This interview and the next one will really span a large age gap; today we have a 15-year-old reader, and next week, we’ll have one who is in her 80s!
I really love that there’s such a variety of life stages represented by this community.
Anyway, today we are meeting “E”, who told me she’d prefer to stay anonymous since she’s a minor.
So, I’m sprinkling some of my own photos throughout the post, just to break up the text.
1. Tell us a little about yourself
Hello! I am a teen in my sophomore year of high school. I still live with my family so I don’t have the same adult experiences as some of you readers. My family is considered a “large” family by most, we have six people.
My dad works and my mom is a stay-at-home mom. Because of this, I have had MANY experiences with being frugal (ex. thrift store shopping, reusing everything, buying generic brands, overall being flexible with what I have).
Yet, I have still always had more than I needed and I am almost always mostly thankful. 🙂
Anyway, I love playing sports; I have played pretty much all the sports available at my school/rec league sports. I also love painting and drawing, and of course, my family.
2. How long have you been reading The Frugal Girl?
I have been reading The Frugal Girl for a little under 2 years. I really enjoy hearing about another family/Kristen who has similar values to me and my money-saving family.
3. How did you get interested in saving money?
I have always been interested in saving money from a young age. My family is very wise with their money and we have been in some very tight spots, so my parents are avid savers.
From this, I have learned to save and realize the value of a dollar. I also need to save for things such as college and any “wants” I have, so this made me be very strict with my money spending.
I see many people who grew up not learning this and they have a difficult time managing money as an adult. I really don’t want this to become me.
4. What’s the “why” behind your money-saving efforts?
I feel like I kinda answered this already but my “why” is mostly just so I can have the money for things I want and savings in my bank account for the future.
Also, my parents hardly ever waste money and because of this, they have been able to live happily on a salary that most people would consider impossible.
I really admire them for this and it makes me want to save money even more.
5. What’s your best frugal win?
This isn’t really a direct situation, but thrift store shopping. Fashion is very important to me and I like having a lot of clothes but I don’t really have the budget for it.
With thrift store shopping I have found amazing things and get many compliments from my outfits. It’s nice because with an open eye you can find super cute clothes and jewelry for a couple of bucks.
This is a huge win for me because I prefer to have more used clothes than only a couple new/name brand clothing items.
6. What’s a dumb money mistake you’ve made?
I don’t really have a dumb money mistake yet (I don’t think my parents would ever let me, lol) but one time when I was 4 I tried to give money away for free.
I think the idea of selling something sounded cool to me but I didn’t really know what to do. So I made a sign and sat out in a chair in front of our house yelling “Money for free!”
I only had like 10 pennies but luckily no one stopped by.
7. What’s something you splurge on?
The one thing I will splurge on is shoes. Although, when I say splurge, I really just mean I buy them new, at a discounted price of course. 🙂
I will still buy shoes at thrift stores, but about once a year I will buy myself a new pair of Vans or Nikes. There is just something about wearing a new pair of shoes!
I will also buy makeup. I know super cheap makeup isn’t good for your skin so I try to buy more natural products.
8. What’s something you’re not remotely tempted to splurge on?
I am tempted to splurge on a lot of things, but I know I never will because it is emotionally hard for me to spend money.
However, I never shop for clothes online as I have a very difficult body shape to fit. So when I want to buy jeans I must try them on. I am shorter but not stick skinny. So most jeans that fit me are either way too long, or they fit but the waist is really big on me.
I am also just not an impulsive buyer. I have to carefully consider the pros and cons before buying something. So, I just never buy online which saves me from buying things I just see and then want.
9. If someone dropped $1000 into your lap, what would you do with it?
I would first tithe on the money. I would then put most, except for a few hundred dollars, into my savings account.
With the other bit, I would stick it into my wallet for spending or maybe a gift for my family.
10. Share a tip with your fellow readers
A tip I have is to never buy something right away.
For some cases, this isn’t an option, but if you see something at the store you are just dying to have, wait. Go home, and once the item is no longer in front of you, you can better evaluate whether you actually need the item.
I have saved myself money this way and I think it helps keep clutter and unnecessary items out of my life.
E, thank you so much for sending in these answers. You remind me so much of myself when I was a teenager, and I think you’re going to be very good with money as an adult!
Your story about giving away your coins reminded me that when I was about four years old, my next-door neighbor friend and I hatched a plan to get some ice cream from the ice cream truck and pay our bill with rocks!
We didn’t ever actually try it, but your story and mine remind me that four-year-olds are not great with money concepts. Ha.
Wednesday 25th of August 2021
What an awesome post. Thanks for sharing, E! You're pretty inspiring. :)
Tuesday 25th of May 2021
E, I really did enjoy your wisdom! You are really going to go far in life! Remember to keep these principles your parents are teaching you and you will be successful in life! I was pleased to hear you say that you would tithe your money first, then spend what is left!!!! Girl always remember to give God the firstfruits of everything and you will be blessed. Your parents should be super proud of you, I am and I truly enjoyed your story today! Thanks for sharing with us!
Tuesday 25th of May 2021
I'm glad you are learning how to spend wisely from your parents. I learned some things from mine but would have benefited sooner from paying even more attention and asking more questions when I was younger.
Most of my clothes were hand me downs, which was fine with me as I have very wide shoulders for a girl and most tops made for girls never fit right. I borrowed a lot of my dads' shirts, just had to roll up the sleeves as he was 6' tall and I'm 5'6". I used to shop the cheap clothing stores until a friend showed me the joys of thrifting instead. I don't thrift as much now, but do shop carefully and thoughtfully, and like you suggested, I wait before I buy, that's very wise advice!
Tuesday 25th of May 2021
Thanks so much for sharing, E! I love that you're part of this community and that you have such a strong handle on finances as a high schooler. Your advice was great! I've been working on not buying something right away and am trying to teach my little kids the same thing. It makes a big difference in spending wisely!
Tuesday 25th of May 2021
We all began to love thrift stores. At one point we lived on the edge of what was nick-named "Chateau Country"--a very wealthy area indeed. We found extraordinary bargains of very expensive brands dropped off at thrift stores by those who lived there, e.g an Hermes scarf for $2. My daughter said at the time "my friends think we must be pretty wealthy. I have so many lovely clothier".
My husband had two $1500 + suits bought for $20 each and then he paid $30 for them both to be altered for size by a good Italian tailor. He also had a handful of Hermes ties.