A follow-up on Cheap vs. Frugal

My grandfather, of whom I previously spoke, has always been someone who I looked up to. What he exhibited in terms of values really affected me. I, like him, am someone who values books, all things related to learning, and I do not worry a lot about material posessions and in that realm, clothes.

That being said, my grandfather often walks the beach and will keep things he finds washed up on the shore. He finds cool cups (Koozies is the new term, I believe), interesting, artistic driftwood, hats, and tee-shirts. With the hats and shirts, he soaks them in a tub of a bleach/water solution for a few days, runs through the washer and wears them. I used to wonder why he didn’t just buy this stuff, knowing full well that he had been very good with his money in all his years of Naval and RCA company service and was very very well-off. (At one point, he was valued at just under 4 mil. I think). My parents told me he wasn’t cheap, but frugal and smart. However, he does know when money is important to use. My sister and I have been actively spending our inheritence for some time. He wanted to see us utilize his gains instead of waiting until he passed to give it to us.

So from him I have molded myself into someone who values a dollar but knows when to save and when to spend, and I don’t put too much stock into other peoples’ opinions when it comes to doing something frugal, like utilizing a used item. Call it recylcing. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a trucker’s cap that says “Leroy’s Bait and Tackle” if it suits his purpose.
I will always keep an eye out for change – every year my grandfather collects change from his 8 mile daily bike rides (he checks phone recepticals and the lint depoistory on the back of gas station vaccuums; you’d be amazed how much coinage goes in there!) and adds it to a jar. At the end of the year, our family takes guesses as to the amount in the jar and whoever comes closest within a dollar, without going over, wins the pot. If no one wins, my grandfather keeps it. The year I won, it was almost sixty dollars.

I am thankful that I had him as a role model and I am very lucky to still have grandparents alive and who have helped me grow into the adult I am today.

(That was cheesy but I was feeling very emotional about it.)

There’s no hope for you now, Pain

My tooth – the wisdom tooth that is coming out on October 9th – began throbbing this morning and sending a dull pulse up though my temple and into the back of my head. Luckily, a professor who sits in the office beside mine had some 400mg Motrin, which will surely knock this pain out in no time. I am grateful to him, very thankful.

There is a book fair at 11, hosted by Houghton-Mifflin, where there will be food. Oh yeah, and the oppurtunity for free books. I’ll probably get them just to have them but I know I will show up for the food.  I counted on it being my lunch today. Does that make me cheap or frugal?

On the Bob and Sheri show (99.9 Hank FM) they were discussing the differences between being a cheapskate or being cunningly frugal.  One thing they discussed was picking change up off the ground. Now, my grandfather taught me to always look at the ground when I walk because you never know what you’ll find. Early in the Spring semester I was parking at 7:30 AM. As I walked across the lot and up the road to my class, I noticed a folded up dollar bill on the ground. I glanced around for a potential owner of said money but at this time of the morning, I was the only one; this had been lost a while ago. So I casually picked up the bill, acting as if maybe I dropped it myself, and kept walking, not drawing attention to myself. As I unfolded the dollar bill, I found a hidden treasure: inside the one dollar bill were a five dollar and ten dollar bills. When you don’t make a whole lot of money, finding sixteen bucks really makes your day. It pays off to be aware of your surroundings and checking out the ground can sometimes work in your favor.

I feel sore today – probably from climbing – and worn out. Being “that time of the month” I don’t have a lot of energy anyway but today I feel completely drained. I’m thinking that not even coffee will help me this morning. It’s just Crappy Thursday.