’s gluing them back together (this actually happened – thank goodness he bought a new suit, just thought he’d save on the shoes).
- He reuses paper towels (provided they’re not icky and germ infested).
- Rinse water from the dishes? Don’t waste it down the drain, he siphons it off and uses it to flush the toilet.
- Empty water bottles have two uses: in the toilet tank to cut down on water usage and for ice packs in a cooler. Genius. Err, but not after they’ve been in the toilet tank.
- Energy saving CFL and LED’s are everywhere. I mean everywhere. I had to fight to keep normal bulbs in the bathroom so I could do my makeup with regular non – blue looking light.
- Modern technology? Nah. My dad uses a 486 computer to do his finances on with a very old version of Microsoft Money. Yep, you read right, a 486 computer that still works.
- The ultimate frugal dad motto – use it until it breaks, then fix it and only replace it if it’s on sale. Until then, do without or make it work.
Without all these interestingly frugal things my dad has done throughout life; I wouldn’t have the bit of sense I do have when it comes to money. Even though I have my Spenderella fairy tale moments, I owe it to my dad for the frugal side of me – yes, it does exist. And you know what? I’m proud of my dad for being so frugal and how he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about his frugality. It got him his retirement dream of retiring at 45 and spending 6 months each year of the past 15 years in Hawaii; he’s doing something right! 🙂 His daughter just needs to take his example and amp up the frugality.
So, this Father’s Day, I’ll be giving my frugal dad the best frugal gift ever: a special homemade meal and homemade chocolate cake from his daughter with love. I know he wouldn’t enjoy anything else.