Friday, 19 February 2010

Frugal Friday - what's the point?

A few weeks ago, I watched this interview with the Frugal Zealot, Amy Dacyzyn.  In it, Amy makes a  really relevant point:  that the point of frugality is to live well on a low budget, not to be cheap for the sake of it.  I think Amy actually says it's to "live like a millionaire but not to spend like one".

It seems that everywhere I look these days are articles about "the death of the New Frugality" or "Frugal fatigue", where the writers moan about being fed up with cheap food, cheap clothes, not having a social life, etc.  To me they've missed the point - I'm with Amy.  You can have good food, good clothes, a wild social life but you have to work out ways to balance that so that you stay within your budget. It's all about what is more important to you - an extra lipstick, when you have a dozen at home, or saving for a car/holiday/house?  And yet, so many people focus on feeling deprived of that lipstick, instead of feeling rich that they don't need another one.

Anyway, watch the video and tell me what you think.


Monday's Child said...
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Monday's Child said...

I'm not as frugal as I could be, but I get to live as well as I do because of all the areas in which I *am* frugal. It's not about never buying myself books so I can save money, it's about having 10 times as many because I buy them used or get them free.

I probably will never again save all the "just in case" things, the way Amy does. I'm trying to declutter and I don't have a huge house like hers to store it all. But there are so many other ways to save while living quite well.

Mother of Chaos said...

I suspect there's a big difference between choosing frugality because it sings to you, and being forced into it because of (ahem) Economic Conditions.

I hold out hopes for my newly-frugal friends, that they'll have their "ah-ha!" moment and realize what they CAN have, if they just prioritize their spending more in line with their core values. (Ha. I sound like a self-help book.)

But it gets a little frustrating. My frugal ways were legend before any of this started, so of course there's a lot of "how, HOW?!", followed immediately by "wah-whine-cry-snivel!"

And, of course, every time I buy anything, "Ohmygah, I thought you were supposed to be Super Frugal, how could you {gasp!} SPEND MONEY?!"

ARGH. Look, it's not about being cheap for cheap's sake. It's about control and getting what I really want.

...which may well be six skeins of hand-dyed sportweight, or a set of handmade stitch markers...