Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Vintage Advice for Modern Times in 2011

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, have come to the right place. We have a "dog-gone" good time each and every week!!!
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With the start of the new year, here is some advice from folks who lived through the Great Depression, and it is good sound advice for our modern times. Maybe you can take a piece of this information and apply it for the new year. I myself intend to do just that.

Soup line during the Great Depression.

1.Save a dollar for every dollar you spend. I’m a big believer in the Pay-As-You-Go rule, but if you allow more cash to go out of your door than goes under your mattress, you’re asking for trouble.

2. New doesn’t automatically mean better. New this and shiny that may get you a lot of attention and give you a feeling of importance, but new stuff usually costs more than old stuff. Slightly used, gently used, or just plain used will often to the job.

3. Be thankful for what you have. All of us have complained about eating leftovers when we didn’t want to or complained about eating the same thing three times a week, but there are quite a few people in this world that might not know where the next meal will come from. Just be thankful you have what you have … if you have it.

4. Learn how to fix/maintain what you have. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a piece of machinery, whether it be your car or your laptop, that you rely upon, paid good money for, and have to pay someone to repair it. Eliminating the need for the repairman will save you countless hours and dollars over the years.

5. Waste not, want not! If you’re discarding a substantial portion of what you bought (or made yourself), you’re essentially throwing money in the garbage can. Either cut back on what you’re making, or find ways to reuse it at a later date.

6. Make cheap food taste like a million bucks. I probably violate this suggestion most of all because I’m a wannabe chef, but during my college years, my food budget rarely exceeded $100 per month. Learning how to make good eats on the cheap will save you thousands per year if you can learn a few cooking basics.

7. Don’t pay what you can do/make for yourself. It seems like an odd question to ask, but why would you pay someone to do something that you can do for yourself. I understand that we’re all super busy and we may not be an expert in everything that modern society pushes upon us, but thanks to the Internet (praise be Google!), you can find a DIY video for almost anything on your Honey Do List.

8. Preparation can keep you from being blown off course. Many times during your life you’ll face some type of adversity. The more prepared you are to handle it, the better off you’ll be at weathering the storm. As the old adage goes: you can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails!

9. Family time is fun time. I’m one of the least social members of my family, but nothing beats a classic game of Monopoly with the folks. This weekend happened to be catching up over baseball games on TV and lots of hanging out in the kitchen. Funny how positive social interactions work aren’t they?

10. Make your big purchases off season. One of my cardinal rules of shopping (which I loathe to do) is buy most of my winter clothing in April. This way, the retailers are desperate just to break even on their investment and clear the excess inventory to make way for Spring/Summer months. This works equally well when buying summer clothing in November.

11. Marry someone who complements your weak points. No this doesn’t mean someone who will say “good job” each time you do a good deed. Not that kind of compliment. In a complementary relationship, your strong suits will make up for your companion’s weaknesses and vice versa. In the end, the marriage is stronger than the two individuals!

12. Exchange time, skills or service as currency. If you know how to play the piano and your neighbors want their kid to learn to play piano, find something they have that you want.

13. Learn to preserve and store food. Even if you’re not into growing your own food, it never hurts to buy in bulk and keep it frozen for a few months.

Community gardens during the Great Depression
14. Start a garden and pay yourself for growing your own food. Why pay a grocery store for food that you can grow yourself? Many people these days are under the false impression that gardening is too difficult to try and best left to the hippies and hillbillies. Hardly the case since Michelle Obama and started a victory garden on White House grounds.

15. Credit cards are the devil. If you tell my Grandma that you bought her Christmas present on credit, you better hope you got your fill of pumpkin pie prior to opening gifts. Chances are, she’ll cut you off and give you a 10 minute lecture from Proverbs. Most old school consumers won’t even think about buying something unless they pay in cash.

16. Patience is a virtue. Be patient, save your pennies, and wait until they turn to dollars. Paying cash is the only way to go. I admit, this doesn’t translate well to 2009, but if you can rely upon your debit card more than your credit card, you’re on the right path.

17. Work hard, and work often. My family wasn’t exactly the affluent type back in the day, so I’m glad to have some of that blue collar mentality rubbed off on me. I never really understood what it meant to say “I built that” or “I made that from scratch” when I was a kid, but I certainly learned what those phrases meant once I became a bit older.

18. At the end of the day, think how to make tomorrow a little better. This phrase is fairly common, but it’s been sitting on my grandfather’s antique desk for as long as I can remember. Probably longer than I’ve been alive. But to me, it’s a testament to how both of grandparents lived their lives. Over time, little improvements add up a lot quicker than you think.

19. Envy is still a sin. Even though I’m the blaspheming evolutionist of the family, it doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention to sound advice. Believe it or not, the Bible has really good tips on debt avoidance and the “debt is slavery” principle.

20. Speak convincingly and be a leader. We all know a hierarchy exists in most families, and if that happens to be you, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Even if you hurt a few feelings here and there, they’re family and they’ll eventually forgive you.

Signs from the Great Depression
Remember, these tips are coming from a 75 year old so the advice may not transfer all that well to modern times, but only a (young) fool would ignore someone that has accumulated a lifetime of worthwhile knowledge.

article originally found here.

Happy New Year Everyone....I am looking forward to the new year and lots of vintage goodness!!


  1. Great words of wisdom for the new year. Thanks and Happy New Year

  2. Wonderful post and great advice for any time but especially these times. Happy, happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. There's one thing about wisdom, Suzanne. It's timeless! Thanks for the great pearls of wisdom you shared.

    Please be sure to come by and enter my fantastic year-end giveaway. Only a few days left! Click the picture in my sidebar for details.

    Blessings and Happy New Year!
    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  4. Some of these I already do. Since this lady and I have been there and done that, I will try to improve in other areas.

  5. Hi Suzanne, This is great advice! Thank You for hosting today and wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR..............Julian

  6. Great advise. Wishing you a Happy New Year!


  7. Wonderful words of advice. I see a change in my daughter's generation. A back to more natural and frugal lifestyle.

  8. Hear, hear! Very wise words for the new year.

  9. I turn 73 on New Year's Eve and I agree with every single one of your rules here. :))
    Thanks for hosting.

  10. Sounds like great advice for any era. We should all live by such great standards. Life would be much less stressful. Happy new Year and thanks for the food for thought

  11. What awesome advice! I love this, thanks so much for sharing!

    This is my first week participating :)

  12. Great advice Suzanne. I try to do a lot of these things but there's always room for improvement.

  13. Great advice. I need a reminder from time to time. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy New Year.

  14. Good morning Suzanne, I have not visited you lately and I'm back. My time this season has been so busy. Who hasn't been busy huh? I have missed you.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishes for a great 2011 comes from my heart.

    I really enjoyed your post today. Sound advice for everyone. Especially the credit advice. Abusing credit is the work of the devil!!! smile. It is a sure way to lose your way financially. Thanks for posting this list of awesome information. I am so thankful that my parents taught us to make do when things are tough.
    Happy New Year,
    Warm hugs, Jeanne

  15. Thank you Suzanne. I have been, as they say, trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps lately. Your post has offered some great "new" advice and reminded me of some old...and made me feel stronger.

    Happy 2011 to you and yours...Carolyn

  16. What a great article and a wonderful post for us all to read!!! Happy New Year!

  17. Great advice Suzanne. Yesterday I bought Christmas Lights on clearance. I really didn't have the extra $$$ but I knew I was going to need them next year because my tree lights gave me fits this year. I thought, why pay full price next year when I can get them dirt cheap now! I do use my Credit card at Christmas but only so I have a record of what I bought. I save money every week just for Christmas and as soon as the Holidays are over, I pay off the CC!

  18. Words of wisdom, I remeember my Grandmother saying some of those things.

    It really puts us back in realitives that some people are living hard times again.we all need to be more frugal

    I love seeing all the vintage items


  19. I love this post. Thank you for the wonderful advice! Happy New Year!!!!

  20. I am posting an entry that emphatically is not part of your advice, but couldn't resist. We plebes will follow your advice, but take a look at my review of fashionable ladies of the gilded age and how they lived.

  21. As I'm approaching the big 7-0, I mostly follow every rule on the list! I came from very frugal parents and it rubbed off!

  22. This is the way I love to live. I don't always succeed on all counts buy I give it my best. Thank you for reminding us all. Hope you have a great New Years eve--be careful.

  23. I think most of this advice is still excellent! Happy new year!

  24. I loved this post. I agree with each of the "words of wisdom." The best advice is always the most simple.
    Thank you so much for sharing this especially as we close out the year and look to the future...2011.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  25. Great advice, no matter what decade it is! We've been doing most of these things, but we're trying to do more of them every month/year that goes by. Next is to grow our own food (after having a disaster trying our first garden with too much rain!). Need to do some planning for that soon.

  26. I love your button! I've been trying to find a time to hop on and tonight's the night. I joined the party, and grabbed a button.
    xo jeanne.

  27. Very wise advice ... we've been trying to do some of these things ... hopefully this year we'll do better! Have a Happy New Year!

  28. I love #3. Be thankful for what you have. I try to live by those words every day.
    We don't really know what goes on in the private lives of all our blog friends, and I am sorry to hear that things have been difficult for you for several years. Hoping that 2011 will be the start of lots of good things! Sending you hugs and best wishes.


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