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Ok, boomer: From balancing your checkbook to ironing your clothes, many vintage skill
Old 07-31-2022, 07:07 PM
  #1

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ok-bo...160000039.html

I have seen young adults try to use a phone on Ellen. It was comical.

No stick shift or oil changing for me.



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Old 07-31-2022, 07:15 PM
  #2

The very first one— reading a map….. I was recently a passenger in my sister’s vehicle and she has a huge WI atlas tucked in the seat pocket . I will confess that I do like to look at maps.

And, DH needed to meet a friend in a city he was unfamiliar with and was so frustrated because he couldn’t locate a map. I just sighed and told him he would have to use his maps ap

I just balanced my checkbook today!
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Old 07-31-2022, 07:59 PM
  #3

I never could sew but Iím competent at all the others. . Iím horrified that my grandchildren are not being taught cursive!
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:15 PM
  #4

I never learned to sew, drive a stick, change my oil, or use a compass.

I know how to iron but haven't owned one (nor missed it) in many, many years! My mom taught me how to balance a checkbook and insisted this was of grave importance. Never used/needed that.

I learned cursive in 2nd grade and then never used it again. Ironically, the dyslexia program I was in this summer required it. It's supposed to be better for dyslexics. I'm to write everything they'll be reading on the board in cursive, and there is a small part of each lesson where they learn and practice how to write the letters in cursive. I was honestly surprised at how quickly it came back to me, considering I used it for one year 25 years ago! I still need more practice for it feel natural, though.

I have to admit I am HUGELY skeptical of that piece of the program. I think the first thing out of my kids' mouth is going to be "what does that say/I can't read that" since they will have had NO exposure to cursive in gen ed. It's not a standard here, so they don't teach it. I'm going to give it a try though!
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:24 PM
  #5

Cursive is coming back in! There's a lot of new data to support that it helps students learn and retain info better, more so than printing. I believe several states have added cursive writing to their state standards, the count may be up to as many as 26 states.

I am far from a baby boomer (that's my parents!) but I do know how to iron, do very basic sewing (like, replace a button type of sewing), and balance a checkbook. Like Haley, though, I rarely do any of those anymore.


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Old 07-31-2022, 08:33 PM
  #6

We have my husbands grandparents 1940s black rotary phone hooked up in the basement. I brought it in to share with my kindergarten students a few years ago. None had seen a rotary phone before. It was so funny watching them figure out how to use it before I showed them how to hold the handset. They enjoyed playing with it during centre time. I ended up buying a rotary phone and a push button phone at a thrift store for the house centre.

I like having a paper map, in addition to the GPS and google maps on our road trips. I still ordered triptiks from CAA for our road trips pre-Covid.

I wish children were taught cursive still. It truly is a lost art. I admire nice handwriting.

And I LOVE ironing. My mother taught me. She used to iron sheets and pillow cases and towels. A big basket of laundry and ironing in front of the TV while watching “her shows” in the afternoon.
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:50 PM
  #7

Ok, I get why some of these skills are still important, for instance it will probably always be helpful to know how to sew on a button. But just to play devil's advocate, doesn't every older generation say things like this to younger people? My dad told me a story about telling his grandfather about being allowed to drive his car to high school in the 60sógrandfather said something along the lines of, "When I was your age I rode my horse to school. Now kids don't even know how to ride a horse.

I understand the mechanics of balancing a checkbook, but why would I? Every Saturday I log in to our accounts to make sure everything is accurate.
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boomer skills
Old 07-31-2022, 09:13 PM
  #8

I have to admit I have never changed oil myself. I'm good at all those other skills like driving a stick shift, reading a paper map, writing in cursive, balancing my checkbook (I do the bookkeeping for our company), and so on. I don't iron much anymore, unless I have to do it for a sewing project.

It's too bad that driving a stick shift is a lost art. If you travel to Europe and want to rent a car, an automatic is going to be a lot more expensive than a manual, because most cars there are manual transmission. Manual transmission cars are more gas efficient than automatic cars. Rental agencies have only a limited number of automatic cars.
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Boomer skills
Old 07-31-2022, 10:38 PM
  #9

Well, I never could sew beyond putting on a button and I’ve never myself changed the oil in my car. Does adding a can count? However, I always drove a stick shift until I was fifty, and I still prefer reading a large map to being told where to go by a GPS. And I know how to use the restored 1930s antique phone my brother gave me. It works just fine. Yep, I’m a boomer.

PS. I don’t buy clothes that need ironing so no need for that skill!
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:33 AM
  #10

Boomer here.

I still:

-use map and compass for hiking (no cell service
-drive a manual transmission car
-find dates in person (I met Gentleman Friend at the gym, in the pool...didn't see him fully clothed till we had a real date)
-balance my checkbook (although I don't write many checks).
-write in cursive (and I agree with the PPs who say cursive is a valuable skill. I used to encourage my high powered AP students to take notes in cursive. Brain science says it helps with retention of information).
-use traditional grammar (and 6 years of Latin, two of ancient Greek, so it's ingrained).

Occasionally

-I sew. Back in the day, when it was more economical, I made most of my clothes.
-I iron. This goes along with the sewing.
-I write letters, especially to older friend.

I haven't forgotten how to

-use a landline (but my voip number rings through to my cell so I don't have an actual phone anymore)
-change my oil (my ds worked at a garage for years. Now that he's a nomad, I still get the "Andy's mommy" discount there, so they do the job).

I don't miss:

-using the card catalog (and other advanced library skills). Research is so much more efficient now!
-maintaining my resume (Retirement has its perks)
-using a dictionary (how am I supposed to look it up if I don't know how to spell it?)


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Old 08-01-2022, 03:28 AM
  #11

This boomer still:
-Uses a map - you'd better have one in some of the remote places I find myself because GPS and Google Maps can be pretty inaccurate out in the boonies
-Writes in cursive. I'm proud of my cursive. It's lovely, if I say so myself.
-Knows and writes with correct grammar, although I sometimes deliberately choose not to speak with correct grammar.
-Can sew, and now that I'm fully retired may begin doing more of it.
-Has a landline, although I rarely use it.
-Irons clothes, although not on a regular basis.
-Maintains a resume. Really? People land jobs without resumes these days?
-Drives a car. I'd love to have public transit more available to me, but I would still own a car.
-Uses a compass. You'd better know how if you like to hike.

I don't:
-Drive a stick shift anymore. I did learn how but I wouldn't feel very confident doing it now.
-Use a card catalog, and I very much appreciate being able to search my library online. Side note: I actually worked for Minitex MULS when the University of Minnesota was converting to a computerized data base for their library system.
-Change the oil in my car. I know how but it's impractical if you don't have a proper place to do it and a way to dispose of the used oil. Family housing at the University of Minnesota used to have garages that residents could use for things like that and I did it a few times when I was living there.
-I'm not much interested in dating these days but when I was, I found dates both ways. I did appreciate the convenience of weeding out "deal-breakers" with online dating.
-I like writing letters, but when my 97 year old aunt passed last winter I lost the last person I knew who was willing to communicate via snail mail. None of my boomer cousins will do that, although I have one who writes e-mails with attention to good writing, that are organized in paragraphs and that read like a snail mail letter.
-I don't miss paper dictionaries. I appreciate the convenience of being able to look up a word online.
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fun artlcle
Old 08-01-2022, 04:03 AM
  #12

Boomer things:
maps-we always keep an atlas in the car. There are still places where wi-fi is spotty.

sewing-although I rarely do, like another poster said, sewing on a button is an easy fix

cursive-rarely do I do it but enjoy it and believe it should be taught

stick shift-sports cars wouldn't be the same without it!

landline-we just got rid of ours this summer to save $60 per month
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:26 AM
  #13

I am a baby boomer and I can do all those skills. However, I know how to drive a stick shift, but I havenít done it since I was a teenager so I would definitely struggle now.

I use map apps for traveling but still keep an atlas handy when we travel, because cell service can be very spotty at times.
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Old 08-01-2022, 05:12 AM
  #14

I'm a GenXer, and can do all the things in the article. However, there are some I don't do anymore:
-stick shift: I have knee issues that would make kicking in the clutch painful at times.
-balancing a checkbook: Like a PP said, why do it when you can just check your balance and transactions online as often as necessary? Also, I have not written an actual check in years.
-using a map or atlas: I enjoy looking at them for nostalgia and such, but I really enjoy our GPS.
-changing oil: My dad wouldn't let his 4 daughters get a drivers license til we changed oil, changed a tire, pointed out major parts under the hood, etc. I no longer change my own oil because it's hard to find a place to dispose of the used stuff safely. And because I don't want to.
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Old 08-01-2022, 05:40 AM
  #15

Always balance my bank acct monthly

Always write in cursive though the last few years teaching in 4th grade I had to print for the kids in order for all to be able to read it.

Still have a landlines for $10 a month through Spectrum. I detest talking on a cell phone!

Iron maybe once a year if that

Have a sewing machine that rarely gets used anymore.

Until 4 years ago, every car we owned for prior 34 years was a slick shift ��. 2 current cars are automatics (2016's bought used in 2018) and it was an adjustment!
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:27 AM
  #16

Iím a very young boomer, and I never learned how to drive a stick (although I had a few brief lessons), change the oil, or use a compass.

I have never sewn other than to replace an occasional buttonóand it probably wasnít ďcorrectlyĒ done.

My mom gave me an iron when I left home; I used it occasionally but I havenít ironed in probably 20-30 years.

I was taught to balance a checkbook but was not good at keeping up with it (too busy during my first year of teaching), so I stopped.






I still use maps, dictionaries, and other reference books.

I still have a landline.

I hand write notes (not letters, but still) to friends, family, and people who work with me.

My handwriting is not beautiful unless I really take my time to make it so (like when writing those notes) but I can write in cursive.

I think my spelling and grammar are pretty good, and I think itís preposterous that punctuation is considered rude.

I needed a resume to land my teaching jobs (of course, the last time was 31 years ago ).
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:40 AM
  #17

I love sewing. Ironing is a huge part of sewing and Iím tempted to invest in an expensive iron.

The other day I ironed my sheet because the wrinkles across the top band drove me nuts. I ended up ironing the top half of the sheet. Now I feel like Iím sleeping in luxury and will always iron the top half of the sheet. It seriously makes a difference.
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:55 AM
  #18

I can do all the skills mentioned in the article except change the oil. I can check the oil but changing it is a skill I never learned.

Cursive. Boy's printing is faster, neater and more readable than my cursive writing, unless I'm taking time to make it readable. He struggled mightily with learning cursive. He already struggled with writing in general (learning disability in writing output) and told me that by the time he remembered how to make a particular letter in cursive, he'd forgotten what he was going to write--so much frustration for him! It was a battle I was willing to fight for and with him so after a lengthy discussion, his teacher agreed that as long as he could read cursive writing, he didn't have to write in cursive. He still prints everything except his signature which is more of a scrawl than anything else.

I love maps. I don't miss folding them though.

I can't remember when Man and I stopped doing a monthly balancing of our chequebook. We look at the statements regularly to make sure all is correct but sitting down and balancing it? Not any more.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:31 AM
  #19

Add to that list:

Read an analog clock
Make change
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:49 AM
  #20

I can do all on the list.

I recently stopped balancing my "checkbook."
Quote:
I understand the mechanics of balancing a checkbook, but why would I? Every Saturday I log in to our accounts to make sure everything is accurate.
I can't stand it though because how am I to know how much of the money in my account is actually available to spend? I don't have a budget and am grateful, but looking toward retirement I do want to make sure we aren't spending more than we bring in. Isn't balancing the account how you know that? Fill me in if there are other ways! I recently talked my dad into just accepting the difference in his balance and the banks when it is only pennies. That man was spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find the problem and it was always in how he entered something and/or the math.

I can change the oil but dh does it on our vehicles. Getting rid of oil is harder than it was but most auto places take it if you put the oil into the plastic containers. We just dropped two off to Autozone on Saturday.
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Old 08-01-2022, 09:30 AM
  #21

I work in retail and Wednesday is senior day. They all want receipts and seem shocked that I ask. One gentleman asked if there really are people who don't want one. He couldn't grasp how they know what they spend. I check my account online every morning first thing.
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Old 08-01-2022, 09:56 AM
  #22

Addressing an envelope!

I used to make my kids write thank you notes, but I guess I gave them too much help because it didn't stick.

My idiot son (who usually isn't an idiot, I swear!) was in his last year of college as a criminal justice major and got stopped for speeding and ticketed. Somehow when he finally got around to paying the ticket right before the deadline he used my address as his permanent address and put it in the wrong spot. Yes, he sent his mother the payment for his parking ticket! Since it was last minute and went to the wrong address, he ended up being LATE getting it in.

It looks really good for a person looking for a job in law enforcement to have unpaid speeding tickets.
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:00 AM
  #23

I will always defend teaching cursive writing and have never really understood why any 3-5th grade teacher wouldn't. It was easy to teach during a 5 minute transition time like first thing in the morning or right after lunch, the kids loved it, it gave them an alternate method to practice spelling words or anything they needed to memorize. It was nongraded and kind of artistic - something the kids desperately need.

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Old 08-01-2022, 10:03 AM
  #24

I remember the days of rotary phones and used one growing up. My first cell phone was when I was 30 years old in the pre smart phone era. I no longer have a land line and have not had one for years. I was one of the first people to get an iPhone back in 2008.

I balanced a checkbook in the old days and was sometimes lazy about it, but have not needed to do that in years either.

I still have a complete official resume designed back in the old days, that I send online through job search sites, and email.

I ironed years old, I think the last time was maybe 20 years ago.

I used to read road atlases to get around and was competent with it. During the early internet times, I would print out directions via map quest. I have been using my GPS phone app for many years now and donít know what I would do without it now.

I never drove a stick shift.

I do know how to write in cursive as I learned in elementary school and wrote that way all the way through high school and college. After college I switched to printing notes because my printed handwriting is neater. And I can write faster that way. Of course I tend to take note with a notes app on my iPad too.

I never sewed anything in my life. this was just not an area of strength for me. I read analog clocks and am surprised at how many kids can not read them. I never had a true need for a compass as I donít camp in the wilderness much.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:42 AM
  #25

Quote:
I can't stand it though because how am I to know how much of the money in my account is actually available to spend? I don't have a budget and am grateful, but looking toward retirement I do want to make sure we aren't spending more than we bring in. Isn't balancing the account how you know that? Fill me in if there are other ways! I recently talked my dad into just accepting the difference in his balance and the banks when it is only pennies. That man was spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find the problem and it was always in how he entered something and/or the math.
I don't write checks, so there is nothing to balance. I pay for everything with my card. The only reason I would ever have cash is if someone gave it to me to pay me back for some sort of shared expense (and with venmo being so popular these days, that's extremely rare now). I log on to the online banking system and it keeps a running tally of how much I've spent that month.

Back in the day when my salary was much lower and I really, really needed to budget, I would keep track of expenses in a paper planner. I'd check the online system every couple of days, and write whatever I spent on that date in my planner. I had a flat $200 budget per week for absolutely everything that wasn't a regular bill (so absolutely any expense that wasn't internet, phone, rent, insurance, utilities).

Thankfully I'm no longer in a position where I need to be quite that strict. I don't really need to worry about "how much is in the account" because I'd never spend that much. I pay the credit card bill on the first of the month with all of my other bills. I've never paid a dime in interest as it is paid in full every month. Just as a little failsafe for myself, I often will add up the costs of all of my bills (including cc) and compare it to my paycheck to make sure I'm saving a decent amount of money.

I keep a buffer of $1000 in my checking account, always- just in case there is some emergency scenario where my cc isn't working and I need to use a debit card or something. About a week later when all of the bills have gone through, I go into my checking account and move anything over the $1,000 into savings.
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I am an older Gen Xer
Old 08-01-2022, 12:24 PM
  #26

as in I barely beat the cut off. Boomer gen ends in 1964 and I was born in 1965. I was the first person I know IRL to get a mobile phone (in about 1994 ish.)

I have done everything on the list but rarely do now. I drove a stick and changed my own oil (and flats) back in the day but would not do so now. I could change a flat if I HAD to but would struggle (and hate it...) I don't balance my accounts manually with or without a checkbook involved. I still buy an occasional box of checks for rare stuff ....

I'm a Lefty so my cursive has never looked great--I use a blend of print and cursive now. I wish I had a landline at home... our cell seervice sucks. I could use a paper map if required but prefer digital maps/GPS.

I sew more than most BUT I rarely sew from scratch--most of my sewing is repairs, upcycles and modifications to thrifted clothes... there is some ironing there occasionally. I still own an iron and small steamer for those types of things. Like the article mentioned, most of my clothes are nonwrinkle fabric.

I think like most things, we forget how to handle things when we get out of practice. I defrosted a roast overnight. DH has decided he doesn't really care for roasted meat though, so I am trying to remember how to slice it down in more usable portions. I think I know where to slice it for steaks and strips but we shall see.

Some of it is lack of use, outdated modes, newer tech, or whatever--Keeping up with the times also has an important place in education as well.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:03 PM
  #27

Quote:
I can't stand it though because how am I to know how much of the money in my account is actually available to spend? I don't have a budget and am grateful, but looking toward retirement I do want to make sure we aren't spending more than we bring in. Isn't balancing the account how you know that?
EXACTLY!! I do balance my account every month. It's just a habit and as you say, that way I know how much money I have left over. At this point in life it is luckily not an issue right now. I write in what our paychecks are going to be as well as all standard payments I know that will be coming out ( Verizon, our Roths, money to savings acct, life insurance, etc) for the cycle.

Then I go and add things in as I know what the amount is like the credit card bill or electric bill. I only write a few checks a year but there's other activity to keep track of.

My 27 year old twins have never done it. They just look online
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:57 PM
  #28

All of those except the compass. I'm not great at reading maps, but back in the day I tried. Today I created a resume and balanced my checking account. I need to iron a couple of tops but it's too hot.
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Posts: 2,607
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:32 AM
  #29

Quote:
Isn't balancing the account how you know that?
Balancing my checking account would not help me to know exactly where my money is going. I run the vast majority of my expenditures through my primary credit card and then pay it off every month. I do this for the cash-back savings plus my online credit card account allows me to see how much I'm spending in various categories and even allows me to set a budget for each category should I ever need help to not overspend. My online banking account is set up just like a check register with running totals. I've checked the math a couple of times but have never found a discrepancy. I write so few checks, I can easily remember if I have any that haven't been cashed. I keep a few hundred dollars in my checking account as a cushion and, at the end of the month, anything over that gets transferred to savings. There was a time when, in order to save, I had to transfer money at the beginning of the month but frugality is enough of a habit now that I don't really have to do that.
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knitting987! knitting987! is offline
 
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knitting987!
 
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Old 08-02-2022, 08:53 AM
  #30

I just bought an iron at a garage sale. And taught my daughter how to use it at age 17!
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