Monday, November 10, 2008

Semi Frugal Guy the Early Years, part 1

My frugal spending habits started out early in life, well sort of. As I mentioned in my second posting, my parents were very frugal in life and still are to this day. A few weeks ago I took my Mom and Dad to the cell phone store to upgrade their cell phone; it’s a model from the early years of this century. I am surprised it still works actually. We talked with sales representative about a new phone; it was going to cost him around $40 to get a new phone. Well that was way too much for a new phone, so he kept the old phone and will just wait for it to die before getting a new phone. So you can see by this example that frugality runs deep in my family. This is just one example of many I could share with you about my parents and how they saved.

Military Life

I have mentioned before that I am a budding frugal guy; I am trying to gain my frugal wings. A little background on me and how I got to this point in life, I first left home when I was 18 like most young men eager to spread my wings and fly. I joined the US Navy and shipped off to boot camp Nov 9, 1992. I will not go into the details of boot camp ask any veteran and they will tell you about the experience. Most are happy to share their experiences with you. After boot camp I was stationed on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) for 4 years of my life. My first real taste of money came while serving. After my first 6 month deployment to the Persian Gulf, I had accumulated a hefty sum of money or at least it was too me. My friends had saved just as much as I and we were not too frugal at this point. We spent our money on camping and hiking and other toys that was not too frugal. This frugal lifestyle I am learning about now was not to prevalent back then. I was just excited to have money and spend it the way I wanted too. There were many nights spent on hotels and partying with my friends. Eventually this got old and I did save some money toward the end of my enlistment. I saved a fairly large sum of money for college in the last year of my enlistment in the Navy.

On the trip home my car broke down and the money I set aside for college, well a good chunk of it went to fix my Mustang. My car had never broken down in all the years I had it. My car started smoking and shaking on the interstate. People were honking at me telling me to pull over. I drove her to a side parking and lot and called a tow truck. Come to find out I had blown a gasket. It cost me over $700 to fix my car. This was a huge blow to the money I had saved and planned for my life.

The College Years

My lifestyle in the early years was spent as a typical party guy type. Later on in future postings you will see this has caught up to me and I am no longer that way. Some would say I am the direct opposite of that lifestyle. Ok back to the story, in my early years of college I had many friends and we all wanted to do the same thing, party and have a good time. Lots of money was spent on beer and food, but we had a great time doing it. We had many parties and lots of fun for the years I spent there. Once again I will not go into detail on the parties and what went on, for fear of incriminating myself and others. Needless to say we had a great time each and everyday.

After College

After college I graduation the real world came a knocking. I got a job close to home with a world renowned children’s hospital, I worked in information technology during the boom years when employers hired high school kids too fill needed positions. The money was great and my life was off and running, the party lifestyle went on. There were trips to Vegas, and the 99 World Series among others. Saving money was not a priority of mine at the time, having fun was. And I was very good at it. Till it all came to a crashing halt when I got laid off from my well paying job, I spent over 2 1/2 years with this company one of the best jobs I ever had. My whole world came to an end as I knew it. The frugal lifestyle started there. This is the first posting in the series of once a week "About Me" postings. Next time we will get into more detail on how I started my frugal life.

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