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tao  •  13 May 2024   •    
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Growing up, I felt as if I was part of a poor-ish family. We didn’t have flashy cars, go on holidays abroad or have lots of new things. I can remember asking my parents when we were going to “upgrade our house” after spending time at my best friends house, who had a microwave! This was back in the early 80’s mind you, when microwaves were new. His family also had holidays abroad and got taxi’s in London rather than getting the bus or tube.

In contrast, my parents would take us on camping holidays, not pander to our wants for the latest toys or clothes and do their own decorating. Perhaps my parents are just more frugal than others, not spending money when they didn’t need to. Even now, both retired and living quite comfortably, my mother still checks the price of a bottle of wine in the supermarket, in case she can get it £1 cheaper elsewhere. It’s not her being miserly, more than she is doing what she has always done - opt for the sensible choice.

That is also my mindset too. I try not to buy things I don’t need and agonise over buying something if we do. We spent many years living in our overdraft, watching every penny, me worrying if I could afford something from the vending machine for lunch or not in case I needed to fill up with fuel on the way home. I don’t think it is necessarily a trait I have got from them, but I know I feel more happier with a less lavish lifestyle. I do want a nice big house and a disposable income, but only so that my family can be content. Give me that camping holiday any day.

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