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The New Frugality

In my mind being frugal just makes sense.  And if it makes sense to me, why isn’t everyone doing it?  Husband tells me I’m always right.  Yes, that was a joke.  I don’t think anything remotely similar has ever come out of his mouth (unless I said, “I’m a big doofus,” he’d probably say, “yeah, you’re right”). 


I can actually see why many people still haven’t latched on to the frugal state of mind considering many of the negative stereotypes still associated with it today.  Why, I plugged ‘frugal’ into the thesaurus and it came up with terms like penny-pinching, scrimping, meager, stingy, and tightwad.  Ugh, these aren’t very flattering terms.


Let’s take a look at one of the most famous penny-pincher’s of all-time, Ebenezer Scrooge:


Scrooge


With a poster child like this, it’s no wonder people aren’t elbowing each other to get on board the Thrifty Train.


More recently, I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, in which the main character’s parents were thrift-store-shopping, flea-market-scrounging addicts.  They were portrayed like two ragamuffins straight out of Annie, and, while I’ll love that red-headed scamp, that type of lifestyle is just not very appealing; even to me (too much brown in the wardrobe).

The New Frugality – The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius Thrift   


The thesaurus also had some positive synonyms associated with thrift, I just withheld them for dramatic effect: penny-wise, provident, prudent, saving, careful, unwasteful.  These are the adjectives of the new frugality.  


Perhaps due to a recession, perhaps due to increase in personal responsibility, I don’t know, but there has been a movement of people interested in making their money work for them instead of the other way around.   


What is this movement all about?  Well I’ll tell you.  Duh.

Being frugal is not about stockpiling money.


I’ve talked about this before, frugality is not hoarding money out of fear, it is saving money in order to plan for the future.  The Frugal save for future needs/happiness and provide for today’s needs and enjoyment as well 


 


Being frugal is about making the most out of your life.


You need money to do the most of things that you want to do.  You have to work to make money.  Since you spend most of your time working, doesn’t it make sense to make the most out of each dollar that you make?  In turn you make the most out of your time, and time is truly the most precious commodity that you have.


While self-deprivation, denying yourself some of the things that you want, is part of the equation, it is not the entire equation (actually, it wouldn’t technically be an equation at all).  Spending less on the things that you don’t really care about leaves you more money to spend on the things that you do. 

Frugal and Giving aren’t mutually exclusive.


The image of Ebenezer Scrooge withholding his charity is not the way of the new frugality.  In fact, many people find that once they adopt thrifty values they are able to give even more. 

Frugality embodies an American Value: Freedom.


Self-reliance is a great component of thrift.  Providing for your own future means that someone else doesn’t have to.  It also means that you have control over how you live for the entirety of your life


A life in debt is a life of servitude.  Yes, some forms of debt enable people to achieve goals that they otherwise couldn’t and may thereby be worth it.  However, minimizing debt, will result in greater savings and greater money-optimization.  Interest is so much nicer when it is paid to you, rather than when you are paying it. 



Step aside Scrooges, there’s a new thrift game in town, and it even has some new jammies.



 


Why are you frugal?  Or why are you not?  I’m interested in both sides.


Article publié pour la première fois le 30/08/2010

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