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My grandma was the most frugal person I know. She was always finding ways to save money. The best life lesson I learned from her has made a huge impact on how I manage my money and is the best personal finance tip I know.

The Best Life Lesson I Learned From My Grandma

My Grandma took being frugal to the extreme.

There was no such thing as wasted food in her house.  I remember her adding water to the ketchup to make it last longer.  She cut the toothpaste tube open to get every last drop.  She reused plastic grocery bags until they were falling apart.

She was constantly trying to teach her grandkids, the best life lesson of frugal living.

My Grandma Esplin grew up during the great depression and had the mentality of “use it up, make it do, or do without.”

She wasn’t about to spend money unless it was absolutely necessary.

As a result, she purchased everything with cash.  She didn’t believe in debt and lived by her beliefs. She was the ultimate example of frugality in my life.

Last week was her funeral.  She died at 87 after living a full and complete life.

She had passed on many of her frugal ways to her grandkids, but even in death, her legacy lived on.

At her funeral, my Uncle Shawn shared a story I had never hear before that touched me deeply.

Shortly before her death, my Uncle was meeting my Grandma and his sister at a mutual acquaintance home.  He arrived first and was standing in the foyer of the home.

It was a gorgeous home of a wealthy family.

As my Uncle stood there looking around he couldn’t help but be slightly envious of the beautiful home.

My Grandma walked in behind him and in her typical straightforward way said, “Some people spend a lot of money to live as comfortable as the rest of us”.

My Grandma was struggling with Alzheimer’s at this point in her life.  My Uncle said it was wonderful to see her light shine for a few minutes before the Alzheimer took over again.

He knew that for some reason she had one last lesson to teach him and for those few minutes she was herself.

I’m so thankful Shawn shared this personal story at her funeral.

My Grandma was a very wise woman.

It is so easy to get caught up in the “I want” mentality.  We look around and see people who have so much more than we do.

  • It is easy to become jealous and resentful.
  • It is easy to shift our focus to material possessions.
  • It is easy to get caught in the more, more, more mentality
  • It is easy to lose track of everything we do have when we focus on what we are missing.

I’ve never cared about having the newest and greatest fashions, cars or home décor, but I still find myself wanting just a little bit more occasionally.

It is really hard to always be content with what you have.  I personal believe that learning to be content is the number one key to personal financial success. 

I’m glad that my Grandma was able to teach me one last lesson in Frugality.

I want to be defined by who I am rather than the possession’s I have accumulated in my life.

When I focus on the things that matter, like family, friends, and memories I’m always happier.

So next time you get a bit envious of your neighbor’s house, boat, truck, or clothing think about my Grandma.

She was never rich, but she was an amazing person who lived her life on her terms.  She left a legacy of love, frugal living, and respect.

When it comes down to the end, that is really all that matters.