I look with bemusement, on the number of people jumping on the frugality bandwagon now that we are in an economic recession. Their ardent, new-found lifestyle is met with amazed declarations like “Wow, you can really save money by making coffee at home!” or “CFL bulbs actually put out just as much light!” Bemusement, why? Because I have always lived this way, and always will. It is seemingly an innate philosophy that is deep within me – I would be leading a disingenuous life if I did otherwise. They are not telling me something that I don’t already know, and live each day.
Believe me, I am happy when others discover the value of thrift…and I do understand the enthusiasm of the newly converted. But the cynic in me wonders whether most of this is a temporary thing, to be shoved aside when the money once again, starts rolling in. I’m sure there are some who feel ‘put upon’ by having to make changes, and can’t wait to get back to their old, excessive lifestyle.
Living frugally, for me, is not a lifestyle of dull austerity. Quite the opposite! To me, it takes more thought and action to actually do things rather than ‘sit back and be entertained’. It is a lifestyle of thinking and doing. And to me, thinking and doing is very fun!
It remains to be seen if more will fall off the wagon once the economy improves. My wish is that more will actually realize the pleasure in remaining thrifty, no matter their income level. I hope this is the case. But I do know that it may be just as hard for some to remain frugal as it would be for me to suddenly become a spendthrift shopaholic!
I am frugal too. I find it odd when people say they don’t have any money, yet they spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee EVERY day. It all adds up. Love the comment ” It’s a lifestyle of thinking and doing”. That is so true. Being frugal keeps you in the moment.
Yes, I know plenty of people who do the $5.00 cup of coffee per day (especially in Seattle). Their reasoning is because ‘they deserve it’. Well, while being ‘deserving’ for coffee is up for debate, that’s $1,825.00 per year spent on it. I personally could find a better use for that money!
The trick is for those of us who think this is the right way to live and the best way to live to make it contagious and permanent. We don’t need these people buying a rake to use for two years while the economy is bad.
I like ‘contagious and permanent’, Alex. I think the best way to do it is by actually living it and maybe others will see that it is not a bleak lifestyle. I’m not into the hair shirt/suffering thing. 🙂
I wholeheartedly agree! I was just invited to dinner with my dad and 4 friends and I know that the dinner out would cost at LEAST $150 and my first responce was: Let me cook! I can cook dinner for 6 for %50, and it just IS the right thing to do. I was raised to not let the water run, to turn off the lights, to do FULL loads of laundry (and hang them outside to dry if the weather permits..ha!) to cut coupons, re-use aluminum foil and a whole other slew of fabulously frugal livestyle choices. Frugal..?? Heck no! Its smart! Its wise! It makes sense! And anyhoo…its what my grandma TOLD me to do, and she is the smartest woman I ever knew. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I wouldnt head to Neiman Marcus…but you gals at Value Village better get out of my way!
Bobbi, ALWAYS a woman after my own heart! But beware, I know how to stand my ground at Value Village, lottery winner or not!