Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family- Remembering my Frugal Mother by Sharon Marchisello

Welcome to the third of the posts from Sharon Marchisello’s archives. Last week she shared the financial wisdom by her father. This week Sharon shares her mother’s efforts to make sure money was well spent.

Remembering my Frugal Mother by Sharon Marchisello

My mother liked to be acknowledged on Mother’s Day, but she bristled at the thought of money being spent on her. No gifts, a card was fine.

Flowers (unless picked from one’s garden) were too extravagant. When I got a job and became self-sufficient, I sent her flowers on Mother’s Day and her birthday. “They’re beautiful, honey, but you shouldn’t have.” And she meant it. I don’t think she was ever able to enjoy them, she was so worried about how much the flowers–and the delivery–had cost me. After a while, I stopped sending her flowers, because they made her so uncomfortable.

My mother died before unlimited domestic calling was a common feature of most cell and landline plans. Back then, long-distance phone calls, with the charges escalating by the minute, made her nervous. As soon as she heard my voice on the line, she’d squeal, “Oh Sharon, how nice to talk to you. Thanks for calling.” And sometimes she’d hang up before I had a chance to tell her the reason for my call.

Only the direst of emergencies warranted a long-distance telephone call. When my grandmother died, my mother wrote a letter to give me the news. (To her credit, she splurged on a special-edition, handwritten letter and thus an extra stamp; she didn’t save that piece of information for the monthly family newsletter.) Still, I almost missed the funeral. My brother did miss the funeral, because he had a less-flexible work schedule than I and he didn’t work for an airline that gave him free flight benefits.

When I moved to Los Angeles from Houston and drove with a friend across the desert in my semi-reliable 1976 Subaru, my parents wanted reassurance that I had arrived safely. “But don’t waste money on a long-distance call,” Mom instructed. “Tell the operator you want to make a person-to-person collect call to Sharon. When I answer and the operator asks for Sharon, I’ll tell her Sharon isn’t here. That will be our code. We’ll know you arrived safely, and you won’t have to pay for a long-distance call.”

I inherited frugality from my mother, but I hope mine is less extreme.

My mother’s attitude about long-distance calls changed a little when my brother got a job at Bell Labs. One of his employment perks was reduced-rate long-distance service; I think the company gave him an allotment of free minutes. Gradually, he convinced our mother that it wasn’t breaking the bank for him to have a relaxed long-distance phone conversation with her.

I often wonder what my mother would do now that most cell phone plans offer unlimited domestic calling. Would she ever get used to it? Unfortunately, I’ll never get to find out.

What endearing quirks does/did your mother have to save money? I’d love to hear your comments.

©Sharon Marchisello

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of “The Ghost on Timber Way,” part of a short story anthology entitled Mystery, Atlanta Style, featuring fellow Sisters in Crime members. She has published a personal finance e-book entitled Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, as well as numerous travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals.

Sharon grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California. Now she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with her husband and cat.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. Going Home is her first published novel. The murder mystery was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.

Books by Sharon Marchisello

One of the recent reviews for Live Well, Grow Wealth

Katherine Kinlin 5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read December 18, 2018

Sometimes it can be hard for me to read books due too much going on with content, but Marchisello’s book was a really easy read for me. I can’t do complicated when it comes to books. She was really relate-able, because I didn’t grow up as a math centric person, and I also came from what would be considered a middle-class family. As a 27-year-old, her advice made me think about my life, and what I could be doing differently (therefore better!) with my money. She also changed the way I think about money. I don’t think a lot of people grow up to consider things like a big picture, or what’s going in and out. It kind of gave made better sense of what’s going on around me. A good perspective shift.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow Sharon on Goodreads:

About the book

Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy is Personal Finance 101, a commonsense guide to shrinking your financial footprint. Sharon Marchisello compares managing your financial life to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and in ten easy-to-follow steps, she shows ordinary people how to build wealth by living within their means without compromising their values.

The book is available from Smashwords: Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy

Connect to Sharon.

Blogspot :
Blog WordPress:

Thank you for dropping in today and Sharon would love to have your feedback and questions.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written (poetry too) for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

2 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family- Remembering my Frugal Mother by Sharon Marchisello

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Social Media Shenanigans, Spring Flowers, Mexican Getaways, Italian Food, music, humour and Fabulous Guests | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Protecting Memory-Impaired Loved Ones by Sharon Marchisello | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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