My father had a coffee shop and gas station where all the local working guys and sheriff’s deputies came for lunch. He also had a car wash that took up a lot of his time cleaning and maintaining. We had buckets of quarters from the car wash proceeds that my mom dutifully counted and rolled up preparatory to taking them to the bank. This was before the days of automatic coin counters.
My dad was pretty fussy about how his business looked, but he rarely, if ever, washed any of our vehicles. It was fine with him if I took a notion to wash the car ( I remember a brown Olds Cutlass) and polish it in the driveway, but it never at our own car wash. It was a waste of our money, in his mind. It was fine, and probably expected, that other people should wash their cars in his car wash, but not us. My dad had funny ideas about spending money.
I resist going to our local car washes until the dirt on our vehicles reaches critical mass. Husband likes to keep his truck clean. I could care less. I think I still hear my dad’s voice in my head saying “Car washes are for rubes. Don’t waste your money”. Like him, I am prone to fuss over small charges and not blink at larger expenditures.
What parental spending habits have you retained or rejected in your own adult life?