Misunderstanding of Frugal Living

by David Ning · 16 comments

I’ve been busy lately. Instead of sitting in front of my computer waiting for the same email (more likely spam) to come through, I’ve been calling, asking and searching. During the last couple weeks, I:

  • Asked my car insurance agent to price match an insurance policy that I found online.
  • Changed cell phone providers.
  • Setup a TradeKing account to possibly save on trading commissions.
  • Re-booked the same hotel for a conference in Las Vegas to save money.
  • Re-booked a plane ticket to my golf trip when a Travelzoo’s newsletter told me about a deal.
  • Went to get a free piece of chicken from KFC.

Frugal Living is Easy, Not

Most of these types of posts usually have people bragging about how much money they saved and how you can too if you follow the steps they outlined. They make it sound so simple but it’s simply misleading. It took a while to search and compare all the insurance policies available, to make sure I wouldn’t have to pay extra to rebook the plane tickets (have you seen those essays at the bottom of your itinerary called “fine print” lately?) and there were tons of people at KFC when I got there (actually, it was quite fun seeing so many people but anyway…). Instead, I could be spending time golfing, spending time with my family or maybe use the time to read a book.

Let’s be clear. Saving money, or more broadly, taking action, is not easy. We tell you to do it because it works. But it’s not for everyone. At least, it’s not for the uncommitted and lazy ones out there.

  • Comparison Shopping Takes Time
  • Changing the Cell Phone Provider Takes Compromises
  • Re-booking Plane Tickets Can be Frustrating as You Keep Calling the Reservations Hotlines

Saving that money took time, patience and persistence. It is not easy but it can be done with some commitment. I do it all the time and you can too.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Abbie says:

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no
    one else know such detailed about my difficulty.

    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  • AJ says:

    I also shop with coupons and look for sales. There are even websites with seasonal produce and traditional monthly sale items. There are a TON of sites with coupons and free samples. Yes, they take time. No, you don’t want every coupon if you can get the generic cheaper or make it yourself. Speaking of making it yourself, I’ve saved the most money and gained pantry space and satisfaction from cooking from scratch. The number of ingredients kept in the pantry is less and foods are made WAY cheaper than pre-anything (mixed, frozen, canned). Yes, I also grow fruits and vegetables. The side effect of making dishes from scratch are they are healthier and less possibly of harmful ingredients. My bread doesn’t last a week like the store bought; it’s a brick within a few days because there are no preservatives. Of course I use that as an excuse to make french toast. πŸ˜‰

  • Debt Consolidation Toronto says:

    Frugal living can be extremely challenging. It requires a lot of determination and will power. I like how your approach of influencing people is very personal. It helps people relate to their own situations and make similar frugal decisions. Thanks for this post.

  • Meaghan says:

    you are so right, frugal living is not easy. It takes time and will power. Ultimately, however, the reward makes it all worth it.- Peace of Mind..

  • Jennifer says:

    Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do. I believe that Stephen Covey said something like this, and it is so true. Thanks for a good post.

  • Play Games Win Prizes says:

    OMG. You got the KFC chicken.? πŸ˜€

    -Mike

  • Jerry says:

    Living frugally does take patience, persistence and usually a lot of creativity. But, it does lead to some serious savings. My wife and I plan to live this way no matter what tax bracket we’re in. It’s just a smart way to live not only to mention insurance for your budget.

  • marci says:

    You said the magic word – commitment πŸ™‚
    And I’d add, the right “attitude” also.
    Frugalness is NOT a lazy man’s/woman’s game
    Good post.

  • Debby says:

    You are so right about the compromise part but my kid’s future is so worth the sacrifice.

  • Last week I got our internet bill lowered by $30/month.

    Today’s task is cell phones. (After some serious research spurred by yesterday’s Get Rich Slowly post, we’re considering prepaid plans.) Who did you switch to?

    • MoneyNing says:

      Good for you πŸ™‚ Emma and I switched to t-mobile. I also cut out my data plan since I rarely need it so that’s $20 a month. After 4 months, I can change my plan from the $69.99 plan to $59.99 so I will cut another $10 a month.

      The store I went to also offered $350 for us to switch with a 2-year commitment (they also claim that when it’s 8 months or so into the plan, they can switch us to a total commitment of 1 year but I have my doubts).

      I’ve thought about prepaid plans but as my wife and I would have ultra long calls every once in a while, I’ve been holding off on that thought (not to mention that we don’t have a land line).

  • Peter Henderson says:

    Well said. Nothing is ever as easy as what other people say it is, especially something long term like being frugal.

    Thanks for the fresh take by not writing the usual “I can save you money” post.

  • Wealth Pilgrim says:

    You have been a busy man. What I liked about this article is that it shows that you practice what you preach and that’s a great example for all of us.

    Next time you go to KFC – can you get me a free sample too?

    • MoneyNing says:

      I think showing examples are really important because whenever I read about these types of stuff from another article, I always think “oh it’s easy for you to say….”

      KFC had this promotion that gave out their new grilled chicken and there were a TON of people when I was there. It was fun because normally there’s no one in the restaurant and seeing so many people was a little exciting, as the lineup was long but not so long that it becomes frustrating.

      I can treat you to KFC if you come visit so no need to fight for free samples πŸ™‚

    • MoneyNing says:

      In case you don’t know, here’s more information on a KFC Coupon that will give you a free 2-piece meal. It expires today though so go print it out πŸ™‚

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