The Cheapest Family in the Nation and Some Envy

by Rocket Finance

I think most of the readers of this blog can get something from this post about the cheapest family in the nation on Digerati Life. I thought it was a good read. Their claim to fame is that they are a family of seven – mom, dad and kids – who live on $35,000 a year. Only now they have a book, a television special, website and blog posts spreading across the internet. I doubt that they are still living on $35K a year.

I was immediately struck by the fact that their story is my family’s story. We had five kids and my father made far less than $35,000 a year until I left the house to go to college. We never went on government assistance, other than when we recieved free cheese and milk a couple of times when we lived in Wisconsin. My dad fixed our cars and did all home repairs himself. We shopped rummage sales religiously and my mother spend hours clipping coupons from a newspaper given to us by a family friend – we could not afford a subscription. The old Woolworth’s Five and Ten Cent Days were highlights of the year. I remember my father figuring the cost per person of meals prepared at home versus going out to eat and charging us .10 if we left a light on in a room we were not using. I remember bags of hand-me-down clothes from friends in the family. I started making my own money around age 10 and by the time I finished high school, I had almost $10K saved and was buying most of my own clothes and toiletries. I wish I were as frugal now.

I do not ever remember going hungry or not having enough clothes to wear. My parents were able to purchase several homes and always had two vehicles. I never knew or thought or even supected that we might be poorer than the average household in the US until I was much older.

We were pretty happy, I have no regrets and would not change a thing.

Except now that I know we could have been famous – I’m not so happy. . .

  1. 5 Responses to “The Cheapest Family in the Nation and Some Envy”

  2. By The Digerati Life on Oct 19, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks for highlighting this story! I find the cheapest family very inspiring and wish we could emulate them. So far, no luck. It doesn’t help that we live in such a high “cost of living” place either. But we can only keep trying!

  3. By admin on Oct 20, 2007 | Reply

    Hopefully my post did not come off as “sour grapes”. I do think that there are more families out there who are doing just as well with similar means.

  4. By Tyler on Oct 20, 2007 | Reply

    What is interesting though, is that the family still has a much higher standard of living than many other humans on this planet. It shows how lucky we are as americans and how much over consumption others are participating in.

    Good Post!

  5. By admin on Oct 20, 2007 | Reply

    As I’ve said before, this is the first time in history when poor of any country struggle with obesity and heart disease. . .

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