Thursday, February 20, 2020

Why I still practice frugality

I've been thinking about how our spending is a mix of targeted frugality and happily spending on what we want. For a while I was thinking that the frugal part was simply long standing habit but I don't think so now. 

A recent post by Mrs. Frugalwoods where she says:


"Frugality is a mindset that encourages us to evaluate our money based on the following:
  • Am I spending in alignment with my goals?
  • Am I using my money towards my highest and best priorities?
  • Am I creating a financially stable life that I enjoy living?
  • Do I have long term goals outlined and a financial plan to support and enable these goals?"
is exactly what we are doing with our spending pattern.

As I told my younger son on our recent visit, the financial gifts we have been able to make to his brother and him have brought us so much joy and that is very true. That kind of spending is in alignment with our goals. The same is true of a recent large for us donation to a scholarship fund.

I clearly remember the times when I had so little money that I couldn't even go out for a cup of coffee or had to add up the cost of my groceries as I shopped with food stamps. Using a bicycle with a child carrier seat at our only transportation even in the pouring rain. There are many other examples. My not so huge student loans paid off finally when my older son was a senior in high school so of course there were no savings for his college expenses.

But thanks to our good fortune in being able to stay employed, earn well, stay healthy and save we are in a financially stable place where we can do as Mrs. Frugalwoods states.

So I will keep tracking our spending, washing out those ziploc bags, shopping at Goodwill for extra dinner plates, cleaning my own house and so on until I simply can't do it any more. And I will happily spend where it aligns with our goals and values. And I will continue to feel enormously grateful that I can do both. 

11 comments:

  1. Being grateful for what we have and how we use it is a wonderful feeling that I hope never to lose. I'm not what anyone would call frugal but we all have our priorities. For example I buy flowers but rarely ever buy new clothing. I pay to have my house cleaned but don't go to high ticket concerts in town. I used to reuse plastic Ziplocs until I read how they can harbor salmonella and other stuff that can make us sick. But I reuse paper towel.

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    1. Good points. I should say I never reuse anything that held meet or cheese.

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  2. I relate completely. In retirement , we continue our frugal ways even though we have more abundance than we did when younger and had to scrimp seriously. I also still rinse out and reuse my zip lock bags. We use cloth napkins and I do all my own cleaning and cooking.We rarely go out to restaurants, since cooking is a hobby for me AND it saves money. We do splurge on some pricier groceries occasionally, and we recently had to upgrade some house stuff: new mattress (ouch! Prices have gone UP!) and a new refrig. A new carpet for guest room.. it had holes in it!! But we love our home and it is our “home base” for all our retirement adventures so we make it cozy and comfy. We spend less on travel than we expected so we splurge elsewhere.But I still brew coffee at home, mend clothing, and use the library vs purchasing books. I feel so blessed and abundant.Frugality is a spiritual practice, I think.. using your resources for what is important and meaningful, not just throwing dollars away!!

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    1. Thanks for the shout out for using the library! We too have found we are spending less on travel than we thought and have done some home upgrades.

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  3. I love this. Like Madeline and everyone else there are places where I !like to sp!urge. Good comfy furniture, just because gifts for my kids, day trips and so on. But there are other places where it hurts me. I refuse to buy any book except the occasional reference item, take advantage of mainly frugal or free entertainment, prefer to eat most meals at home and reuse the Ziploc and make use of every single skein of yarn in some way. We did not bring the cooler in this driving trip and I've been whimpering about the money spent on drive thru meals going to and fro. Never mind the junk food factor.

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  4. Oh, this post is so rich. Well done, my friend. You have become very successful by being frugal. And are now able to share some of what you have. Like you, I grocery shopped for years with a calculator, then got so good (sadly) that I could add up my groceries in my head and be within a dollar. But how I hated living that way. I am so thankful for PC, for his cautious spending habits that have led us to a comfortable life where I don't have to add up my groceries before heading to the register.

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    1. I know from your blog that you too struggled when younger and totally agree that it is a luxury to be able to just buy groceries without thinking about the cost! I still utilize sales, etc. though out of habit and good stewardship.

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  5. What a heartwarming post! I can identify with your story, and I am thankful for the lessons learned during our lean years. My husband and I have been blessed, and life is much easier now, but we'll probably always live a frugal life. It's kind of funny because we're frugal with ourselves, but we like to splurge on our kids and granddaughter. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Juhli.

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    1. Your story sounds similar to mine. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  6. Hi Juhli! I so agree with you AND Mrs. Fruglewoods that frugality is a mindset that offers us so many benefits. But I have to confess that my favorite word for all that mindset is still "Rightsizing." As you point out, those benefits are very far reaching and look very different for each of us based upon our individual goals, dreams and purpose--but ultimately they are worth it in the end. Thanks for this perspective! ~Kathy

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