Being Frugal But With a Purpose
Hi super savers. Hi also to the rest of ya’ll. What image comes to mind when you think of a frugal person? Be honest, One scruffy looking old man or woman who reuses everything from Jam jars to paper towels? I remember my neighbour years ago used to wash and reuse tin foil! So if she got a piece of cake in a piece of foil paper, that foil would be tucked into the handbag and then washed, dried and put away for another use once she got home! But guess what? She was a very rich woman! Maybe, just maybe you have the wrong idea of what a frugal person should look like!
I’m a saver myself. I try to do my bit to reduce, reuse and recycle, I like to grab a bargain and I like telling others where they can get bargains or better yet, freebies. I like to hear about savings and ‘other’ choices etc. I enjoy every bit of frugal living. I don’t do couponing only because it is not a ‘thing’ in this country where I currently reside.
But you know what I hate? Hearing stories of people who take frugal living to the extreme and then die in a terrible state leaving all their savings. What is the point?
So today I want to talk to you about, not just being frugal, but being frugal with a purpose. Just in case you don’t know what frugal means, I’m going to explain. Let’s start by saying the word frugal somehow has negative connotations because some people think of cheap when they hear the word when it does not in fact mean being cheap. Frugal people may spend less than an average person and may also save more but they are not miserly at all. I know there are some who take things to the extreme but I’m not on about those.
Some might be shocked to hear about a frugal person buying a really high end laptop. They might think ‘that’s not like them. They usually try to buy what is the absolutely cheapest brand they can find.’ But that is what being really frugal means. So this frugal person will try to save on other things but know the value and worth of a laptop and know that it would be better to buy a good quality one after having saved for some time than to buy a ‘lemon’ that is troublesome and needs replacing in no time.
That’s the type of frugal living I am talking about. So here’s what I like about frugal living. Some of these I already do and some I look forward to doing when I do get the chance.
Saving with a Purpose
I save. Sometimes I don’t necessarily like to because I can think of a million things to do with money. But what motivates me about saving is that I am saving towards something. I don’t get to go away on holiday every year so what I do is to try and save so that I can afford a decent holiday away for the family rather than going away and live in 1 star ‘luxury’more often. I don’t buy all the kids ask for. I don’t eat out often, reserving that for special ocassions. I don’t buy the most expensive things that don’t give good value. I save, for holidays, for home repairs or improvement, and for other big things. When we do go away, we like to go to somewhere luxurious, not just for a week or 5 days but for like 4 weeks! It is definitely not cheap. We soak in as much luxury as we can (all inclusive) because when we return from holiday, I like for everyone to focus on working hard and looking forward to the next holiday. This gives us a purpose to be frugal. So when I remind the kids of this each time they ask for something, they agree.
Value for Money
When I say I like a bargain, I mean I really do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think getting some half rotten tomatoes for a bargain price is worth it. I do like to know that what I buy is worth the money or even that I got it for less than its original price! And if something I purchase isn’t value for money, or is somehow faulty, I complain! And with good results! Read my recent post about that here. Somehow I get a buzz from knowing that. I do this when shopping, be it for shoes, clothes or even food but the quality must still be good. Mind you, if a skirt that I am going to purchase has a 20% reduction in price because of a small ripped hem, I’m having that skirt! Of course I know how to fix a hem and skills like this always come in handy; that’s being frugal. By the way, I believe in being honest with people, although sometimes it just doesn’t pay off! Read about how that happened to me while on holiday.
Driving down Prices (Haggling)
I think you already know that I love a bargain, right? Well I practice haggling a lot. I don’t get embarrassed by it at all but my children are. So what options do I have? Well when I go shopping with them, I try not to haggle. When they are not with me, which is most of the time, I haggle away! I don’t take them shopping with me all the time because I tend to lose my focus and buy what I had no intentions of buying or I let the other person get the better of me. You want to know where I especially like to haggle? Whenever and wherever I’m away from home, I just seem to lose all inhibitions! I think it might be the accent (both mine and theirs), but somehow I get excited with haggling over prices in strange places. We usually have a laugh and I am not embarrassed by the experience at all. As a child I watched my mom haggle down prices from market vendors and I was always amazed! She always won the contest, and for sometime half the original price! That’s frugal living! Sure it embarrassed me as a teenager! But I’d always just look away as if we weren’t related but I sure was listening!
I think this is an awesome opportunity to save. For those who don’t know what it is just type ‘Extreme Couponing’ in google and you will see. Like I have said before, couponing is not a big thing in the UK, but if it were, I think I would be great at it. With couponing, however, there is one thing I don’t like much. There are some who stock pile the stuff that they get and will never ever use all that. I’m a great believer in GIVING BACK. So I think people should make donations to companies or individuals in need. I have a niece in the US who has started couponing and from her stock she donates to homeless shelters and women’s shelters. That’s the way to go. I think stock piling food items and then dumping them when they are past their use by date is wrong. That’s not frugal at all! We must think environmentally friendly as well and not just get things to then waste them.
So there you go, my thoughts on frugal living with a purpose. What are your views? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheerio