How to Deal with Frugal Naysayers

by David Ning · 15 comments

“Perhaps you guys are a little too thrifty. I think you should enjoy a little since you can afford it.”, or so he says.

Sometimes, the obstacle blocking the road to financial freedom isn’t us, but the closest people around us. Although they have the best intentions, a comment like the one above puts, at the very least, a little doubt in our mind regarding our frugal ways.

When was the last time you heard something like this?

  • Isn’t it time to change your car?
  • Your house is just too small.
  • This, that (and everything) needs to be replaced…


Let’s face it. Not everyone is into frugal living like you and me. You may be proud that you aren’t wasting your money on a lease for that new SUV, but not many people will share that view.

“Oh l feel sorry for that guy who can’t afford to replace his car.”

There’s probably a defensive fire inside you when you hear something like that, but actually, they are the people who you should feel sorry for. It’s naive to pass judgment about someone based on their material possession, but it’s incredibly ignorant to even think that material possessions is anything more than decorations.

I’ve been there too. For a few years of my life when I came to California for work, I knew no one, and had no friends to hang out with. Those days were difficult, and I was home sick. I tried to fill the emptiness with buying stuff, but it never worked.

Eventually, I found Emma. Her care and love changed my life. All of a sudden, possessions meant little. It’s not that I stopped appreciating luxury goods, but I realized that it’s insignificant when you find inner peace.

I no longer desire the latest gadgets, because I didn’t need the temporary remedy anymore.

Many people attempt to use money to buy happiness. But if anything, money can only act as a suppressant, like morphine on pain. Money, fortunately, is not the answer.

Next time someone believes you should use your money when there really isn’t a need, calm down. The one who needs to change isn’t you, and try to help those around you get off the addiction of shopping.

Enjoy the holidays, but not because of the presents you received.

Money is NEVER the answer.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

Related Posts

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

George December 21, 2009 at 6:11 am

You bring up a really important point. That we are affected by the people around us, even if they are ‘frugal naysayers’. I suggest the answer is hang around with people who have the financial habits for success. That is the quick and easy way to solve the problem.

Reply

MoneyNing December 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

Being around successful people will definitely help. Another way to be strong is to know why you are doing what you are doing. Having that clear reason why you didn’t get a bigger house (or buy a new car) will go a long way.

Reply

2 Cents December 21, 2009 at 6:19 am

Good suggestion George. The only thing I would add is that some of the naysayers may be people we care about, like parents or siblings and cutting them out of our lives isn’t an option. Rather, it’s like any other difference among friends. We need to respect one another’s choices even if we don’t agree with them.

Reply

Andrew @ Financial Services December 21, 2009 at 7:55 am

Please please please everybody needs to hear this. I think we need to refer to frugal living as, well, just “living”. Frugal living is living without the unnecessary noise. It means living without being wasteful. Besides, anybody who says “Oh l feel sorry for that guy who can’t afford to replace his car.” definitely has a problem.

Reply

MoneyNing December 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

I think most people are respectful enough to not say anything, but many will feel sorry for someone who drives a beater thinking that he/she cannot afford it.

Perception matters, and it’s important to straighten it out so that it doesn’t affect you negatively.

Reply

marci December 21, 2009 at 7:56 am

I see an even bigger shift in your frugal attitude this past year – a good one.
Maybe you are letting the more frugal of us, and our reasons, also influence you :) Or you are becoming more settled in to your own feelings now :) Merry Christmas.

Reply

MoneyNing December 21, 2009 at 9:44 am

The frugal gang over here definitely helped solidify my belief of the benefits of frugal living.

I think before, I was just saving because I wanted to accumulate enough wealth to do what I wanted to do earlier in life, but now, the reason why I save is because I just don’t see the need to spend.

Reply

CD phi December 21, 2009 at 10:17 am

Most people desire the luxury goods because they are status symbols. Because a guy has the new “it” Mercedes means he must be rich. Well, you never know because he may be in extreme debt and that car may be a lease. Buying something showy just for the sake of it is not worth the expenses. However, I do feel that if you would really like something nice, then go ahead and reward yourself if you’ve been pretty good with your budget this year.

Reply

Ken December 21, 2009 at 10:34 am

Adults experience peer pressure just like teens. We have to know how that affects us. We have to know that saying ‘no’ to some thing means saying yes to something else. I’d rather say ‘yes’ to less debt. Good post.

Reply

sem July 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Fastidious response in return of this query with firm arguments and explaining all regarding that.

Reply

Alan Spiegelman December 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Great post. It’s amazing how inner peace and a little soul searching can provide clarity when it comes to managing money. I agree that it can be tough to resist the temptation to “keep up with the Joneses,” but after the past 15 months, it appears that “frugality” is the new normal, at least for now. For me, I spend and save in a way that aligns with my values and my long-term goals, not someone else’s. Keep up the good work. And happy holidays to you.

Reply

John DeFlumeri Jr December 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Money is not the answer. After my wife died I spent money like an idiot for a while on things I thought I wanted. Few years later, I don’t even remember what I bought.

John DeFlumeri Jr

Reply

Scott January 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

I think spending in moderation is key. Money wont guarentee happiness, despite many people thinking to the contrary.

Scott

Reply

Sean December 23, 2009 at 11:35 am

Our society is such that we view material wealth as true wealth, quite the contrary. I take pride in being thrifty but do spend on things like travel. Material wealth is fleeting. That new iPhone or SUV will be quickly outdated as new and better models are released. It’s a constant game of leap frog where you are better off staying on the sidelines.

Reply

Blue Spyder November 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm

To hell with naysayers, put your bank against theirs, I bet they have nothing to say after they feel 2 inches tall…

Reply

Leave a Comment