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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What were your spending habits like as a child, and have they evolved?

Asked by Pied_Pfeffer (22662 points ) July 16th, 2011

There have been several discussions about spending habits here on Fluther, including those that pertain to changing due to recessions. I am more curious about how you think your spending habits started and how they evolved. Did they stay the same or change? If they changed, what was the reason?

It has been fascinating to watch my siblings, as well as the nieces and nephews, take on different ways of handling their money while being raised in the same families. What do you think causes the differences?

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19 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

Availability of money teamed with personality, the ability to delay gratification and that old sense of responsibility again. I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family and my dad gave me a little bit of money each day to spend. I spent it every day. I was never a saver. My dad on the other hand was and had no option but to be frugal and careful with money. I remember one day, coming home and there was a radiogram (god how old am I!!!) in the lounge room and he was playing with it and was like a kid with a new toy. The next day though, it was gone. You know, I really think he had impulse bought it and then decided he had more important things to spend his money on and sent it back. It was never mentioned.

In my first marriage, I had to be frugal and careful and I was younger and had bills and things to pay. I didn’t spend money on clothes I didn’t need or cosmetics I didn’t really have to have. I was very careful with money and paid off bills in advance so that I knew where I was financially. Now, I don’t have those constraints and I can be quite the spender. I don’t have to worry so much about things financially. I am not silly with money, but I don’t deprive myself.

I think the answer is in a combination of elements, personality, upbringing, sense of responsibility and current needs. Not sure if that really answered your question though. I don’t think there is a definitive answer.

downtide's avatar

There was no availability of money when I was a kid. My parents couldn’t afford to give me pocket money, and in such a tiny community there was no possibility of getting a job. I occasionally had a few pounds birthday or Christmas money but apart from that, I had none until I left home and got a full-time job.

ucme's avatar

Frugal, I liked to save. Now I like to spend, within reason of course.

flutherother's avatar

I have been frugal and careful with money all my life, when I have money and when I don’t.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I got an allowance as a kid and would put some in a bank acount and put some aside for things that I wanted to do or buy such as horsebackriding,music or art supplies.
I am still the same way.Save some,spend some.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have always been rubbish with money. As soon as I come into any money, no matter how big or small, I have to spend it and it was no different when I was a child. My brother would save every penny he came into and still does. I am the complete opposite.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Actually, it depends on the situation. Generally, I’m very lavish if it’s about beauty products and very frugal if it’s about technological necessities and foods. Even during times when I was low on money I’ll insist to keep my cosmetic supplies and beauty enhancements, and suffer light starvation for the day. Many people call me paranoid but hey…look, I’m so youthful for people of my age, with smooth skin and wrinkle free. Many people praise me for my beauty anyway.

Hibernate's avatar

I rarely had money but I usually spent them on crap. Though I was a lucky kid. I always found stuff that others misplaced or lost. I returned them and most people gave me money in return. Not to mention the luck from playing with lottery tickets. When I was playing i was always winning. But i did not spend much because the money was mainly used in the household.

But when I grew up a bit I had to take good care of the money I had. First the bills then food and other necessities, in the end I had only a few bucks for other expenses.

keobooks's avatar

I saved my money like a miser for the most part and checked on it every night sitting in it’s little box. One day it was all gone because my dad raided my money box. Then I spent it all when I got it. But once I got a bank account I saved most of it as an adult.

Mariah's avatar

I was a cheapskate. I saved up a small fortune on my $6 per week allowance alone.
Now I am even more of a cheapskate because I have no income, I’d like to avoid as much as possible needing to work while going to school, and I therefore am trying to preserve my savings (mostly consisting of that $6/week fortune) for living on when I’m back at school. I buy myself some craft supplies here and there to help keep busy, and that’s about it.

MilkyWay's avatar

When I was a kid, I used to spend my pocket money daily at the local sweet shop.
Now, I tend to save it.
I wanna go to Italy…

Fly's avatar

I have always been a big saver. I don’t believe I ever even bought anything for myself before the age of ten, maybe even later. Still today, I save much more than I spend and I have a hard time letting money go. Even if it is for a pair of amazing shoes.

Why? It might have something to do with growing up with a very frugal father, but I believe that I was this way before I was even aware of how cheap my dad is.

blueberry_kid's avatar

I was and still am very frugal about my spending. There may be times where I splurge a little but I’m not compulsive. I am very aware of the recession and I don’t wont to make it any worse. I have control.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

For those that have posted so far, thank you for the peek into your spending habits. It’s really surprising to see how many lean towards the frugal side, today’s economy excluded. Maybe the real question is whether one gets more gratification from the feeling of spending or saving.

keobooks's avatar

I think the problem with most people is they aren’t actually big spenders on large ticket items. They fritter their money away on little things. You think it’s not so bad to pick up a 5$ fast food meal at the drive through so you do it every day. And the money gradually leaks away and you still feel like you are being frugal.

My husband and I got into a slight money crunch. We are both savers, but we just didn’t watch it very closely and ended up overspending on little tiny worthless things that seemed so cheap individually, but added up to a few hundred bucks a month. We’ve managed to go into the black and go back to saving big bucks again just not going out for fast food. Next we’ll get into meal planning instead of me just going out and buying stuff to whip up a meal on a whim.

I think most people like to think of themselves as savers, even if they have pinhole leaks in their savings and have no idea they aren’t as frugal as they really think they are. First hand experience here—as little preaching as possible.

Symbeline's avatar

Erm didn’t have much moolah as a wee lassie, but when I did, I blew it on candy and arcade machines, mostly.
Today, I do as best I can with what I got. Just enough to eat, get drunk and bitch about my situation. It was cooler when I was a kid. I was able to buy myself a PlayStation 3 last week though, but I did have to save up for it a bit…now I need a TV to go with it…denno when that’s gonna happen though, got payments to make first.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was a kid I bought candy cigarettes. Now I buy real ones.

Symbeline's avatar

@Dutchess_III Popeye cigarettes rocked.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, and they coated them with powdered sugar so you could blow “real” smoke. Such bad, bad people in them days!

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