Definitions of being frugal
Frugalness, thriftiness, cheapskating, where do we fit in?
What exactly is being frugal? Due to much media coverage and indeed, Websites like this one, "I'm a very frugal person" has become quite a popular statement nowadays and although I'm sure that the vast majority of people who say that are saying it with truthful conviction.
Certainly those who have downshifted to lower earning have learnt to have a more frugal view of life, but there are many who are earning quite sufficient earnings who enjoy the challenge of living a more simple lifestyle.
So, I would commend these views to you....
1. Frugal because you have to be.
There are many who aren't so well off as others and have to live within their means.
Frugality in this instance though is 'enforced' and not something you may conciously be doing. In this way, someone is simply spending within a given budget, for them it is more a natural thing to do.
In this case I would say that 'thriftiness' is the expertise they have. They know how to trim things down and live on less.
It is these people I believe that we can learn the most from.
2. Being frugal to save.
Most kids are taught to save money if they want something, well most of those in my age bracket were anyway!
So you have a situation where you want a decent Washing Machine, one which is more cost effective to spend more at the financial outlay stage.
You can either get your Credit Card out and finish paying for it after the machine has already worn out, or you can be frugal in other things to enable you to save up and buy it cash.
Again, a great method and one which if followed would bring down thousands of peoples debts accross the land!
So, "Am I frugal" if I do this - I think so.
3. Being frugal 'for fun'
Why not! I've written about the Frugal Fashion where many well off people are following the trend and living what they see as a frugal life. They don't have to and one wonders what they do it for maybe, but they are saving money, usually looking at things with an ethical eye.
The only difference with them is that they don't have to and should we be against that way of thinking.
The big thing to consider here is - are they well off because they're frugal !!
4. Frugalist or Cheapskate
Finally there are those who call themselves frugal but basically just cheapskates. There's a fine line between frugal, thriftiness and cheapskating. The problem with cheapskating is that in most cases, cost effectiveness, value for money and ethical buying is usually lost and this leads to eventual loss of money.
I hope you see where I'm coming from in all this; a frugal for fun person wouldn't dream of selling their car, a frugal to save person would have a car but save for that, a frugal because they have to be person wouldn't think twice about selling their car if their budget didn't allow it and the cheapskate would probably have a car, but change it every year because they brought badly!
Frugal is a very wide subject and can be defined in many ways.
Where do I stand in all of this? Well, I guess it's a bit of each with exception of 'fun'.
One day I want not to have to fetch wood, saw it, clean the fire grate every winter day, I want to come in the door and flick a switch instead! To do that I have to be frugal to save.
In the same manner, I never skimp on my PC stuff, it is important to me and I enjoy it, so I can be quite thrifty in how I achieve buying new items
________________________________________________Whatever it is and wherever you are in the equation, it all adds up to one thing, a sensible and responsible attitude to living a simpler, better and cheaper lifestyle! #