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Blog: Living Cheap in Kansas

Daughter # 1 - Vanessa

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Of our three daughters - only the oldest and youngest have followed in our "cheap" footsteps.  This is the story of Vanessa.  Being the oldest, she learned my philosophy early - live cheap, live good.  When she was thirteen, I worked for a local city in the clerk's office.  She got a summer job working in the snack bar of the swimming pool which was located behind the city hall.  She did that until she was old enough to take life guard training and become a life guard - at sixteen.  She pinched her pennies carefully.  She knew my policy on cars - she had to  save up half what she needed to pay for the car and have a part-time job so that she could support the car.  Then I would pay the other half.  After working and saving, she had found a 1962 Corvair that a fellow was selling for $300 - not a lot of money, but this was in the mid-eighties.  She had what she needed, except it was back-to-school time and the pool was closing so she wouldn't have a job.

She had applied at the Penney's Outlet store a few miles from our house and on this particular day, had an interview.  She knew that without the job, the car would be gone. So off she went. She went to the interview, got the job and returned to my work to tell me.  I took off early and we went to look at the car.  Now a fellow I worked with collected Corvair's.  He had put her in touch with a mechanic who specialized in Corvairs.  When we went to look at the car, she asked if she could take the car to the mechanic.  The owner agreed and she took it over.  The mechanic found about $80 worth of work that needed to be done. Returning with the car, she talked the owner into splitting the cost of repairs with her and bought the car for $260.

She drive that car for over a year - but a trip to Topeka and back (after I told her not to) blew the engine.  But it still ran and she sold it to one of the guys at her school for $200.

While working at Penney's, she met the young man who would eventually become her husband.  And years later, when they wanted to purchase a new Jeep, managed to play two salesmen at two Jeep dealerships off each other until they got the price they wanted.

Today, nearly fifteen years later, she still is a cheapskate.  They have three kids (two teenagers) and a lovely home - their second.  They doubled the money on their first house in five years and got a great bargain on the second house because the previous owners had been transferred and were desperate to sell.  As a well-paid programmer/analyst with a large financial company, she still shops for groceries at Aldi's, hands down clothes through the kids and uses Priceline for hotels and flights.  In fact she managed to get four free nights at a Disney World hotel and they all went this last fall.  Her husband manages a soccer store and they get athletic shoes for them and the kids at cost as well as the kid's  soccer uniforms.  Joe frequently gets free tickets to professional soccer games. They all went to the Monster Truck Rally last night using free tickets.

I taught her well.

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AnnieM (Contact)
Olathe, Kansas USA
About Me:

I've been a cheapskate just about all my life. In doing so I've learned to do just about everything. I can sew, paint, hang wallpaper, install tile and flooring, pull and replace toilets, sinks, garbage disposals and faucets. Remove and replace ceiling fixtures and fans, replace outlets and switches, I've installed windows (both on houses and on computers!), I can rehab almost anything from furniture (repair, reupholster and refinish) to computers (I built my husband a good laptop using three broken ones that I got for free)! I've taken cheap to a whole new level!

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