Why I Like Being Frugal

Why I Like Being Frugal

Yes, I like Being Frugal, but that’s not what I mean. I mean, I just like being frugal. I was asked recently why I am frugal if I don’t need to be. The underlying question really was why wouldn’t I spend more money if I could spend more money and further underlying that question was the idea of how it *looks* to be cheap/frugal/thrifty, whatever you want to call it versus how it *looks* to spend more money. It may not be glamorous or sexy to have a determination to only spend $4 on amazing jeans. But I don’t want to be glamorous. Sexy, maybe a little, but that is beside the point.

I don’t care how it looks to be frugal. I don’t care how it looks to shop at Goodwill and other thrift stores. I just don’t care. And beyond that, I really dislike that there is this phenomenon that I have noticed throughout my life that goes something like this. People pay no attention to me. Realize I have some money. Now they love me. I am not made of money. I am far far far from having a lot of money. But my family does well with what we have and we enjoy our life and it’s quality and we enjoy making a lot with a little.

Not too long ago in our past together, hubby and I had chunk of cash in a regular old brick and mortar bank in a regular old savings account. It was from selling our home. We were in limbo, no idea where we were going or what was coming next, so we never went through with putting it somewhere high-yield that might be more annoying to get to than we wanted it to be if we needed it. So our wad o’ cash sat at our regular old bank that normally carries not much of a balance.

You know what I hated about that time? Every freaking time I went to that bank to take out $20, I’d get some aloof person at the counter who couldn’t care less about me until they brought up my accounts and suddenly they’d ask if I wanted water and were telling me what a prized customer I was. An immediate shift in treatment that drove me absolutely insane.

It’s happened other times. Hubby and I got married young. Bought our first home when I was 19 and we went furniture shopping for our home. We looked like a couple of bum college kids looking to wander and plop on couches and be overall idiotic before walking out without buying anything to the salespeople. As soon as they see we’re there to actually spend money, same thing. “Can we get you water? Is there anything you need?”

A customer is a customer is a customer and being treated differently after seeing I have money to spend makes me so mad. So you could obviously say that I have essentially shrugged off putting myself in that position. I would rather scrub toilets for a living and stash my cash away and be respected for a hard day’s work and a life well lived than to have my behind smooched by someone who didn’t even notice me until they saw my wallet. It’s infuriating.

Aside from all the fabulous side effects of frugality like being earth friendly and actually saving for retirement and being a good steward with my money, I like being frugal, living simply, spending less than I have to because it keeps me real. Keeps me grounded. Adds humility to my life. It’s like sticking my fingers in my ears and sticking my tongue out at pretentious people who think money is all that defines a person. I don’t want to be flashy and flaunty and feel the need to show what I have or make to find worth in myself. If that’s how I am trying to value myself, I might as well give up now, because it makes me worthless.

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Comments

  1. I think you’ve brought up a really good point. I do hate that so many people treat others differently depending on how much money they think they have. Most of the time, I could care less, but it is infuriating when I am trying to buy something. If I’m going to hand money over, I expect good customer service. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just that nobody gets good customer service at these places, or is it that I’m in my 20′s and too young for some people to take seriously. It took my husband and I several realtors to find one that was willing to really help us (though the one we found at the end was a real gem).

    On the one hand, I think it’s a stupid game and I don’t want to spend money some place that doesn’t treat people nicely regardless. On the other hand, I still am willing to play into it to a certain point. I don’t try to flash or flaunt, but I’ll dress a little nicer when I know it’ll makes a difference. Then again, I don’t need much of an excuse to dress up nicely — but it feels different when the motive is different.

    And yes, though right now I really need to be frugal, I look forward to a time when I can be frugal without needing to be.

  2. That drives me crazy too. You’re absolutely right that a customer is a customer. The thing is, you can’t even tell these days who has money and who doesn’t, so when a salesperson sucks up to someone who is dressed up all fancy, they may just be dealing with someone up to their ears in debt, who won’t get approved for the credit they need to buy anything.

    You know, the more frugal I become, the more I love being frugal. And it’s like you said. Being frugal keeps you real.

  3. Great post!! ITA!

  4. Awesome post! One thing I like about working at the library is that money isn’t an issue there. Everyone gets everything for free. Money only comes up when there are fines….but even then people can avoid them by returning materials on time.

    Of course, how people are treated in everyday life is still influenced by how they dress and behave, but at the library we don’t expect to make money off them.

    I don’t know what it’s like to be a rich person in frugal clothes, but I don’t think I’d like that. I like to obsess about stuff and I’d probably obsess over whether or not people liked me for me.

  5. When we repeatedly built new house after new house (in the same town) people started to take notice and the doctor’s office even treated me differently. UGH

  6. I liked you before but after reading this post, now I know we share the same values. Frugality is not about how much you have, it is about how you choose to live your life.

  7. Great post. You’ve got a very valid point there. I get a lot of flack from people for treating everyone the same. I’ve even heard people gasp “Don’t you KNOW who he is?” when I don’t fall all over someone I am “supposed to”. Meh… We’re all people and I treat people as I would like them to treat me. I wish more people shared your opinions on this.

  8. This post is awesome and reminds me of the YOU that’s been missing from my life these last few days ;) This is really well written :D Thank you!

  9. Great post. You’ve got a very valid point there. I get a lot of flack from people for treating everyone the same. I’ve even heard people gasp “Don’t you KNOW who he is?” when I don’t fall all over someone I am “supposed to”. Meh… We’re all people and I treat people as I would like them to treat me. I wish more people shared your opinions on this

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  5. [...] Spending less keeps you grounded to what matters most. – “I like being frugal, living simply, spending less than I have to because it keeps me real.  It keeps me grounded. Adds humility to my life.  It’s like sticking my fingers in my ears and sticking my tongue out at pretentious people who think money is all that defines a person.  I don’t want to be flashy and flaunty and feel the need to show what I have or make to find worth in myself.  If that’s how I am trying to value myself, I might as well give up now, because it makes me worthless.” – via Remodeling This Life [...]

  6. [...] Spending less keeps you grounded to what matters most. – “I like being frugal, living simply, spending less than I have to because it keeps me real.  It keeps me grounded. Adds humility to my life.  It’s like sticking my fingers in my ears and sticking my tongue out at pretentious people who think money is all that defines a person.  I don’t want to be flashy and flaunty and feel the need to show what I have or make to find worth in myself.  If that’s how I am trying to value myself, I might as well give up now, because it makes me worthless.” – via Remodeling This Life [...]

  7. [...] Spending less keeps you grounded to what matters most. – “I like being frugal, living simply, spending less than I have to because it keeps me real.  It keeps me grounded. Adds humility to my life.  It’s like sticking my fingers in my ears and sticking my tongue out at pretentious people who think money is all that defines a person.  I don’t want to be flashy and flaunty and feel the need to show what I have or make to find worth in myself.  If that’s how I am trying to value myself, I might as well give up now, because it makes me worthless.” – via Remodeling This Life [...]