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.