I had an encounter with a Frugal Master today, and I have to say I felt like the “kid” in the presence of Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid!” We needed a minor repair on the porch overhang at our back door. The carpenter I called was of retirement age and handed me his business card which said “20 years experience” — except the ’20’ was crossed out and he had written in “47 years.” Now, you just know he got a great deal on those business cards back in 1986!! Waste not, want not!
After the repair we got to talking. He asked about my husband’s work, which happens to be downtown. “Does he have to pay for monthly parking?” I hear his frugal gears turning. I tell him my husband has a complementary spot as part of his job. “Oh, so they take it out of his salary…” No such thing as a free lunch, right.
Most tradesmen come to our home and comment on our bright sunroom with views of the lush backyard. Mr. Miyagi says, “Must get cold out here in the winter with all these windows!” Look past the shiny surface and see what the bigger picture is, and what are the long-term costs involved.
He later tells me he has raised 6 girls, with four of them put through college, apparently with significant financial contributions from mom and dad. Then away he went, his old truck put-put-puttering down the street. My porch is fixed and I had a small brush with a frugal sensei.