The 1500 children drop the F-bomb



There has recently been a very disturbing development in the 1500 household. The 1500 children, ages 7 and 5, have started dropping the F-bomb on a regular basis. Every time I hear it, I cringe and want to yell. I never say it. Neither does Mrs. 1500, so they didn’t learn it from us. I place the blame completely on society. It only takes a visit to the local mall or a couple minutes watching TV to see why the children use this horrible word so much.

Since this is a family blog suitable for all ages (most of the time), the F-bomb* that I refer to may not be the same one you’re thinking of. Get your mind out of the gutter please. The F-bomb that I’m writing about today is the word “fancy” and the children use it as much as they can, often to antagonize me since they’re aware of how I feel about the word:

  • Look at my outfit, don’t I look fancy?
  • I want to be fancy when I grow up.
  • That car looks fancy!

The word fancy comes with a lot of baggage to a frugal person. However, I couldn’t quite put my finger on a good definition for it. I consulted Google and, but Urban Dictionary came through with this ridiculous definition:

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 12.21.04 PM

Strange, but I think it gets to the point. This horrible word means spending or acting in such a way to impress others. Fancy is the antithesis of who I am. To be fancy is to be insecure. Fancy is anti-frugal. Fancy is bad. Fancy sucks.

Fancy can manifest itself in all types of different ways:

And I don’t like any of it. I have no wish to stand out in any way. I wish to be judged by my boring personality and not by my boring wardrobe or boring cars.

The non-fancy ones have it going on

FancyIt cracks me up that our poor neighbors think that we’re poor because we lack fanciness. It is clear from the way they act towards us that they think we’re struggling. Now, we don’t go out of our way to look despondent either. They have come to this conclusions from watching us do our own work on our home, change our oil and keep our old cars around. Because we don’t pay others to take care of everything and don’t have new stuff, we must be poor. Think whatever you want to think neighbor.

The most important thing you can teach your child

If nothing else, I’m an observer of the behavior of others. Now that I’m at the ripe old age of 41, I like to look back and consider what became of my childhood friends. What surprises me most is who turned out to be successful and who didn’t.

There were a couple of very bright and witty kids in my neighborhood that come to mind immediately. Both have spent extended vacations in penitentiaries in Illinois and Nebraska. The Nebraska one even got addicted to meth and had to have all of his teeth yanked in his mid-30s. Ouch! Big “no thank you” to either of those scenarios. I do like my teeth and value my freedom immensely. Living without either would be horrible.

The childhood friends who are the most successful weren’t necessarily the very brightest bulbs, but the ones who worked their asses off. One became an entrepreneur, opening a fitness chain in Chicago. Another is a tech entrepreneur. These two are kicking ass in life.

What I want to give my children more than anything is a work ethic. They have a chore list. They need to keep their rooms clean. They know I won’t tolerate their work unless they have given it their best.

And what I’ve done about fancy

I’ve recently banned the word from our home. It is not to be spoken by either child or anyone else. Any time the children utter it, they are quickly instructed to swap the word out for “hard working:”

  • 7 year old: Don’t I look fancy today?
  • Me: You know that word is banned from our household.
  • 7 year old: Don’t I look hard working today?

Time will tell if my efforts to impart my values on my children will be successful. My 7 year old already thinks I’m a bit crazy and she’s a bit right. This is just fine as long as she doesn’t drop any more F-bombs.


*Confession: My parents tell everyone my first word was “car.” Not true. The real story is this: When I was a young tyke, my father was swinging a hammer when he hit himself with it. He dropped a real F-bomb with great enthusiasm. Apparently, I heard this and instantly repeated it. That was my first word.

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54 Responses to The 1500 children drop the F-bomb

  1. Well, when I was about their age I dropped the other F-bomb and got my mouth washed out with soap. It was quite memorable (truly awful, actually) and I never said the word in front of my mother again… Perhaps that’s a bit of an extreme option for “fancy”, though. =)
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted…Happy Friday – Happy Retirement!My Profile

  2. “Don’t I look hard working?” HAH! That is adorable. We have to use the word fancy in our home because it’s basically the only way to describe Frugal Hound. What can I say? She’s a fancy lady! She eats her Costco kibble and sleeps on her Costco bed, but the Hound has style.

    I sometimes forget how non-fancy Mr. FW and I look, but now I’m going to go around thinking of how “hard working” we look instead :).
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Frugal Homestead Series Part 2: Here’s The BudgetMy Profile

  3. I love this. Hard working it is!
    C@thesingledollar recently posted…Wednesday Food Post (plus: make awesome lasagne like me)My Profile

  4. Mrs SSC says:

    I’m trying to think of the last time I used the word fancy in a non-derogatory manner… years and years, I think. This post reminds me of a reoccurring worry/nightmare I have about my children and finding the right balance so that one day when they come home from school years and years in the future they don’t look at me and say “Mom – why do we live like hobos? I saw a bank statement yesterday – I want a Ferrari!”
    Mrs SSC recently posted…What ever happened to quality?My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Ha, I think the same thing all of the time! Our kids are going to think we’re destitute. Hopefully they never figure out how to get into my files!

      • Mrs. 1500 says:

        When the older one wants to ask if we can buy something, she always qualifies the request with, “…if it’s on sale…”

        The younger one asks for everything, but seems content with, “…if we can find it at a thrift store or garage sale…”

  5. Hannah says:

    Fancy as defined by Mr. 1500: (Jeremih: Imma Star)

    Fancy as defined some other rappers:
    Fancy By Drake:
    Got Paper by Lecrae:

  6. I’m almost disappointed that it wasn’t the *actual* f-bomb, because we recently had to deal with our six-year-old whipping out the S-word while we were playing board games. No idea where he learned it from. Fortunately he seems to have forgotten about it.

    He’s been to a couple of birthday parties recently, one at a huge gymnasium with bounce houses, the other at a bowling alley. So yesterday he said “Mommy, I’d like to have my birthday party at a big place someday!” Oh boy. Luckily I weaseled out of it by saying “Oh, well, your friends’ birthdays are in the winter, so they aren’t able to go to the playground like you can.” He admitted I had a point. Actually, this year he will be in London, for goodness sake (in part because we don’t rent out party places)! He doesn’t realize how fortunate he actually is.
    Jen @ Jen Spends Less recently posted…Freedom from WantMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Did he use the S-word in the right context? Like he landed on someone else’s Boardwalk that had a hotel on it? 🙂

      Oh, they both of ours have said the actual f-bomb. The 7 year old tricked the 5 year old into saying it actually: “Sing the name song, Banana fanna fo fanna with Chuck.” Sing the 5 year old did and out came the real F-bomb. 7 year old giggled like mad for a moment. She wasn’t giggling when she was sent to the “uncooperative chair.”

      London, awesome! Can’t think of a better birthday present than that!

  7. Could this be where they learned it?

    Done by Forty recently posted…Playing with My EmotionsMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      What on Earth!? I have never heard this song or of this person. Am I completely out of touch?

      I will ensure the same for the girls as long as I can!!!

  8. Haha, too funny! I’d love to ban fancy too though I’m good for now since my toddler doesn’t say much yet. I do remember growing up and having a frugal mindset (ingrained in my head by my parents), but I always thought that when I made money…I’d be FANCY! I don’t know how to knock the fancy lust out of people! You gotta start young I guess, but it’s hard when the majority of our society feels the opposite.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Live For TodayMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Yeah, I think a bit part of depends who you live around. We moved out of our last hood just cause everyone was fancy. Chromed out Harleys, BMWs and Jaguars everywhere. No thanks. Where is the exit cause I need to get the hell out of this place!

  9. Steve@EscapeVelocity2020 says:

    Aww Yeah DoneBy40, really enjoyed that. Guess my household is stodgy and uptight, but we read the “Fancy Nancy” books which are more about using fancy words and being unique, so there is no negative connotation.

    My daughter did drop the real F-bomb when she was 6. She had been ‘set up’ by another child and just tossed it out on the playground as I was walking by. She was probably quite shocked by the swift corporal punishment it got her, but we haven’t heard that word again…
    Steve@EscapeVelocity2020 recently posted…Where Do We Go Now?My Profile

  10. Big Guy Money says:

    You had me. I definitely thought this was the real F-word until you mentioned it being spoken on TV often. I didn’t think the FCC has gotten that lax. I haven’t noticed your F-word mentioned in our house, but there was a time several years ago that I was very concerned about a sense of entitlement creeping into our children. The fact is, they don’t have the difficulties that we did growing up. We’ve taken a few steps to curb that, and they seem to have worked.

    Now, funny story about the real F-word… I was just a Little Guy, and was in the car with my mother. I had just learned how to sound out words and loved to read anything and everything. We were waiting for a train, and out of the blue I dropped THE F-Bomb. Thankfully, before rushing me home to shove a bar of soap in my mouth (which has to be about the dumbest punishment ever), she asked, “Where did you hear that word?!??!”

    “Ummmm, I read it on the train?”

    Big Guy Money recently posted…When The Best Thing To Do Is Wait…My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      I worry about the entitlement thing too. Some of my childhood sucked, but some suckness is good, right? It provided us with valuable lessons and also made us more appreciative of the good things.

  11. Having met you and your wife, you are definitely not fancy. Your wife does look a bit fancier though. You look more hard working – lol.

    There will be a time when other words come out, and boyfriends come to dinner. Good luck!
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted…December – January 2015 Rental Cash FlowMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Was it my wrinkled clothing, bad breath, lack of recent shower or all of the above? 🙂

      When boyfriends come to dinner, perhaps I’ll have to drop the real F-bomb! Tell em’ I mean business or am slightly insane or all of the above. Yes, I have a plan…

  12. Tali says:

    Haha! This is great! Hard working, smart, talented, poised and confident are all better ways to look than fancy! I drive a well cared for beater car that gets me around just fine. Occasionally though, it feels good to wash off the hard working ensemble and dress nicely. It feels sophisticated to appear fancy. Just once in a while of course, to stay grounded in non-fancy. 🙂

  13. Even Steven says:

    Love the don’t I look hard working today! Like you have them wearing flannel and hard hats so they look hard working. Future thought process with them wearing flannel and hard hats they end up being tree loggers in Alaska, it could happen.
    Even Steven recently posted…My Emergency Fund Made $20.71 in DividendsMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      No, I didn’t mean that! No logging. No fishing boats or sardine processing plants.

      Stevie, you look very hard working and have a good job that doesn’t involve wood or fish, so perhaps there is hope?

  14. I think I’d like to look hard working when I grow up. I like the sound of that!

    Be careful though that you don’t create kids who feel they need to hide their fancy. It could backfire when they’re old enough to leave home. Like those kids who need to hide their Rock and Roll music.
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Interviewed by Debt DisciplineMy Profile

  15. Elroy says:

    I agree on the hard work! When I wasn’t playing soccer, I would finish my chores. After I finished my chores, I would spend my saturdays helping my father remodel our home. Sometimes I would help, sometimes I would do nothing – but I still stood there. Well, sometimes I would pretend to have to go the bathroom, but that could only last so long as my legs would go numb […]
    Elroy recently posted…$500 Washer & DryerMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Ah, my Mines friend. I was hoping you would comment. I tell people all of the time that I’ll know I instilled a proper work ethic in my children if they manage to get into your place of higher education. I do talk about it frequently with them, no joke.

      Hmmm, maybe I need to hire you as a consultant. Big bonus if they end up to become petroleum engineers. Top tier bacon included in your consulting fee.

  16. Jason says:

    I think you all will be ok. I mean how much do 7 and 5 year olds really retain? On second thought you might want to divest of all media for the next decade to get the fancinesss away from them! I only wish there were more parents like you all. When my wife and i have kids I wonder how we will do.
    Jason recently posted…Graduate School: You DON’T NEED STUDENT LOANS TO GO!My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      I know, right? Perhaps I’ll throw all TVs out the window rock star style and buy a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin…

  17. Sarge says:

    Love the bit about substituting ‘hard working’ for fancy. Sounds like you have them on the right path!

    I am always shocked when I hear critiques and endorsements of style at my office. Whether it is a new car or a f___y new suit, it never ceases to amaze me. We are all there to hopefully earn enough money to retire after all and it is incredible watching these intelligent coworkers throw their money away. I’m not implying that I dress like a slob, but I certainly keep it in perspective and purchase reasonably. My goal is to escape the style conversation altogether and just keep socking away as much of my income as possible.
    Sarge recently posted…Expense Hack – Packed LunchesMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks for not using the F-word!

      Wes, style sucks. No one will ever compliment me on my attire. If they do, I know I’ve made a mistake.

  18. area man says:

    ha ha, too funny.

    My first word, I was told many times, was “lambchop”.

    I became a vegertarian.

    • 1500 says:

      Area Man. The Onion! Ha!!

      Hmmm, so maybe if I let them use the word fancy all the time, they will become non-fancy people?

      I’m working my way towards vegetables too…

  19. J. Money says:

    This blog is fancy 🙂
    J. Money recently posted…Side Hustle #56: I Get Paid to Empty Septic TanksMy Profile

  20. Tawcan says:

    Lol for a second I thought they were dropping real F bombs. We certainly don’t use the word fancy in our household all that much. I like to use words like talents, posed, confident, and hard working way better.
    Tawcan recently posted…Recent buysMy Profile

  21. Daughter Person just recently stopped dropping the “real” F-bomb – although completely unintentional on her part. She couldn’t pronounce “sparkles” properly, and almost everything she has has “sparkles” on it, so we were treated to several renditions of the f-bomb (I do have to admit that I made her say it a few times for public demonstration 🙂 ) She had no clue what she was saying – luckily, the sp sound is now firmly in her linguistic capabilities.
    Mom @ Three is Plenty recently posted…Detailed Financial Picture – January 2015My Profile

  22. Zaxon says:

    Force them to get a full time job at 15 years old. I hated my parents for years because of that but i can say that was a very pivotal moment in my life. The f-bomb this i’m not doing this for the rest of my life moment.

    The middle child got away with “sports” and it took him a half a decade after graduating to figure out how the world works.

    The youngest got away with working 10 hrs a week and quitting 2 weeks in every summer and is pretty much an unabridged failure at life still milking my parents at 26 years old.

    Shocked? I’m not.

  23. Evan says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, and my children are only 4 and a few months old, but it seems like you are “punishing” (okay, maybe not punishing but at least being bothered by it) them for YOUR connotation of the word.

    Fancy in it of itself doesn’t actually mean putting anything else down.
    Evan recently posted…Wall Street Journal Reviews the Balance Sheet of the Wealthy and Upper Middle ClassMy Profile

  24. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini says:

    I have a daughter and I am raising her to become a phenomenal women. I realize that she watches everything that I do so I feel like I am living a life she should live. I love nice things but not at the expense to impress people.
    Petrish @ Debt Free Martini recently posted…One Year Blogging AnniversaryMy Profile

  25. “Don’t I look hard working today?”…completely cracked me up. Of course, then I started thinking about what hard working looks like and how it’s about what you’re doing not what you’re wearing. I think you found an excellent substitution. Now I’d better get busy so I can look hard working today, too.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…How to Save on Car InsuranceMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Ha ha! Hard working for me looks like jeans with lots of holes and stains, an equally ugly shirt and a cap to keep the sun out of my eyes!

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