Why Be Frugal?

by David Bakke

why be frugalJust a short little rant here today guys.

Ya know, I’ve been living the frugal life for just about two years now.  Sure, I’ve been living debt-free for many more years than that, but living a truly frugal lifestyle, just about two years.  All of my family knows it, and I guess most of my friends and co-workers know it.

I am not quite sure what their reactions are, or what their reactions were when the first came to this realization.  I know that my parents are proud of me, and I’d imagine that my siblings probably don’t care too much (and I wouldn’t expect them to).

Regarding my friends and co-workers, to my best estimation, I would guess the reaction ranges a little from the “So what” side to the majority on the “Why?” side.  The reason I say that is because I’ve been asked that question many times.

Let me give you a few insights and observations about living a successful frugal lifestyle.

First, you need to define exactly what “frugal” means for you.  Because I can promise you that my definition of frugal is completely different from somebody else’s.  For me, living “frugally” means spending as little and saving as much on the things that I buy the most so that I can afford to buy the things that I really want to.  For example, I do not scrimp on my son’s clothes, he wears mostly top of the line stuff.  Want to know why?  Because that’s how I choose to dress him. He also has way too many toys as well.  Again, because that what I choose to do.

On another note, you should only life your life by YOUR definition of frugal and not anybody else’s.  If not, then why bother?

Second, I could care less about what anybody else thinks.  And you really have to buy into that.  Think about it.  Most of us in the world claim to not be judgmental.  We say it all the time.  “I don’t mean to judge, but…”  And a lot of us probably truly believe this about ourselves.  And maybe outwardly, we don’t.  But what is our mind constantly doing, all day long?  Judging. I mean, its true, isn’t it? 

We judge everything we see on the street, we judge our neighbors, we judge our family, we judge our friends.  I think its called human nature.   Anyways, if you cannot truly factor this OUT of the equation, you will probably not ever live as “frugally” as you could.  I think I have gotten it about as much out of my system as I can.  For the most part, I could really care less about what people think of me.

Finally, you have to understand that living frugally is very misunderstood.  Most mistake it for being cheap. Obviously, cheap is a nasty word in our vocabulary.  So again this goes back to the previous point.  I hear it all the time.  When the people around me see my “frugality” in action, some make comments (“you’re just being cheap”), while others just give me the cheap look without the remarks. They simply don’t understand.


I could go on for hours on this subject, but I’ll cut this one short for today.

In order to answer my own question at the top of the page, to all those who say “Why be frugal”, there is only one answer that comes to mind…..

Why not?

As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated below.

{ 1 comment }

1 Qt May 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I love this post, especially the judging part, we can’t live, we can’t act without judging! How many times i argued with people about the “you should not judge” myth. For me the point is being honest enough to be able to CHANGE your judgment when new data/information/situations arise.
For being frugal in your case it just seem to be… allocating money where it matters to you (and saving for future needs is just another of those matters).
And i agree with that! Just an example about how i like to save but i spend money on certain things: i will never buy something branded just for the being from a famous brand (but for some brands the fame come from making great products, not only from big ad expenses, so sometimes brand things are the right choice) . Then i spend a lot for my internet connections and figure what ? I am the one that (almost) never have his connection crashing or losing speed here and there and the one with a decent customer service.
We come again to two basic concepts: the old saying “the more you spend the less you spend” (in this last cases considering also the stress and downtimes you get 😉 ) and priorities.

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