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Jenniffer's Journey:

Back In The Day

This past week, my grandfather passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 91 years young, and during the graveside military rites over this past weekend, it got me to reminiscing about the good ol’ days. 

For starters, when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandma and grandpa’s house out in the country. The days were spent helping out in the garden, climbing the apple tree in their back yard and walking out to the pond on their property, keeping my eyes peeled for whatever animals I might stumble upon along the way. No computers, no tablets, no smart phones. My grandma and grandpa raised vegetables for area grocers and were well known for their huge strawberry patch. I spent many a day out there picking strawberries and shucking peas. Priceless.

My grandpa and grandma purchased their house in 1953 and there was no indoor plumbing, so my grandpa installed the plumbings and rebuilt the house over the next 50 years. A house made a home by my grandpa’s own hands. Priceless.

My grandpa worked in the plastics industry for many years and was active in local government. As a kid, teenager and adult, I have always known my grandpa and grandma to be very frugal with their money. They never drove fancy cars, wore fancy designer clothes or made extravagant purchases. They lived in a modest home with just the necessities that they needed. But they spent their money on the things that brought them joy like traveling in retirement and daily breakfasts at the local restaurant. They always had a smile on their face, and they were happy. Priceless.  

In my grandma and grandpa’s generation, it seemed that you bought only the things that you had the money to buy, the things that you really needed. That brings me to this week’s financial fun fact. You don’t need to spend money on material things to have joy in your life. This is especially evident as we enter into the holiday season. If you budget your money, set realistic financial goals, and focus more on needs than wants, you can work your way toward rewarding yourself with the “wants” that will bring you joy, like my grandpa and grandma’s retirement travels, for example. 

As I enter the final months of Project Money, I will continue to focus on budgeting for the needs and saving for the wants, just like my grandpa did back in the day.  


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