"Economides" may sound like a fictional last name in a book teaching kids about money, but it's in fact the fortuitous surname of the so-called "cheapest family in America." The Economides family, composed of parents Steve and Annette and their five kids, live in Arizona debt-free and on an annual income of about $44,000. Five of the seven family members were featured on a Today show segment yesterday that covered how the family handles Christmas spending, and spending in general. Find out more about this frugal family when you read more.
The family doesn't use credit cards, paid off their first home in nine years when they were bringing in $33,000 a year, and their second home is almost paid off, too. Annette calls herself "the Warren Buffett of groceries," the two daughters say they buy brand name jeans but never pay more than $8 a pair, and one of the girls recently paid cash she saved for a used truck. The Economides do their Christmas shopping in thrift stores and explains that many Americans think things must be new for Christmas, as if new is equal to love.
They are now teaching others about being frugal and have a book called America's Cheapest Family. The Today Show host said that these ideas aren't new and that our grandparents used to do them, but they are new to us. The concept of living within or below our means is definitely not original, but kudos to this family of seven for doing it so successfully.