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Is being cheap a bad thing?

My father brags about the fact that he and my mother can live off not much over $14,000 a year in Canada. (The taxes on his house are around $7,000).

He has piles of anything electronic in a special room in his house.  The neighborhood knows that if a toaster, VCR, radio, etc breaks to bring it to his house as his hobby is placing hours into small electronics and getting them working again, even though you can go purchase any of these things new for $10 these days.

If you saw him, you would think by the clothes he’s wearing and how dirty they are that he may be homeless.

His property at times can look like a salvage yard.

They use a wood burning stove and never turn on heaters even at negative 40 Celsius.

My father is a Russian immigrant who arrived to Canada after being a POW in Germany during WWII.

There was never a doubt that he loves my mother and his children and grandchildren.  Although he may never show or say it, it’s obvious.

He retired at age 50 VERY wealthy from running a successful business and owning plenty of real estate.

Being a poor immigrant, to be able to purchase real estate at a young age and to grow a successful business from a $200 pickup truck, and provide for 3 kids and a wife, he learned to live a life of no frills that carries through to today.

As his children, we NEEDED for nothing.  He provided all the staples and more even though he left Germany starving, with just the clothes on his back.  They didn’t drive away, they walked and going back “home” wasn’t an option.

He wears old dirty clothes because at 80, he still works harder than 99% of us!

He Barters for everything, so his house is filled with any cool technology you need.

He loves the outdoors and lives off the land, so catching his food (on the lake he lives on) or heating his huge house on over an acre of property with wood he cuts is just how it is.

He can afford anything, but in his mind has everything.

He worries more about his will so his kids will be left with something than enjoying his money for himself (probably a war thing as you never know how quick money can lose its value, until you’re torn from your home).

He’s been lucky in investment, but you have to be good to be lucky.  He had money when everyone else didn’t, due to his cheap ways.  He was able to invest at one point at 19% on a government bond.

Timing, luck, skill, stubbornness, poverty and being cheap made him who he is.

Would he change anything, probably not, would I want another father, nope.  Is he suffering? Is any of his family suffering? No.

Is being known as cheap a bad thing…not to me.