35 Reasons Grandparents Are Better with Money than You

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To save money, channel your inner crusty old codger.

That’s sorta the theme of an interesting series of posts and online conversations recently. First, FrugalDad named 15 things our grandparents lived without (and we could too). The list runs the gamut from student loans to satellite radio, tanning salons to GPS devices, and also:

Health Clubs. Why pay $30 a month to pick up heavy weights and walk on a belt that runs underneath your feet? You can get the same workout walking outside, lifting things in the garden or filled milk jugs, using your own body weight, etc.

Len Penzo then countered with his own list, of 10 things we probably can’t live without, but that grandma did. This list of can’t-live-without items includes stuff you could live without—but that few people would want to live without, like cell phones and:

Tax Preparation Software
Yes, it’s still possible to do your taxes with a calculator, the requisite IRS tax forms, and a sharp pencil. It’s also still possible to make your own soap from rendered animal fat, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore either. Just sayin.

The Squirrelers blog also recently weighed in with thoughts on an older post at TheStreet about 10 bits of financial wisdom from grandparents, which included basics like:

Save for Rainy Days. Couldn’t agree more. You never know what can happen. Best to be prepared, and plan accordingly.

And this, which you don’t have to be old (or frugal, really) to agree with:

Homemade Cookies are Delicious. Hmmm…that’s an interesting choice they made to include this, but my take is that 1) homemade food is cheaper and often healthier than food from outside, and 2) they’re right about cookies made at home being tasty.

Finally, long ago in the heart of the recession, I began something called the Grandparents Rule, which declared that if your grandparents didn’t have it, then you probably don’t need it. This list of purchases included:

More than 1,000 square feet of living space per person residing in your house

More toys than fit in one big toy box

More jewelry than fits in one big jewelry box

More shoes than you have toes

More sports jerseys than those of teams on which you have personally been a member

READ MORE:
Why There’s Nothing New About the ‘New Normal’ to the Greatest Generation

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