What Drives You to Be Frugal

by David Ning · 45 comments

People who know me sometimes wonder why I’m so frugal. They question why I don’t seem to eat out. They can’t understand why I rather watch a movie at home than go to the movie theaters and they certainly don’t feel that I’m actually enjoying life. They, like most people, are simply failing to look at my life from my point of view.

Frugal Living Isn’t Just About Cutting Down


Many people may feel that being frugal is about having and doing less but it’s really about doing more with what you already have. It may seem weird to some that not getting something is actually good but there’s true happiness when you don’t feel the need to buy.

My parents used to tell me that they made up all these wonderful paper based games because they didn’t have the money to buy anything else. Nowadays, we not only need video consoles, we won’t be satisfied until they have an Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and a Nintendo DS. You would think that having one console would make us happier than not having any, but we actually feel worst. You may have four machines plugged into your TV, but you can only play one game at a time (I’ve seen some amazing stuff with kids playing video games, but I have yet to see them play more than one game concurrently). It’s not what we have. It’s how we feel about what we have that matters.

True frugal living to me is:

  • Enjoying what you have instead of what you can’t get
  • Detaching Yourself from Lure of Consumerism
  • Learning that Happiness Comes from Within

I’m not totally immune to consumerism. I go out to dinner, buy new gadgets and go on vacations as well. It’s just that I don’t see the need to do it as often as everyone else. I rarely feel unhappy about not buying, because I already buy a huge majority of what I want. I’m detaching myself from needing “things” to make me happy. For all those who care, this is good for me, not bad.

I’m not frugal because there’s a need.  Rather, there’s no need for me to spend. How about you?  Why are you frugal?

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason Unger April 23, 2009 at 6:52 am

Part of the reason I’m frugal is because I’m tired of just collecting “stuff.”

I always wanted things — I have more than 200 DVDs right now, and plenty of videogames, too — but now that I have a family, the more I want to spend time with them and save to give them the things they want. I don’t have time for accumulating stuff, so that money goes toward them.

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Jessica April 23, 2009 at 8:49 am

Great post. Frugal living is truly about not being wasteful and not so much about the need to save every last cent.

I am frugal because I just don’t see the need to be otherwise. For years, my friends laughed at me while they were buying new mercedes SUVs but these days, they are all begging for my help in helping them fix their finances. What goes around comes around I guess.

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phil April 23, 2009 at 9:15 am

Utterly fantastic post. As I strive to be more frugal, it helps with articles like this. While there still is a consumerism drive in me, it has been tempered with the ability to look at things in the long term. I enjoy sitting at home watching an occassional pay-per-view feature and spending $4.99 as opposed to $8.50 a person. My parents tried to instill these values on me as a child, but it took some hard times for me to realize that they were right.

Make do with what you have before you get more.

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tom April 23, 2009 at 9:17 am

Agreed, I also, don’t need all this “stuff”. It is nice to have it but there is a time and place for it.
Also, if you want to get somewhere, let’s start with the basic needs for survival and go from there.

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marci April 23, 2009 at 9:35 am

If I spend money, it is not just my money I am spending, but my time.
The time it took to earn that money, and the interest that money could earn over time.

Therefore, I need to know that what I am spending on is worth the time it took out of my life for me to earn the money for it. Somethings are just not worth the trade off in my life blood. I just have NO desire for them to start with, and see no need and no want for them. I live fairly simply, because that’s what makes me comfortable and content and even happy.

I do not have time to fully use all the things I have now and all the books I have not read and all the projects I have not started let alone finished and not enough time for all my grandkids nor for all I want to do…. so why would I want to waste any of my time on useless trivial pursuits that would take my time away plus the time already spent to earn the money?

However, there are things I do not hesitate one moment to buy – such as a vacation to FL to visit my Mom and siblings. Well worth the money and the time it took to earn it. Precious memories. New waders for clam digging when the old ones wear out. (unless I can find them at a garage sale) New line for my fishing pole. Etc. What I am buying HAS to be worth my life blood or I will NOT spend the money on it. That’s the way I figure it :)

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Teri January 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Well said. I have gotten to where I place a value on all major purchases (anything over $100) and calculate out how many hours I had to work to accumulate enough to pay for it. Makes it easier to decide whether something is worth the asking price if you have to figure out how much personal labor was expended to buy it.

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rstlne April 23, 2009 at 10:18 am

I got tired of buying stuff because of clutter and as I get older, less and less of the merchandise out there interests me anyway. Now, I’m slowly using up or giving away what I have collected.

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Christy April 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm

I am frugal in spurts, and here and there like the commentor above, there are some things that are worth splurging on. But it is certainly “fun” to be frugal most of the time. I play a game in my mind how frugal can I be. Thanks for the great post.

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AJ March 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Christy,

I play a similar game. I like to “discover” the old ways of everything. What did our ancestors do before modern technology and marketing? How did they wash a pot or their teeth? What does a homemade apple pie taste like? Do I really need another gas powered tool? How was it done before? I’m enjoying the journey back in time. It’s way past frugality, it’s a way of life and I love it.

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Betsy Bargain April 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I guess I started out being frugal because it was a necessity – we were poor when I was growing up. Now, I would feel silly not being frugal. I would hate to use more than I need, buy new when I could buy used, pay more for something than I had to, or not make something last as long as possible by fixing it rather than getting a new one. I hate waste. I also hate clutter, and don’t see the need to own a lot of things like books or movies, that I could just as easily borrow.

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That One Caveman April 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

That’s kinda funny because I wrote about this same thing on Monday. I’m frugal because I want to get the most value out of every dollar that leaves my wallet. That means I don’t necessarily buy the cheapest things if the cost of repeated replacement would be more than a better quality item and I make do with what I have as long as I can.

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MoneyEnergy April 24, 2009 at 7:45 pm

I could do a lot better at being frugal. I don’t like having lots of “things” either. It’s easier to think and work when you have lots of space to do it in. Plus, you have to take care of all these things you buy, too. My main weakness here is books.

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Jerry April 25, 2009 at 4:38 am

We are frugal and my wife is frugal because we have goals that we want to reach. Living frugally is our insurance that we can meet and surpass the goals that we have put forth. If living on less leads us to buy less “stuff” then so be it.
Jerry

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Debbie April 26, 2009 at 8:24 am

I started being frugal about a year ago. I realized that all the stuff we were filling our house up with was just causing me more work to keep it clean and put away when not in use.

I was also bored, if I’m being totally honest. Trying to be frugal was like a game at first. Now that I’ve become jobless (not to worry hubby is still employed and doing well), I find that being frugal gives me something to do while I’m home and I find myself returning to a life I remember growing up. I am a lot more relaxed now and my husband commented that he’s noticed that we have been getting along a lot better now too.

Maybe being frugal and a SAHM really is good and not as scarey as I once thought.

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Terry September 14, 2012 at 2:17 am

I am frugal. I look for value and durable things. Example: In buying shoes, I look for true leather but will last for a year but will cost 4-5 time of fancy leatherette materials. Most of my shoes lasts more than a year even if I wear it almost daily.

I am frugal in food. I search for balance diet menu and even if it is a one-dish meal, it’s okay for me. I’ll just add fruit to have a FULL feeling.

Years ago, a friend who would hitch ride in my old FX would tease me why do I don’t replace this unit with a new car. It’s 13 years old but well maintained. I told her that I will have a problem with my cash flow. She didn’t know I was saving money to build an apartment that will be constructed in a lot I bought through coop loan.

When we get early retirement, I have the apartment constructed that will give me “income” during hard times that I will not have job anymore. Then she asked me where I got the money. I told her that it is the reason why I was not buying a new car. True enough, being frugal means putting your finances in the right perspective. Put your money in good investment that will lead to financial independence. Two years later, I bought a new car and I don’t regret. This means being frugal is buying thing with the right timing.

Terry

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The Arabic Student May 13, 2009 at 7:19 pm

The reason I’m frugal is because I reaaaally hate having a job. Having to wake up at 6am 5 days a week and spend 8hrs doing something I don’t want to do is not how I want to spend my life any longer than I absolutely have to. The more money I save the less I have to work and the quicker I can retire.

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SuperSaver July 22, 2010 at 11:10 am

I am frugal because I LOVE having money in the bank and the feeling of security it gives me. My frugality enabled me to buy my first house at age 27 with 21% down – a house big enough to grow into and have a family in. Plus it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by having too many things to put somewhere and keep track of.

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Blue Spyder November 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I’m frugal because I don’t need too many things to make me happy, I got great family and friends to fill goods left by wasteful spending…

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Zellie December 25, 2010 at 12:23 am

I have been frugal a very long time…as a child, 1 of 9, we shared a lot…we passed clothes down…my sister and I at one stage could wear the same clothes, so she might wear them one week and I would wear them the other…back then (the 60′s and 70′s) no one ever judged us by what we wore, just by who we were…so there was no pressure to look good just be good and good for something…I learned a secret, notice and appreciate the little things…a beautiful day, a rainbow, a bug, your pets, beaches, walks, bicycle rides, eating when hungry, family closeness, grandparents, getting hugged by parents after being disciplined for doing something wrong, playing with your siblings, etc….all those little things that make up a day, a week, a month a year, and your life…that little secret opened up a whole world to me of appreciation and gratitude…good things happened all the time and that ‘attitude’ helped me get through the bad things that happened regularly. So, when I was out on my own at 19 making $850.00 and getting paid once a month, when the money was gone, it was gone…not wanting to burden my parents, I didn’t ask for any help…when things got tough, I got a second job, and the 2nd secret I learned at 19, was pay your bills first…pay them first, and what you have left is what you spend or save…now I know the rage today is to pay yourself first…but I felt that when I paid my bills and lived up to my responsibilities, I earned self respect and developed character…that WAS paying myself first…in time, a longer time than most, savings came…So, I also learned, as long as my clothes were clean and I was clean…I didn’t have to spend a lot of money to look good, just choose low cost, classic styles that last the test of time…Of course, over time, I had to buy suits (back then) for my job, but I built my wardrobe slowly and steadily and inexpensively…I kept VERY good care of my things so they didn’t need replacing very often. Well, suffice to say, at 50, I have everything I could ever want, drive a 12 year old $2500 paid for car, own my house, own one pair of jeans that fits, many different shirts, a few sweats, and still look good and feel good…my frugality has become such a way of life, it isn’t even a strain…it is a freeing, calming, confidence building lifestyle…There are many things I can do IF I wanted to in the spending department, but I have no desire for more material things…what I like to do is teach others, IF they will listen, this rewarding lifestyle choice…I have found it really starts everyday with loving yourself enough to not have to compete with anyone for anything. Also, give…give, and give some more of yourself to others…it becomes easier as you don’t need to spend as much time on yourself, that extra energy, time, and money can go in directions that bring much joy…it is said that when we leave this life on earth, we cannot take ONE physical material object with us…BUT, what we take with us is between our ears and in our hearts….a frugal lifestyle is a prosperous lifestyle because one can reach a place of enough and then can give so much more out of a place of prosperity….and there is peace within.

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Sandra July 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Thank you for this wonderful story. I, myself am in my 60s and I remember how life was so carefree as a child in the 50′s. I truly understand how you are feeling and you make me smile in reading your words. Thank you..

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Jewelsmom February 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm

My oldest daughter recently moved to Paraguay to work for the Peace Corps. She is amazed at how little people have, but get by and are happy. They grow their own food, raise chickens, milk the goats and trade goods amongst themselves. The community she is in uses bicycles for basic transportation. When it rains the dirt roads are not passable and schools close. She told me she isn’t surprised Americans are materialistic because “things” are so easily purchased here. Instant gratification. Just think…If you have to travel 4 hours by bus to the nearest town, you make do without.

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OM Saigal November 6, 2012 at 5:11 am

Well said and well done with courage. I used a bicycle when working in China in 2003 and became slimmer. Yes, when it rains it floods and it is an experience to see life outside the developed world.

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Jewelsmom February 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I am from a family of 14. My husband is 1 of 5 boys from the Midwest. Our families were very frugal. My mother always said she “didn’t have two nickels to rub together.” We both wore used clothing, and our parents found ways to stretch the dollars[e.g., meatless Mondays, homemade jello Popsicle, sewing & mending clothes, bathing 5 kids at once, etc. It was a way of life.

EVERYONE knows that we frugal. We don't hide it and we're not ashamed of our "cheap" ways. My husband is even more frugal than I am. I cook dinner every night and pack our leftovers for lunch at work; we wear Goodwill purchased clothes & shoes; drive 10- yr-old+ used cars that we paid for with cash. We've furnished our home with inexpensive antiques we got from yard sales over the years; take advantage of sales on day-old bread/pastries & marked down meats & veggies that we cook the day we bring them home from the store; and foodsaver freeze meals for our daughters to take to college so they have home-cooked meals. We're avid coupon clippers. We taught our three young adult daughters to do the same. When they were young they would be given 50% of the cost saving on any grocery coupon that we used if they cut it out of the Sunday paper [they put their initials on the coupon]. It was a great learning opportunity.

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Divorced Mom March 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

My main reasons for being frugal go back to maximizing the potential of every sale, every meal, every dollar, every opportunity. I can’t stand waste. Another reason is that people have money because they save it, not because they spend it. A divorced mother, on a teacher’s salary, with little child support and no family within 4 hour radius has taught me to be self-reliant in every possible way. Yet, I have a much bigger and nicer home than most people I know, am able to take vacations, save money each month, put name brand clothes on my kid’s back, eat well, have a brand new car, etc etc. And I’m not strapped to the hilt in debt either. I have about 25K in equity in my home, drive a 4 dr Yaris, have an Energy Star home, etc etc. We’re not wealthy but comfortable in the middle class. Efficiency is one of the main characteristics of frugality; the more efficient you are, the more money you will save and vice versa. Another part of being frugal is making smart choices about goods, employment and even relationships. Poor choices lead to all kinds of problems.

I employ many of the most common and even unusual ways to save money but I draw the line at a few things: quality (not cheap) paper towels, I’m not making my own laundry soap, body wash or deodorant, organic foods for us and our pets, don’t have time to grown my own veges, etc etc. As one poster said before, buying quality, and not necessarily the cheapest thing, is truly frugal. Always ask yourself this: do I NEED it? Be honest with yourself.

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Divorced Mom March 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

One last thing I forgot to include….I refuse to own an old car. It seems cost effective in terms of payments and insurance but extremely cost-prohibitive in terms of unexpected major repairs, gas mileage and safety. Buying a gently used newer car enables me to have a warranty, which is super-frugal all the way around. :)

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Terry September 14, 2012 at 2:36 am

One way to be frugal in owning a car is maintain it properly. Follow the maintenance check as scheduled. Used the OEM spares. You will realize that your car will last longer than necessary.

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Coupon Craze April 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

Long live frugality. Being frugal is all too often misconstrued. We truly believe that being frugal is actually people being savvy shoppers. We find it hard to believe that people always pay full price for any product. In reality, it’s not even about paying full price it’s about being sure you are comfortable with the price you paid for an item.

Much like the comments above some items people feel comfortable spending more on certain items and that is perfectly fine. Some of our site users will spend hours comparing prices and finding the perfect discount and others will simply use what is available. They are both being savvy shoppers. It is up to the consumer to decide what their time is worth and how much they seek to save. How frugal you want to be is up to you but in all honesty we should all have a little frugality somewhere in our lives.

We want to leave you all with the best tip possible because this attacks the heart of the issue before frugality is even brought up. Be a smart shopper and just ask yourself… “Do I NEED this or do I WANT this?” You will be amazed that simply stopping for a moment to think about a purchase is all you need to be a savvy, smart, and frugal shopper. Good luck out there.

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SusieQ July 8, 2011 at 7:23 pm

These area great tips, thank you everyone. I’m newly divorced, and frivolous spending was a big factor in my decision to split. Its good to get back to the basics.

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Kathy July 21, 2011 at 4:54 am

For 34 years my mantra was “I can’t retire if I spend all my money.” Now that I’m retired (at 56), my mantra is, “I can’t stay retired if I spend all my money.”

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Susan July 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

Wow, I never actually realized I was frugal until I read the comments above.
I also cook at home, buy fresh produce at the cheap Greek and Vietnamese markets (not Whole Foods, like my friends!) drive a 2004 Element (bought used after reading Consumer Reports about reliability) , always carry lunches, etc. We also only buy clothes on sale or off season.
Still, I feel like we could do more.
We’re thinking about selling our house to get our hands on the equity before prices fall yet.. It’s always been a bit pricey for us here, given our incomes, and we probably shouldn’t have bought it. Though we’ve saved/earned $20,000 per year in our retirement account, and have significant equity in our home, we don’t have any liquid assets, and I HATE that feeling!

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Frank July 31, 2011 at 6:05 am

Although my father was a doctor, as a child my mother gave me dripping (beef fat) sandwiches with salt and pepper to remind me what they ate during the depression. My mother kept a stockpile of canned food in the storeroom ‘in case’.

Orphaned in my early teens, I became frugal a) because I was alone and didn’t have anyone to turn to, and b) for intellectual interest, as I like to do calculations (I have many budget/spending spreadsheets).

Agreeing with the article – I was intrigued with a student the other day who said he preferred to buy the most expensive because he assumed it would be the best quality – I prefer to spend least (buying top quality in perfect condition second-hand at garage sales for 1/10th of the new price works for me) and enjoy having money in the bank so I can, without hesitation, book an overseas holiday without a financial concern. Repair, reuse, recycle. Today I took home a perfect kitchen knife someone had put in the rubbish.

I rarely use cash, and have automatic savings plans, my credit card balance is paid automatically each month, and measure water/electricity cost, e.g. 2c/toilet flush, 30-60c/hot shower, and brew my own beer for about $15/23 liters so a 300mm bottle costs me about 25c rather than $3-6 from the pub.

We mostly cook at home, but enjoy a local cheap restaurant for about $10 once a week. I live in the city so mostly walk, and drive my 20yo car worth about $1000 about twice a week which irritates me as it loses value rather than growing like most of my investments.

Rather than the hedonic treadmill seeking good feelings from spending money, instead I get pleasure from saving money!

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Rafa September 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm

The things own you. You do not own the things!!!!!

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Cleo March 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Because I feel the items that we are tempted to buy are huge ripoffs and totally unnecessary including video games. I always had a paperback copy of an Agatha Christie novel in my hand growing up – that was my toy.

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amifrugalreallydeepdown March 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

I started denying myself newer and expensive stuff as I didn’t want to burden my parents in my teens. And showing off is vulgar is what my mom drilled into me, So it is second nature for me to use my brain instead of being lured by the ad-spin. I really do not need a lot of the ugly stuff to be considered civilized – a lot of that BHG , Martha Stewart, Nate Berjus stuff is plainly creating demand where none existed before. And then I splurge very occasionally on stuff I really LOVE. Which is not much. As I grow up I find I am more concerned about real stuff like my parent’s health, my kid’s education and living environment than being the best consumer. I am not concerned anymore of making a statement with my clothes, jewellery or shoes. I just am.

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SusieQ March 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

Also recently divorced, I would rather not have meaningless ‘things’ which clutter but would rather save for my own place in the near future. Taking better care of my health will save me real money now and in years to come. Conflicting money management issues were a huge factor which led to our divorce. As I stay in touch with my grown sons, I realize that they are quickly learning money management which they couldn’t/wouldn’t learn before due to the family dynamic.

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Tayo April 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Wow nice to see other people with similar ideologies. Though I do give myself some unexpected “expensive’ treats once in a while because it’s good for the reward system of the brain, I didn’t get a car until I had enough money to buy two of the same car. People who earn more than I do sometimes think I’ve got so much money, meanwhile they just have poor management of their finances and get plenty of clothes and shoes which probably they don’t need. I don’t usually keep more than 4 sets of work clothes and casual clothes because they just occupy space.

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Vin May 16, 2012 at 4:43 am

Being frugal is a way of life that some people have to strive for. For others, it’s a natural instinct. Something that was instilled in them from birth. We learned how to save and not how to waste. Now, I can’t stop myself. I definetly ain’t buying anything that costs too much or rather took me many hours to earn money for. My dad always told me after I purchased something, “how many hours did you work to pay for that?”. After the first expensive purchase, I was left with such a bad feeling….a lot like I’d been taking advantage of. I learned after that and made wiser purchases and there ya have it!

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HS June 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

My father instilled frugality in me growing up – “if you don’t need it, do without” even though we had money. Now in the last few years, with a family and a business of my own, I’ve had to unlearn that. Yes, you can get by so long as you have food, water, clothes, heat and shelter; but really, a few pieces of comfortable furniture make a huge difference especially with kids. Also, had I upgraded my wardrobe a long time ago, my business would probably have done better – and likely my marriage too! It’s been a struggle to feel like I deserve to invest in myself. I still eschew clutter and look for meaningful purchases (things that can add value to my life – like good take out, because on a busy day that means I have an extra hour to connect with my family instead of cooking and I can afford that). I’m one of those people though who fight against buyer’s remorse because I feel like I should never spend money on material things except for food – but then in retrospect, I’m so thankful much of the time that I did force myself to spend.

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Cedster August 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

Not unlike a lot of folks posting here, my frugality is summed up in 1 word – Moderation. Partly due to frugal upbringing (parent/grandparent save for a rainy day mindset) and early life circumstances (lived 2 years in a third-world country in what could best be described in the west as “camping” conditions.)

After “dabbling” in a little consumerism in my twenties, I reverted back to frugality in my thirties and forties partly because of being the sole bread-earner of a 4-person family faced with several stints of job-losses and realization of the need to plan for the needs of a growing family in a consumer-oriented culture.

Also, because over the last few years I’ve become more in touch with my altruistic-self and have come to believe in the need for delayed gratification and to accept the inevitability of life’s “deprivation-pain”, as a form of disciplining of the mind/soul against wanton attachments which only bring discontent in the long run. So adopting a gratitude mindset – with less for self, more for charitable/more vulnerable in society.

Examples of our frugality:

We continue to retain our 12-year old car – but since we have 2 (knock-on-wood) reliable cars, hardly a deprivation. Replaced our 18-year old 27″ CRT TV in 2011 with a 40″ LCD. Bought our first laptop in 2010, but our second computer is a vintage Pentium. Do not own a smartphone and our monthly cellphone usage is under $20 – covering 3 members of our family – i.e. averaging 2-3 minutes a day !!

I love to eat and also eat lots of fast food but focus on a balanced diet, daily specials and portion-control – just sandwiches, many a time snack sandwiches, rarely fries and almost never any soda. Helps the budget and waist-line, my weight has hardly changed in the last 25 years….allowing me to fit into.. and wear… 20 year old clothes which are in good condition.

Moderate drinking/entertaining, movies occasionally ( availing of discount days and cereal-box coupons, if possible), eshewing brand-names for trendy cheap imitations , etc. Re-freezing a store-bought extra-large coffee to last over 3 days to reduce the impact of rising prices.

This frugality mindset endures despite being mortgage-free over the last 20 years, a 1 year emergency cash fund and possibly enough money in the bank to retire (even after our investments have fallen 20%) – if we really had to for health or life circumstances….and we donate regularly.

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Frank September 14, 2012 at 4:59 am

frugal maintaining a car – I tell students the most money average people lose is in buying new cars (sorry if this is different in the US – I’m in Oz) – e.g. an acquaintence bought a new car for about $42k in 2007, it may be worth $25k in 2012 – in other words, has lost 40% in 5 years for a total loss of $17k.

I’m still driving a 1991 Honda Civic I bought for $5k in 2003, now 9 years later it’s probably worth about $3k now in 2012, so also lost 40% but over 9 years for a total loss of $2k.

dunno what you’d like to do with the difference of a lazy $15k, but for me that’s a couple of memorable overseas holidays, or my living costs for at least six months – take your pick.

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Nightvid Cole January 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

To be prepared for an uncertain future.

Every dollar I squander now on something that only provides short-lasting pleasure, means I have one less dollar in the future when I need to avert (or absorb) a crisis.

I don’t want to be in prolonged misery because of what I did for brief pleasure. Too many people around me are in agony caused by debt or short-term unemployment or underemployment. Many of those people spent a lot on impulsive purchases or costly lifestyle decisions such as big house/fancy car/long car commute/too many vacations. And then later realize, if only they had set of their money aside instead, they would be able to handle it just fine…

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Frank January 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm

sure Nightvid – while I agree with your sentiment – many will see it as a gamble either way – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – no joy being the richest person in the cemetery so might as well spend it while you can enjoy it – there’ll be plenty of time to sit in your rocking chair doing nothing when you’re too old, etc.

but if they gamble wrong – people end up with plenty of time doing nothing because they’ve got no money to afford anything – including a decent meal !

Live for today / carpe diem seems to be the province of the young who expect to live forever and nothing to ever go wrong – only us old folk have the experience of many things going wrong so plan for our future likely needs.

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Nightvid Cole June 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Frank,

The way I look at it is this: Actuarially, since I am in my mid-20s, I have only about a 0.07% chance of dying in the next year, meanwhile, I can get a 6% return on my stocks, after taxes and inflation. So I expect to be able to consume more if I defer the consumption, even taking into account the fact that I do not know how long I will live.

Exceptions to this logic apply to (i) irreplaceable or undeferable events such as attending the wedding of close friends or family (ii) if I have good reason to think that I am currently in the toughest times I will ever be in as far as consumption ability is concerned (which won’t apply until I have at least 2-3X annual income saved). (iii) Catastrophic expense not covered by insurance. Aside from these cases, it seems a straightforward inference that as many of my dollars as I can bear have a greater utility to me if I spend them later rather than now, at least from a utilitarian perspective. If this isn’t so, I can donate the difference when I die.

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Cj February 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I must post a reply in regard to Divorced Mom ‘s comment in DIY Laundry soap & body wash.
I have a student loan killing my peace and I personally chafed for years about blowing large chunks of cash on cleaning/cleansing products of all kinds (to the point my hubby would sneak by the store to buy laundry detergent).

So in my case, I was ecstatic to be free of this money drain. Just search DIY online/pinterest & experiment on ANYthing you buy now…even if you only swap out a few things, it really adds up over a lifetime & BTW..NO COUPONING.

1. For Literally 3 ingredients + smidge of mix time & Only use 1-2 TBsp a load, low suds perfect for HE washers too…I have fresh, clean clothes without the gut-punch. It’s all Marketing Hype Folks!

If it makes anyone feel too cheap/ to DIY any product (b/c ofmkting brainwashing it is inferior quality), it may lead a person to binge elsewhere, and despite my Loving DIY, will suggest an easy alternative is too buy bulk generics. powder vs liquid brand name laundry & ivory bar soap vs body wash. No more buying Water.

2. Anything you can chuck in the trash, you can chuck in the washer.

On Paper towels: as an experiment, swapped to microwave covers, used real cloth napkins, and dish rags for spills. Plus, free newspaper cleans glass better, and gross stuff (pets, motor oil)
Hid the last 2 rolls & haven’t used or missed them in 6 months.
Cloth hankies have replaced Bulk packs of Kleenex

3.Vinegar & baking soda= clean house & body (Seriously)
I’ll bet you’d never believe a vinegar rinse works same/better than salon deep conditioner on Color-Treated hair. Need moisture? coconut oil, hair to toes.

Just think about what you could have instead. Say a trip to Europe.

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Arminius Aurelius December 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm

An excellent example of not being frugal and being wasteful is our fools in Congress . The more money they have [ in good times ] , they dream up new ways to spend the excess . Is it any wonder why the U.S.A. is bankrupt ?
A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED

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