What is Frugal?

Are you looking for signs you might be frugal?

Frugal = ‘sparing or economical as regards money or food’

Funny that some people mistakenly believe frugal means cheap!

I laugh that they think that, mainly because cheap is not really a dirty word.

We really need to ask at what point in history did living in debt become the norm and something to aim for?

Signs You Might be Frugal

Baby Boomers considered being called frugal a compliment. Because they saw it as a virtue, something to be valued and a skill to be passed on to their children.

As a child of 2 very early baby boomer’s I recall saving the fat from cooking, eggshells went to the garden, Friday nights dinner was usually a throw together of leftovers because nothing was wasted. Second hand clothes were considered normal and all the boys sported home haircuts by mum (not in the latest style).

My parents saved for the things we wanted and never bought on credit. As a result, we lived frugally.

Photo by USA-Reiseblogger

I recall other families who did more than we did, and I also remember the neighbourhood noting “they are so good with their money” about these families.

Our neighbours grew their own food, mended their clothes, cut their own hair, repaired their own cars and appliances. Saving money for a rainy day and no one had credit cards.

As a result, if these families really wanted something, they had to save for it. Which sometimes meant by the time they had the money to buy it they may have changed their mind. Holidays were rare and very appreciated.

The best feature of these families was – they didn’t think they were missing out, they just didn’t think those things warranted spending their hard-earned money on.

The Now

However, society has changed so much in the last 50 years that being frugal has been considered to be a flaw in one’s personality. Something we are ashamed to call ourselves.

Luckily a new movement has started, by a broad range of people who share a common goal. To live a more frugal life.

This movement includes the minimalist’s and small house fans, to off grider’s and homesteaders. Also the more extreme like dumpster divers.

While I’m not suggesting climbing into restaurant bins to salvage uneaten food, there are so many changes the average person can make to reduce their expenses. Even just joining the Barefoot Investor (if you don’t know who that is look here) movement will help anyone keen to stop the stress of living in debt. If you don’t know what BFI’ing is go here to find out.

More and more families are looking to bring back the skill of being frugal for financial reasons. The cost of living continues to rise and families are the hardest hit. Wages never seem to increase the way the food bill does, unfortunately!

I’m happy to count myself in that group. A quote that I love, and I actually think it should be hung in high schools everywhere are below. As an aside, I also believe economics should also be taught in high school…. but that’s a whole other story.


The 7 Signs You Might be Frugal

So how do you know you are on the right path, are you proud to call yourself frugal?

  1. Do you budget?
  2. Does your budget have a set amount you spend on non-essential items?
  3. Can you exercise the word “no” when people try to sell you stuff?
  4. Do you do research before major purchases?
  5. Are you proud of your ‘no credit card’ status?
  6. Are takeaway or restaurant meals a treat, do you prepare most meals at home?
  7. Would you rather have a $10 wallet with $190 inside it or a $190 wallet with $10 in it?

If you answered yes to these questions and are happy with your $10 wallet, feel free to follow me as I work out how to be happy with less. 

Take Care