Confession: Amy Dacyczyn really bugs me - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings about AD and the Tightwad Gazette. I thought she had some really great ideas in there and some that would not work for me. I enjoyed reading a lot of it and implemented some of her ideas. I did get the feeling that her children were more like possessions to her and that bugged me a lot. Granted, it was a book, so maybe she just came off that way to me. I remember the story about the pillow though, and I seriously wanted to pummel her after reading that one. The story was about one of her kids' pillows that really needed to be replaced. The kid had to sleep with that pillow until she found a way to "fix" it. That really, really bugged me because having a crappy pillow can cause pain. You can have neck problems from crappy pillows. I remember screaming at the book (yep, I'm sure that was a sight!) "Just buy the kid a pillow already." I lost respect for her after that. I would never want my kids to feel like I was so cheap I wouldn't buy them a good pillow.
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#92 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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I also like the couple who are now carrying the torch- the Econmides. They have a similar book out now. They also respond to email etc on their website and have a similar newsletter.
Do you have a link? I googled their name and couldn't find anything. I'd be interested to see what they have to say. TIA.
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#93 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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I think I wrote that! I am guessing she's in her early 60's now? She's got (all?) grown kids. The last I heard, the twins were teenagers, and that was several years ago. No offense intended
Actually I believe she is in her 50's. Boy do I feel old. I have almost everyone of her newsletters. I subscribed to her before she even wrote her first book.

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#94 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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Do you have a link? I googled their name and couldn't find anything. I'd be interested to see what they have to say. TIA.
I will start a new thread.

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#95 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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For those who find her advice outdated--well, yes! It's from 1990 to 1996 . But from a historical perspective, please remember that her newsletter was literally the ONLY PUBLICATION OUT THERE in the early to mid-1990s that talked about these frugal methods.


See, again. That doesn't seem like that long ago.
I remember waaayyy back '96, reading through the original Laurel's Kitchen book, which was 20 years old, and not fidning it dated, exactly. Excpet the whole over the top protein obsession, of course

Anyway, the itnernet has changed the way we get and exchange info, though.
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#96 of 120 Old 07-30-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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I thought some of you might find this interesting:

http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum....ving&tid=39111
That is funny. I guess when you become a multi millionaire based on you being frugal there becomes a point you do not need to be frugal any more, lol.

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#97 of 120 Old 11-07-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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Hi, I've just found this forum and registered to say:

I realise this in an older thread, but I've found her son, neal on myspace. He says he's 21. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...endid=34518984

Her daughter, jamie, has something on amazon and is at college.

If you look around the internet, you can find some things
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#98 of 120 Old 11-07-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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I think I wrote that! I am guessing she's in her early 60's now? She's got (all?) grown kids. The last I heard, the twins were teenagers, and that was several years ago. No offense intended
The youngest are 17, born in '91
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#99 of 120 Old 11-08-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I never heard of her till 2001 and bought the complete tightwad gazette (on a CC of all things! lol) I LOVE that book, it completely changed my POV on being frugal. Yes she is very extreme on many things but what I loved most about the book was the success stories

Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.

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#100 of 120 Old 11-08-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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I saw Jaime and Rebecca have myspace pages, too, but they're set to private. Neal's is funny, though! Sounds like turned out fairly frugal (I think he said he'd only eat fast food if it was free )

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#101 of 120 Old 11-08-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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www.thesimpledollar.com blog did an interview with her earlier this year. You'll just need to search the archives.

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#102 of 120 Old 11-13-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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I've probably replied to this thread already, somewhere, lol.

But, I just checked out the Tightwad Gazette, book 3 from the library. Just to see if I had misjudged the book the first time. So, I started reading it today.

In her introduction, she writes how we're actually earning more than our grandparents, have more opportunities, etc. Ok, no problem.

Then she says that health care is more expensive, but it's because we EXPECT more, i.e. organ transplants, cancer cures, etc.

And here is her next line: "health care was cheaper back then because people died easier."

I couldn't read more of the book after that. Did anyone find this line offensive? My partner had cancer a few years ago, and yes we absolutely expected him to live and go through chemotherapy. And we paid for it - out of pocket too.

Doesn't everyone want more life, and expect the best health care possible? And as the years go by, should we expect more from health care? As we learn more, discover more, shouldn't we expect more innovations like organ transplants and cancer cures?!

I just don't understand what the heck she's trying to say here. Be frugal, forgo treatment, and die? Her line about health care being cheaper because people died easier just really doesn't strike a good chord with me.

Seems to me that medicine is the one area where frugality should NOT be applied.

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#103 of 120 Old 11-13-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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I've probably replied to this thread already, somewhere, lol.

But, I just checked out the Tightwad Gazette, book 3 from the library. Just to see if I had misjudged the book the first time. So, I started reading it today.

In her introduction, she writes how we're actually earning more than our grandparents, have more opportunities, etc. Ok, no problem.

Then she says that health care is more expensive, but it's because we EXPECT more, i.e. organ transplants, cancer cures, etc.

And here is her next line: "health care was cheaper back then because people died easier."

I couldn't read more of the book after that. Did anyone find this line offensive? My partner had cancer a few years ago, and yes we absolutely expected him to live and go through chemotherapy. And we paid for it - out of pocket too.

Doesn't everyone want more life, and expect the best health care possible? And as the years go by, should we expect more from health care? As we learn more, discover more, shouldn't we expect more innovations like organ transplants and cancer cures?!

I just don't understand what the heck she's trying to say here. Be frugal, forgo treatment, and die? Her line about health care being cheaper because people died easier just really doesn't strike a good chord with me.

Seems to me that medicine is the one area where frugality should NOT be applied.

It doesn't offend me, she's quite dry in how she says things and she has a point, we prolong and extend life way farther than we could 50 years ago. The majority of this cost is for end of life care for the elderly. That isn't bad, it just is. It also costs a lot of money.

You have to take into account the region of the US she was born into (I believe she is Yankee 100% as is my own mom) as well as her age, and then you can understand her outlook.

The information is also dated. I get a kick out of her even when I don't agree with her.

P.S. I'm sorry about your partner's cancer, and I agree with you about healthcare.
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#104 of 120 Old 11-13-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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I think she's right about a major reason why healthcare costs more. But I don't think she's saying to everyone just go ahead and die.

The expectations are different and the amount of medical care people get (or at least insured people) is different. I'm also a cancer survivor and received probably $200K worth of treatment, and I don't for a minute think I should have just declined treatment to crawl off in a hole and die.

But if you look at health care expediture, particularly for the elderly, it is a whole different ball of wax than it used to be. I have elderly ILs, people in their mid 80s. For their age, they are remarkably healthy, and their medical issues are minor. But the sheer number of doctors appointments they have is truly staggering. There are specialists for everything, even for systems which aren't sick, and they want the ILs to come in all the time. They get put on medications for conditions they don't have, and it's a constant battle to keep that in check.

My grandmother lived to be 100. She died 25 years ago. In contrast, she went to the doctor maybe once every six months. She had insurance, but it was never recommended that she see every specialist known to mankind.

The amount of health care dollars that we now spend on terminal patients is also staggering. Nobody wants to accept that they or their loved ones are dying, and doctors are terrified of being sued.
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#105 of 120 Old 11-14-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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I guess I just don't get her dry writing style then.

I understand what you both are saying. But, it seems odd to me to say "people died easier then." Death and dying (especially prematurely due to cancer or accident) is never easy or "easier" - on anyone. I just think it's a poor choice of words.

But, maybe I just don't get her or her writing style.

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#106 of 120 Old 11-14-2008, 05:57 PM
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Amy Dacyczyn will be 52 in September. Not exactly a relic; at least not to me.
My parents are 52. Anyone as old as my parents is OLD.
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#107 of 120 Old 11-14-2008, 06:04 PM
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I've probably replied to this thread already, somewhere, lol.

But, I just checked out the Tightwad Gazette, book 3 from the library. Just to see if I had misjudged the book the first time. So, I started reading it today.

In her introduction, she writes how we're actually earning more than our grandparents, have more opportunities, etc. Ok, no problem.

Then she says that health care is more expensive, but it's because we EXPECT more, i.e. organ transplants, cancer cures, etc.

And here is her next line: "health care was cheaper back then because people died easier."

I couldn't read more of the book after that. Did anyone find this line offensive? My partner had cancer a few years ago, and yes we absolutely expected him to live and go through chemotherapy. And we paid for it - out of pocket too.

Doesn't everyone want more life, and expect the best health care possible? And as the years go by, should we expect more from health care? As we learn more, discover more, shouldn't we expect more innovations like organ transplants and cancer cures?!

I just don't understand what the heck she's trying to say here. Be frugal, forgo treatment, and die? Her line about health care being cheaper because people died easier just really doesn't strike a good chord with me.

Seems to me that medicine is the one area where frugality should NOT be applied.
You are reading something into it that is not there. She did not say (or imply) that people just laid down and died and everyone was happy about it. She's saying that 50 years ago, our medical industry was not ABLE to save people with expensive procedures, and therefore, health care overall was cheaper.
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#108 of 120 Old 11-14-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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You are reading something into it that is not there. She did not say (or imply) that people just laid down and died and everyone was happy about it. She's saying that 50 years ago, our medical industry was not ABLE to save people with expensive procedures, and therefore, health care overall was cheaper.
Exactly. And in fact, in another part of one of her books she says that most people do not waste money on health care, and that its cost can be a big problem for needed services.
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#109 of 120 Old 11-14-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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And Neal's myspace page is hilarious!
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#110 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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You are reading something into it that is not there. She did not say (or imply) that people just laid down and died and everyone was happy about it. She's saying that 50 years ago, our medical industry was not ABLE to save people with expensive procedures, and therefore, health care overall was cheaper.
Yes, but, then why not state it in the way you just did?

Why make a statement that can imply something else? By saying we expect more now, and people died easier then ... she leaves the sentence with a bit of double meaning in it.

I can't be the only one in the world who has read that sentence in the other way!

I'm a writer, so I'm always interested in words, sentences, and how people choose to put those words together. Now, yes, obviously some people just slap words together without thinking. But, she didn't strike me as the type to do this.

It just seemed like an odd phrasing to me. But, again, it could just be me!

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#111 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 09:39 AM
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My issue with her is that she puts in too much of her opinion and judgment (imo). I mean, if your goal is trying to save us money, then do that and check your opinions of what is right or wrong of virtuous or not at the door kwim. If I wanted that I would pick up a self help book

That having been said, I did get some useful tips from her books -- I took what I wanted and left the rest. I checked it out of the library (and do so every 6 months or so) so she didn't get any of my money.

Her son's page is funny!
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#112 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 12:10 PM
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Yes, but, then why not state it in the way you just did?

Why make a statement that can imply something else? By saying we expect more now, and people died easier then ... she leaves the sentence with a bit of double meaning in it.

I can't be the only one in the world who has read that sentence in the other way!

I'm a writer, so I'm always interested in words, sentences, and how people choose to put those words together. Now, yes, obviously some people just slap words together without thinking. But, she didn't strike me as the type to do this.

It just seemed like an odd phrasing to me. But, again, it could just be me!
Because she is a person with a very abrupt speaking style, in an area of the country filled with people with abrupt speaking styles, and didn't think anyone would be offended. It probably went by another copy writer and an editor, in addition to (most likely) her husband, and none of them were offended. And she most certainly DID explain herself to avoid a double meaning - the sentence before explained exactly what she meant: we have better, but more expensive, health care technology.

Way back when, when there was no cure for cancer, getting cancer cost only as much as it cost to make someone comfortable in their last days. Now, it involves chemo, radiation, surgeries, and recovery from all of those - sometimes even home nursing care. That all adds up.
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#113 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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I don't know, but I didn't see what you are seeing in her writing.

I actually think that in many ways, people did "die easier" in the past. I think that what we often to to terminally ill people with no hope of recovery is really not what's the most humane for them. I'm talking about the Terry Schiavo type of stuff that happens every day to a whole lot of people. I'm talking about many terminally ill people for whom treatment gets pushed hard by the medical community, when really there's no hope it will actually help them. My mom went through that. It was clear she was dying, yet the docs were pushing more chemo, more radiation, and generally more torture.

Death used to be seen as a natural part of life, and I don't think that's so much the case any more.
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#114 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 12:46 PM
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My issue with her is that she puts in too much of her opinion and judgment (imo). I mean, if your goal is trying to save us money, then do that and check your opinions of what is right or wrong of virtuous or not at the door kwim. If I wanted that I would pick up a self help book

That having been said, I did get some useful tips from her books -- I took what I wanted and left the rest. I checked it out of the library (and do so every 6 months or so) so she didn't get any of my money.

Her son's page is funny!
So, do you think that a newsletter about thrift should have included more articles about being wasteful? Not of money, but of resources? Time? The environment? Creativity?

She wrote a big article about values, and using YOUR values to set your priorities. Several, actually.

From The Complete Tightwad Gazette

Opening Article pp 7-8
"Time and Money Chart" pp 103-105
"Thrift and the Environment" pp 221-223
"How to Avoid Feeling Deprived" pp 232-234
"When you Don't Need to be a Tightwad" pp 295-297
"Creative Deprivation" pp 380-382
"Selective Squeamishness" pp 416-418
"The Frugal Balance" pp 482-484
"Wealth, Poverty, and Frugality" pp 574-576
"The March of a Different Dreamer" pp 703-705
"Tending to Goals" pp 837-839
"Opulence and Saving Cents" pp 894-896
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#115 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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My best memories of the books are the great birthday parties they gave! They turned the barn into a pirate ship, complete with hanging rope rigging from the rafters for kids to climb and hang from.

I also loved reading about their gardening. They were (are?) big into organic gardening. It was huge as I recall , and they can and freeze tons of it. I wonder if they still do all that.

They seemed like a very close family, so I am guessing that still holds true, even if she did some things some of us might not have done. The connection is everything. The sheer amount of time they spent together creating family time because they were two sane and loving adults home with their kids all time, the awesome birthday parties, and daily muffins in a cozy kitchen has to trump emotionally, the occasional "Please take two bites of that food I prepared" or whatever.

I'd love to see a pic of all of them together today.
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#116 of 120 Old 11-15-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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I look at it the same way I look at parenting books. I take the tips that will work for me and my family, and ignore the rest!
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#117 of 120 Old 11-16-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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I'd love to see a pic of all of them together today.
I think Neal's myspace page has one or two of him with at least a couple of his siblings.
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#118 of 120 Old 11-17-2008, 05:17 PM
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My best memories of the books are the great birthday parties they gave! They turned the barn into a pirate ship, complete with hanging rope rigging from the rafters for kids to climb and hang from.

I also loved reading about their gardening. They were (are?) big into organic gardening. It was huge as I recall , and they can and freeze tons of it. I wonder if they still do all that.

They seemed like a very close family, so I am guessing that still holds true, even if she did some things some of us might not have done. The connection is everything. The sheer amount of time they spent together creating family time because they were two sane and loving adults home with their kids all time, the awesome birthday parties, and daily muffins in a cozy kitchen has to trump emotionally, the occasional "Please take two bites of that food I prepared" or whatever.

I'd love to see a pic of all of them together today.
Exactly. I LOVE the stuff that she writes about doing with her kids. The fact that she doesn't spend all her time entertaining her children is GOOD. She is teaching them to use their own creativity.

I'm all about the whole "Play with your kids and talk to them." However, I am not willing to spend 6 hours a day playing Candyland, no matter how much my child enjoys it. No way. We can play a game or two, and then we are moving on to do something else - bake some muffins, work in the garden, clean the house, and if kiddo doesn't want to participate she is free to go play with her dolls or her Play-Doh or something.
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#119 of 120 Old 11-17-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Does TG have ideas that I disagree with or that don't work for me? Absolutely. The biggest that comes to mind is that to live 100% like Amy, you have to be willing to put up with heaps of clutter.

She had one article about how to live as a tightwad in a small space. I actually tried some of the tips, e.g. storing bulk boxes of ramen noodles under my bed. Never again!

Overall, I love TG and how it's transformed the way I live. I suppose that if I took her more seriously, she'd "get to me." But I'm just not there.

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#120 of 120 Old 11-18-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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she has some good ideas interspersed with all the cheapness, but really, i don't like her much either!
when she was first on GMA or whatever it was years ago, i felt bad for her kids. we are thrifty too, but never having new shoes and being able to afford them is too much for me. (i feel the same way about the duggers, but that's another discussion!) and the "repurposing" stuff-my sister and i still laugh about her using dryer lint to make halloween masks. lol...

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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