The trend not to spend
photo by The Jamoker
I ate a lot of Asian food as a kid. Too young to know better, I ate fried minnows, and we often had sesame candies instead of treats like gum or candy bars. Having a friend sleep over became an hour long explanation of what we were having for dinner. They’d ask questions like “What’s that purple stuff?” And I’d reply, “Don’t eat it, or you’ll be sorry.” Fortunately, my mom would use utensils when my friends visited. Of course, I’d have to ask her to do it. Read: Beg her to do it. While I appreciate my family’s culture now, as a teen, I simply wanted to fit in.
I was clearly aware of some of the differences between my family and others. We had our own subculture. We lived more simply. So, years later, as I advocate frugality, I encourage others to have their own subculture within their families that’s based on their priorities and values. You don’t have to be like everyone else.
It can be challenging to be frugal in some locations, families and situations. Some of you have fewer resources or support than others. I realize that, often, what I share sounds like I’m bucking the system. I’m not an extremist. I’m not against marketing or spending money, nor do I live on the fringe of society. But I do like to share ways to look at your choices in a different way — maybe remind you of the value of a dollar. I also encourage people to be less wastefully frivolous. For some people, frugal living is a joke, but for others, it has made a huge difference in their quality of life.
Regardless of your circumstance, living a life based on your own priorities is going to result in increased satisfaction with your life. Saving the extra money is a bonus.
Some people are never fully going to grasp frugality. They might laugh or think you want to live some old-fashioned life without modern-day conveniences. There’s pride in doing things for yourself and paying for an item with cash.
I’ll never understand why being wasteful became acceptable. Frugal living isn’t new. More people are beginning to understand that they have to be frugal just to keep up. Frugal living was green before hippies and treehuggers, too. So here we are in 2008, and living within your means is considered a lifestyle trend. Everything old really is new again. I’m happy more folks are catching on to what a lot of us have already known for years. The more the merrier. Frugality is a road to saving money. It’s not just celebrating that you got two boxes of cereal for $2, but actually setting aside the difference and saving or investing it so your money is working for you. But if frugality doesn’t seem to be enough, don’t just sit there and spend your time looking for more ways to reuse your socks. Get up and do something about your situation. It won’t be easy, but you can work more, sell some of your excess belongings, find a hobby that pays or invest in yourself. You can clip coupons until you’re blue. It’s what you do with your saved money that makes a difference.