“You don’t buy what you can’t afford” – Is that still the Czecho-Slovak golden rule? / “Kdyz nemas, tak nekoupis”- Je to stale Cesko-Slovenske pravidlo?"You don't buy what you can't afford" - Is that still the Czecho-Slovak golden rule? | Czechmatediary
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“You don’t buy what you can’t afford” – Is that still the Czecho-Slovak golden rule? / “Kdyz nemas, tak nekoupis”- Je to stale Cesko-Slovenske pravidlo?

One of you, dear readers, recommended a very good, Czech/Slovak-related article from yesterday’s Chicago Tribune. The writer is married to a wife who has a Czech dad and a Slovak mom. He tributes her frugal, anti-credit card qualities to her CS roots. Read up about it right here (click here).

Do you think her frugality is still typical in the Czech/Slovak families? Are people against credit cards?

CZ: Jeden z Czechmate Diary ctenaru objevil (nebo spise objevila) moc hezky clanek z vcerejsich Chicago Tribune o ceske/slovenske setrive nature (clanek si prectete zde – klikntete zde).

Myslite si, ze tento protikreditkartovy (slovo?) postoj je stale jeste u ceskych rodin typicky?

If you liked this post buy me a coffee! (Suggested:$3 a latte $8 for a pound) Thanks!

30 comments… add one
  • Dagmar October 27, 2011, 6:42 am

    well, my husband is Scottish and if there was anyone more frugal than these folks!! and yes, he has paid cash for all of his cars…the sales guys do not like it believe me, as they don’t make any money! good thing we have separate accounts so that I, as any good Czech girl should do, can treat myself to frequent shopping excursions…but alas, I am somewhat frugal I suppose and do a very good job at managing expenses….having Czech post-war parents who wouldn’t dream of tossing away a penny has done that to me 🙂

  • Eva Z. October 27, 2011, 8:04 am

    I think part of our Czech way is the fact that credit cards were not available until recently, neither were typical mortgages or loans. If you wanted a loan it was very difficult to get it and you had to have one or two people that would co-sign it, so that they would pay it if you could not. So we had to learn to be frugal and not buy what we could not afford. I am still that way, pay off every loan as soon as I can (including mortgage, still working on that one though), not spend for stuff I can do myself, shopping excursions mostly with coupons and during sales, etc…I think that now in the CZ the credit cards are starting to take off and because people don’t know how to manage them, they are often getting into deep debts and facing repossessions as I heard.

  • Dagmar October 27, 2011, 9:14 am

    that’s interesting re: history of credit cards…it’s not one of the topics of convo with my Czech relatives. on another lighter note, i am told by my mother that the purchase of the first family car (a Skoda, of course) came BEFORE the thought of “me”…dad put his foot down, car before children LOL

  • Romana Osborne October 27, 2011, 10:18 am

    Interesting subject. My family is 100 per cent frugal. My parents came here, worked hard, paid off any credit card debt before the interest hit and have a paid house off some years ago. My mother carries a small debt for a car and that’s it. Me, however, is an entirely different story…

  • Tanja October 27, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I did not know if you pay for a car in cash that the salesman does not get a cut from it. That’s unfair,huh?
    I got to ask my friends/family in Czech how is the credit card situation but I vaguely remember I read an article about it and it said pretty much what Eva was saying that the young people don’t know how to use them wisely and they are in trouble.
    Isn”t that weird that checks did not become a popular use of payment in Czech?

  • Dagmar October 27, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Tanja, what i meant was that the dealership doesn’t get “financing”, hence $$…the one place really gave him a hard time a few years back..luckily this year he did the same and no problems. interesting experiences. re: credit cards – don’t think this is any different than young people here, perhaps most people here..

  • Vlastimil October 28, 2011, 7:16 am

    I enjoy using my credit card very much. If you want to be part of this society, you have to spend and even better to overspend in order to help our broken economy…. I know the life is fair….
    If rich companies out there can receive bail-outs , I am sure, one day, we people will get bailed out instead…. I still have some credit available, there is a huge sale on Maserati right now, see you …..

  • MariKa October 28, 2011, 9:38 am

    The American economy is not doing too well, but imagine for a moment, if you will, all Americans living only on what they HAVE, no credit. Can you see the poverty?
    Only a handfull would own their home, only a few could afford their vehicle and food.
    That’s reality. I say keep the values you came here with. Buy what you can afford and buy wisely. I adhere to the Buddhist ways and always ask myself: need or want? If the answer is want, I only buy 2-3 a year. Same with food. There’s just way too much crap on supermarket shelves. I never understand people who fill their carts to a max. Have you ever done that???

  • MariKa October 28, 2011, 9:46 am

    Vlastimil, you’re too funny, even for a meat eater ;P

  • Tanja October 28, 2011, 10:06 am

    One of my friends froze her credit cards in the freezer, another one cut them up in a little pieces but I think they found their way back to them because both of them are using them again.

  • Eva Z. October 28, 2011, 10:23 am

    I use my credit card all the time, I get reward points. I pay it off every month (actually more often), so really I get extra points and cash back for something I’d normally pay with cash or debit card. I know that banks hate customers like me because the interest and late payment fees is what they are after!

  • Eva Z. October 28, 2011, 10:24 am

    Vlastimil, people get bailed out too, it’s called bankruptcy…

  • Tanja October 28, 2011, 10:28 am

    Evi, that’s awesome! I wish we could be up to speed like you! One day….
    I am waiting for the day when people stop using money and start paying with goats, bags of oranges, eggs….that’s what I am talking about! 😉

  • Tanja October 28, 2011, 10:30 am

    PS: By the way, I still can’t believe there are SO many people that have filed for bankruptcy and still can live their half-a-way decent lives! I would not want to be one of them but at the same time, it is a pretty good deal that your debt is completely forgiven for the price of a ruined credit.

  • Eva Z. October 28, 2011, 10:47 am

    It’s pretty hard to live with bad or no credit, I know I had to build mine just to be able to sign up for a cell phone plan and silly things like this. But on the other hand, it is possible and the fact that you borrowed, borrowed and spent it all and now you don’t have to pay it back, that’s pretty sweet deal, I am surprised that it’s even possible. But I don’t really know all rules of bankruptcy, so I can hardly judge.

    It’s easy for you in California when oranges grow in your garden! 🙂 I’d have hardly anything to use for payment 🙂

  • Sarka October 30, 2011, 8:14 am

    On a different note, I would be interested to know what you as a person who probably loves to live in the US thinks of lunches at school cafeterias. They seem to be quite terrible compared to Czech ones. I remember eating real food here in the CR; boiled potatoes, meat that looked like meat, cucumber salads… unsweetened tea on tap… Will you pack your children lunches when they start attending school? I’m just interested, as a regular reader of your blog, a Czech living in the CR.

  • Tanja October 30, 2011, 10:08 pm

    Sarko, yes I have heard rumors like that. My kids are not school-goers yet so I don’t know if that is going to be the case with our future school as well. I sure hope not. But then packing them their own ‘special’ and ‘healthy’ lunch is probably not a perfect answer either since it singles them out of the crowd and that can bring new problems on its own. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle but we shell see! 🙂

  • Vlastimil October 31, 2011, 8:53 am

    a sample menu in our school. Thanks God my kids don’t need to eat there !!

    Wednesday, October 5
    MINI MAPLE BURST PANCAKES W/ SAUSAGE Golden Hash Brown Fresh Orange Smiles Milk

    Thursday, October 6
    CRISPY POPCORN CHICKEN Wheat Roll Mashed Potatoes Golden Corn, Chilled Fruit Milk

    Friday, October 7
    STUFFED CRUST PIZZA Zesty Caesar Salad Chilled Fruit Milk

    Tuesday, October 11
    PASTA W/ MEAT SAUCE Garlic Bread Fresh Spinach Salad Juicy Ripe Apple Milk Choice

    Wednesday, October 12
    FRENCH TOAST STICKS Sausage Patty Hash Brown 100% Fruit Juice Milk Choice

    Thursday, October 13
    ELI TURKEY & CHEESE SUB Lettuce & Tomato Carrot Dippers Chilled Fruit Milk Choice

    Friday, October 14
    DEEP DISH PIZZA Buttermilk Ranch Salad Chilled Fruit Milk Choice

    Monday, October 17
    FLUFFY WAFFLES W/ SAUSAGE Hash Brown Warm Blueberries Milk Choice

    Tuesday, October 18
    MAC & CHEESEBURGER WHEAT ROLL Green Beans Fruit Cup Milk Choice

    Wednesday, October 19
    CHICKEN PATTY ON A BUN Cucumber Dippers Dice Peaches Milk Choice

    Thursday, October 20
    EGG. HAM & CHEESE ON A BUN Vegetable of the Day Fresh Apple Milk Choice

    And of course, there are wending machines, where kids can buy Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other sodas
    sweetened by corn syrup (the stuff that really messes up your metabolism)

    No wonder we have diabetes and obesity “mystery” problems…

  • Eva Z. October 31, 2011, 9:09 am

    Samy sausage, smazene a pizza…nevidim tam nejak nic moc zdraveho az na to jablko…Pak nemaji byt deti tluste a vyzadovat takova jidla i doma a nebo jist ve fast foodech.

  • Sarka October 31, 2011, 10:02 am

    Tohle se zdá být takovým typickým obědem 🙂 /This seems to be a quite typical US school lunch 🙂 :
    http://fedupwithlunch.com/2010/01/day-16-peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich/

    Jsem česká patriotka, takže jsem “trošičku” přispěla s českými obědy na tenhle blog školních obědů z celého světa 🙂 /I’m a Czech patriot, so I contributed “a little” to this blog with school lunches from all over the world 🙂 :
    http://whatsforschoollunch.blogspot.com/

  • Romana Osborne October 31, 2011, 10:12 am

    Have you guys seen Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, where he attempts to change the approach to feeding kids in an average American school?

  • Tanja October 31, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Sarko, super link!!! Urcite o tom blogu musim napsat. Divala jsem se na obrazky obedu z USA a zase to nebylo tak strasny, tak to asi zalezi na skole.
    Vlastimile, ten tvuj list taky neni nic moc. Nejhorsi na tom je, ze i kdyz jeden den maji neco ‘zdraveho’, jako pasta with meat sauce, tak to jsou samy preservativy,….my jsme temhle jidlum s mamou v zdycky rikaly ze jsou ‘udelane z ropy’ :))

  • Sarka October 31, 2011, 3:37 pm

    Mně přijde, že ty lepší obědy jsou ze soukromých škol… chudáci děcka z těch normálních. Ale taky doufám, že jinde jí dobře. Srovnávám s Českem. Tady se jí normálně všude 🙂

    Navíc je to všechno na taácech na jedno použití, spousta obalů (chudák příroda), tvrdí, že kdyby zaměstnali lidi, kteří by měli na starost umývání nádobí, že by to bylo příliš drahé.

    Ale nechci do USA moc vrtat, jen mě tohle téma školních obědů dost zajímá 🙂

  • Dagmar October 31, 2011, 4:10 pm

    it’s called a “budget”…years ago i worked at a reputable daycare center and tried to improve the food, to no avail. as it was a non-for-profit association, there were no “extra” dollars for such frivolties so i was informed…bah, it was more lack of creativity and cooking skills…so much easier to pop pre-fried food in the oven rather than cooking real meat. yay for Jamie! in our community this fall the push in on to change cafeteria food in high schools…so what has happened? the kids go across the street to McD’s, KFC and such. if they’re raised this way at home this is all that they know food to be, then this is what they want. as a result several schools are contemplating closing food services. so sad…huge, huge issues that will not go away tomorrow

  • Eva Z. October 31, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Sarko, mas pravdu. Ale v Cesku si take pamatuji knedliky ke vsemu, univerzalni hneda omacka a maso plne krupek a tlusteho, casto buchty ci knedliky s ovocem, ruzne smazene (rizky, kureci, bramboraky), atd. Kdy se tak na to zpetne divam, tak to casto moc zdrave nebylo, i kdyz na Amiky jsme myslim nemeli ani tehdy (myslim na tu jejich nezdravost). Snad se to ted ale zlepsilo!
    Ja si take myslim, ze problem je v tom, ze deti jsou naucene z domu jist nezdrave veci (mluvim ted o Americe), protoze doma maji jen hranolky, smazene produkty z mrazaku, ci vyzvednute z fast foodu a potom by ani normalni jidlo ve skole nejedly. Takze myslim, ze ta chyba zacina uz doma a ve skole uz to jen pokracuje. Co neni presolene a precukrovane ci chemicke, to jim nechutna. Znam to od deti pratel…

  • Sarka October 31, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Dagmar: Možná kdyby jim to rodiče zaplatili dopředu a děcka pak nedostávala peníze, byla by nucená jíst, co se jim dá na podnos. Ale je to těžké. Jídlo doma je asi to hlavní a v US je asi velmi snadné nevařit.

  • Vlastimil October 31, 2011, 8:23 pm

    Je fakt, ze prezervativy jsou vsude a ve sem….(jak jsme odbehli od tematu? Je videt ceska natura…myslime jen na to zradlo:)) ….Tady v USA jsou prezervativy i v pive …..pamatuju si, ze za mlada (v CSSR) , to jsem kupoval pivo zvlast a prezervativy take zvlast 😉

  • Tanja October 31, 2011, 8:45 pm

    No jo, zradlo, to je nase 🙂
    Sarko, ja si pamatuju, ze mne to rodice taky platili predem, ale jako ‘spravny’ teenager jsem stejne na ty obedy nechodila a sly jsme s kamaradkami na kafe a cigarety do mistni kavarany

    Daso (mimochodem, aby jste se vsichni nedivili, Dasa umi cist perfektne cesky, jeji rodice jsou Cesi), to je fakt smutny, ze ty decka odbehly na druhou stranu do KFC. Mne rikala jedna ceska kamaradka co zije tady, ze jeji maminka je hlavni kucharkou na jedne z prazskych zakladnich skol a tam vari s ORGANICKYMI surovinami!!! A ze pry to neni v Cechach tak nevidane…co ty na to Sarko, je to pravda??

  • Sarka October 31, 2011, 9:04 pm

    Tanja: :-)) já zas nejsem takový znalec, ale je fakt, že BIO tady letí, i organické potraviny. Kupují to hlavně mladé ženy kolem třiceti a matky s dětmy, které na to mají. Já osobně jsem o podobných školách tady v ČR neslyšela. Ta škola si chce asi budovat pokrokový “imidž”, třeba je to waldorfská škola. Ty potraviny jsou docela drahé, ale prodej se zvyšuje (to si pamatuju z novin).

    V mých školách vařili celkem dobře, ale na ZŠ kreativněji a chutněji (možná na to škola uvolňovala víc peněz), na gymplu to bylo slabší, ale pořád ještě to bylo jídlo, které člověk mohl potkat i doma (a mamka vaří dobře).

    Jinak pokud si chcete přečíst, co se tu v ČR děje, čtěte novinky (http://www.novinky.cz/), jsou tam pořád nové zprávy a čte to většina Čechů (a Moraváků), co si aspoň sem tam zapnou net. Člověk je pořád v obraze.

  • Dagmar November 1, 2011, 6:32 am

    ano, promin…umim “perfectne” Cesky mluvit a cist…ale psat to jde sice pomalu and hodne koktam LOL tak nekdy skocim do Anglictiny…:) ’cause it’s darn hard to find those 25 cent words when you need them

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