Oh, I identify so much with this piece! Although my growing-up poor was not to do with having children young (my parents were in their 30s) but other decisions and crappy luck and it creates such a guarding against poverty in whatever way you can - never take a loan or use credit cards! Never have children before X age! Never live in x/y/z place! Never major in a/b/c! Even if it almost ends up being superstition, it doesn't matter, because especially when it works out and you're not impoverished at a set point in time, you can believe you've avoided their mistakes and you won't be in that same miserable place. Having it all here is being successful in the eyes of your parents - ie, avoiding their mistakes and having money for the little niceties.
I work nights, so "breakfast" at home = dinner with my husband, then although my work has a relatively cheap cafeteria I prefer to bring leftovers - usually a pasta dish, rice dish, or soup, something easily microwavable and not too fussy. My work is almost always has the thermostat too low so salads and cold sandwiches are just really unappealing. I try to bring some kind of snack too, like some fruit or hummus with veggies or something, especially if I'm working a long shift.
I like talking about wedding budgeting, when my partner and I decided to get married almost a year ago, we had no idea what anything cost related to a wedding. I got married 4 months ago, and was in-between this kind of laid-back event and large event. We live in a small apartment and even though my mother has a backyard it can't fit more than about 10 people. We rented an art gallery room as a venue, self-catered, I wore my grandmother's wedding dress, an iPod for music and had the ceremony at the same place. We had a southern-style bbq and some other family dishes, and I made the 3-tier wedding cake. Still cost us around $8k (half of that for the venue and rentals there, like tables and linens, about another third for food/alcohol/supplies for serving those/last third for everything else). The public park was a nice option, but where we live you cannot serve alcohol at a park and that was important to us, plus we had elderly guests with mobility issues. Plus weather, what if it rained? Almost all of the other facilities we looked at, like the VFW, required a caterer, which threatened to increase costs. Over all I still really loved the wedding we put on (except I would have been more insistent about what can/cannot be handled when self-catering) but still, even at our reduced price, am gobsmacked. The only thing I've paid more for is college tuition! And it could have been so much expensive!
Shorter? "People, like you, need to learn to be miserable, while people like me have financial security and this allowed me to have the same experiences without the debt you have. But you should learn self-discipline." I'm not really seeing where Greg demonstrates that he did, the take away seems to me "acquire a time machine and tell your parents to aggressively manage your money better as a teenager, and this will help you with your debt." Great consolation from a friend, or advice, or whatever.