I was born frugal, raised frugally, and continue to live frugally. I chose to create a frugal life. It is a badge of honor for me and not something to be ashamed of. I wear it proudly around my neck like an Olympic Gold Medal. It is the way I live my life and the way we have gotten to this place in our lives. There have been mistakes and opportunities to learn what works and what doesn’t.
What Frugal Living Does Not Mean?
- It doesn’t mean not treating yourself.
- It doesn’t mean not going on vacation.
- It doesn’t mean not going out to eat.
- It doesn’t mean not buying that Michael Kors perfect blush pink purse.
- It doesn’t mean not getting a new(er) car.
- It doesn’t mean not going to the movies.
- It doesn’t mean not buying special things like flowers sometimes.
My Frugal Life
It does mean thinking about what you want. Really thinking about it, saving up for it, and buying it in cash.
It means taking that long weekend for your 20th Anniversary and spending $300 a night in a swanky hotel room and NOT putting it on a credit card.
It means having a budget and getting the most out of that budget; Having balance.
It means making sure you have paid the bills, put something away in savings, and then doing what you chose with the rest.
It means not buying the MOST expensive car but a nice one that works for you and what you can afford.
To me, buying the sweetest little house that is super small but has potential and the property to add on, because that is what you can afford right now is frugal. Then, when you can afford the renovations, you do them. Add dormers to the upstairs and a sunroom. After that is done, you add a family room to the back and double the size of your one-woman kitchen. You are patient and spend 16 years working on your upgrades and use cash.
It means investing in stainless steel thermoses and lunch containers instead of continually having to buy those plastic throwaways (all the time begging your family NOT to LOSE THEM)!
It means investing in 3 pairs of GOOD SHOES to have for years instead of 12 pairs of cheap shoes that will only last one season.
Being frugal means investing in things to save money in the long run. Investing in high-quality goods, in return, will allow you to resell anything that might still have value.
It means shopping around for the very best prices on what you want.
It means to be mindful, sensible, and purposeful when contemplating a purchase. Do you need it? Will there be a waste? Do you have the cash?
When People Don’t Understand Frugality
Ther have been many times when I have heard the “haters” and been teased because of my frugal ways. But when you believe in something and know that it will benefit you in the years to come, you develop a tolerance for that sort of language.
People will always make fun of what they don’t understand. Stand tall and carry on!
These explanations are what it means to be frugal for me. Some of these have changed over the years as my financial situation has changed, but in my heart, I am still that young mom and wife trying to make sure our electric stays on, and everyone has good food in their belly. It is all relative. Each person needs to create their sense of what the word means.
What does your frugal look like?