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Reader Story: Rich Dad, Stingy Dad

By J.D. Roth on 07/18/2010 – 4:05 am UTCLeave a Comment

This guest post from Anna is part of the “reader stories” feature here at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general “how I did X” advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes.

My experience with money is probably the opposite of many readers here. I’ve always had money. I got a generous allowance starting at age 5, and was encouraged to save it. What I’m not sure about is how to spend it. And I definitely don’t want anyone else knowing I have it (which is why I’m posting anonymously).

I don’t come from a long line of family wealth — just one generation of two thrifty people (my parents) who worked steady jobs with benefits starting in their twenties, and kept those jobs for their entire lives. Growing up, my dad told me that our family had more money than others in our relatively poor, rural area. And it was a secret. I shouldn’t tell my friends about my allowance. There weren’t a lot of outside signs of our money — we rarely ate out, we shopped at the Salvation Army and JC Penney, and we got our hair cut (badly) in some lady’s kitchen for five bucks.

We have that at home
Two irritating practices of my father’s brainwashed me into the idea that money was only for saving, not for spending.

The first was the dreaded “we have that at home.” If we wanted a 50-cent soda out of the vending machine, my dad would say, “We can get a 12-pack of soda at the supermarket for $2.50, so each can would only be 21 cents

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