Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Do You Define Frugality?

Frugality looks different for each and every family. For years, our frugality was born out of necessity. Now it is just a way of life and a smart choice. We are not rolling in money, but we have all that we need and we are rich in life and love.

We once defined frugality as doing whatever we needed to do to survive with a roof over heads and food in our stomachs.

Today, our frugality is defined as being smart with our money and only spending it on things that we really need. (And yes, sometimes we really need a trip to the local ice cream parlor.)

Every situation calls for a different definition of frugality. And that is okay. Regardless of our personal definitions, all of us who are trying to live frugally are doing it for the very best reasons. And we all have something we can learn from each other.

There seems to be a slight divide between those that must and those that just choose. I've felt that way myself. But lately I've come to realize that the reasons aren't important. The finances of one family over another aren't important. If you're living frugally while making six figures a year and you teach me a a money-saving tip that really works for my family, I'll thank you just the same.

So my frugal tip for today is to embrace your family's personal definition of frugality while remembering that it is just that - your personal definition. And good advice is good advice. Don't begrudge others their own definition.

How do you define your frugality?

Stop by Life As Mom for Frugal Friday and some of the best frugal tips around.


Bree 10:13 AM  

Good point and one that I needed to hear. I guess frugality to me is trying to change knee-jerk spending habits till they become second nature. Just being more aware of where your money goes, what you are wasting, and how you preserve what you have in order to not consume and buy more. I think I grew up with more frugal ideas out of need. I channel my mom sometimes. I hear myself tell my kids "don't walk around the house in your socks" The frugal reason is... your going to wear them out faster put on shoes or slippers. I still freak when I see my kids follow daddy (who wears his socks all over the place) outside in their socks!!!
We are trying to become more and frugal to pay off debt the Dave Ramsey way and it is also what allows for me to be a SAHM. Frugality seems to grow as you learn more and more how do things the homemade way and it becomes fun to challenge yourself.

Katrina 10:33 AM  

For me at the moment frugal is about price comparing when I'm shopping. It is about having no money because I am not working so having to rely on my husband for money.
It is about not buying anything for myself as I don't have the money.
It is about not wasting money on going to movies or on holidays as there is no money.
It is about getting myself organised to grow vegies because that will save money (gotta get rid of all this horrid weed type grass first though)

VanderbiltWife 10:56 AM  

Great post! I feel that I've been in training to be frugal at a time when it's not so necessary so that I will be prepared when it IS necessary (hopefully soon, when our house sells and I can move to our new town and be a SAHM). Also, many of those who scorn frugality are swimming in debt because they think they can pay it off.

Tracey 11:09 AM  

Currently our frugality involves thinking through all possible solutions before automatically spending money. Is there a less expensive option for tackling whatever needs to be done?

It also means saying "no" to some of the things our daughters want. Our frugality changes from time depending on life circumstances, but I'm thankful that my husband and I are on the same page and both try to live well within our means.

The Mangerchine's 11:48 AM  

Our frugality used to be necessity, but now, it's definitely a choice and a "more with less" philosophy... at least now, pre-kids, while we are both working full-time. Soon, when I'm a stay at home mom it will no longer be a choice, but it won't be a difficult transition because we haven't lived in excess while we could either.


Buffie 12:51 PM  

For me, frugality is spending consciously and only spending on things your family needs and/or benefits from.

Marcy 11:13 PM  

What an awesome post! I have been on both sides of frugality as well and I agree. It doesn't really matter why.

Have a great weekend!

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