Susan Dromey Heeter's Budget Vogue: Lessons from Dad add up in the ledger of life
August 02. 2014 7:54PM
So were the words my dad spoke to me, so many, many years ago. He'd begrudgingly part with his crisp bill, taken from his wallet with trepidation and the unspoken adage, "This is a lot money, Sue; appreciate it."
This lovely summer has given me opportunity to think of my late dad, as I've had the time to visit my hometown, to visit old friends and parents of friends. Parents raised in the Great Depression. Parents brought up to appreciate a buck. Parents who knew my dad and, like him, knew to save, to encourage education, family, community. Parents who knew five bucks meant a lot of time, toil, value.
Four recent experiences allowed me to assess.
My dad would be thrilled with my fill-a-bag-for-four-bucks choices during Echo Thrift Shop Friday sale days in Durham last month. Not only did I shove a plethora of back-to-school outfits into my bag, I also found a fabulous vintage Gunne Sax gown I'll wear on Halloween - a perfect '80s outfit. My Halloween shopping is complete. Done.
Joan was on her way to a brother's party (she's one of 11) after our visit and remarked, "I'm going to take this bag. I forgot to make anything, and we were all supposed to bring something."
My daughter attended a basketball camp this summer in Portsmouth. While parents formed a carpool, my daughter and her friends also discovered that the Coast Bus worked beautifully, and for three bucks, they could commute between Dover and our lovely Port City. Between the car pool and public transportation, my father would be thrilled. Tom Dromey score: +2.
Finally, while my dad would be horrified at many of my expenses, I have to say that learning about the value of a buck has never hurt, never harmed - only expanded my joy and freedom and gratitude for what I have.
And to all readers, do share with me your ways to make your five bucks stretch. Find me on Facebook at my Budget Vogue page, and help me garner more Tom Dromey points.
"Budget Vogue" is published the first Sunday of each month. Susan Dromey Heeter's "Down to Earth" column appears the third Tuesday of the month in the New Hampshire Union Leader's At Home section. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.