A Few Thoughts from Aunt Doris: How to Make Ends Meet

This is another post in an occasional series from my dear Aunt Doris, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94.


Aunt Doris

When it comes to staying out of debt and making ends meet, I can only tell you what’s worked for me.

I was left a young widow with an 11-year-old son — so I had to take charge of my finances.

I paid off my charge cards, and I’ve never owned one since. It’s one of the wisest things I ever did. I always pay for everything by cash or check. You should too.

Also, make sure you buy what’s needed as opposed to what you want. Then, when you do splurge on something you want, you’ll appreciate it so much more!

Oh, and in my later years I discovered the 99-cent and dollar stores. Love ’em! You’d be surprised at the bargains you’ll find on paper goods and batteries there!

Enjoy the simple things. Not everything that costs money is worth it, you know.

But the fact that you’re here, looking for advice, leads me to think you’re going to be fine. Just try to save a little bit from every paycheck — no matter how small the amount.

Remember, you can’t take it with you. Although I’ll probably try!


Aunt Doris


  1. 1

    Spedie says

    Aunt Doris: I, too, paid off my charge cards and haven’t owned one since. I do not plan to get another one either!

    I also agree that it is one of the best things I’ve ever done. But, there is much resistance to this idea in the American population…I just don’t understand people’s love of that plastic card!


  2. 3


    That’s some great advice Aunt Doris.

    I was talking with my step-dad on Sunday and we both agreed the percentage of financially responsible people is shrinking. People who lived through tough times seem to be more pragmatic with their purchases than those who were raised in more affluent times.

  3. 4


    I maintain a simple low profile lifestyle which keeps the expenses down. I have no debt except for a small mortgage. We have a very enjoyable life by doing what is important versus just spending on things.

  4. 6


    I swore off credit card debt a few years ago…but I still use them. I pay them off each month and buy only what I can afford (in other words, I already have the money in my bank account BEFORE I buy.) I use them for the cashback rewards, and have signed up for their sign-on bonuses (then tucked them away in the closet.) Use ’em if you’re responsible…don’t if you’re not. They’re a tool, and like any tool can do great things, or hurt you if used improperly.

  5. 7


    “Enjoy the simple things. Not everything that costs money is worth it, you know.” I like this. I too like simple things and I believe that things won’t make you happy. I think that’s the reason why I won’t get rich…maybe I am too content or too simple?

    Thanks Aunt Doris :)

  6. 9

    Mike says

    I agree with everyone here. Really, the only thing money in the bank does, is provide peace of mind. A new car, or a big new television is not gonna make me a happier person. I actually have fun trying to be frugal. Today, for example, at work, I spent $2.42 at the grocery store and had a wonderfully filling and healthy lunch. A baked potato, a small can of chicken, and a can of black eyed peas. I don’t brag about how much I’ve spent. But, I will brag about how much I’ve saved!


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