Word Of the Week #54: Frugal

April 22, 2009 by  

Frugal: economical in the use or expenditure of resources; not wasteful or lavish.

Here’s another word that could conger up a negative or a positive feeling for you. Do you consider yourself a saver or a spender?

I have a postcard on my desk. The picture on the front of it is that of an attractive woman from the early 50’s era. She has blond hair with a page boy haircut, brown eyes, diamond and pearl drop earrings with a necklace to match, beautiful full red lips, and a pink blouse. It reads, “Frugal is such an ugly word.” I giggle every time I see it.

Being of the Baby Boomer generation, it reminds me of my childhood and having parents that went through the depression. They were very frugal! The fact that they didn’t have much made it easier.

I have a friend who drives a Ford Taurus and can afford to drive anything he wants. Lately, he has been toying with the idea of buying a more luxurious car. But why spend the money when a car just gets you from point A to point B? Well, I say because it’s fun and in So Cal you are your car!

They say balance is everything! Is there a part of your life where it would benefit you to be more economical or frugal? Is there a part of life where you can afford to be more lavish?

Reader Responses

“I recently traded up from driving a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee to a Land Rover -Discovery. I really didn’t want to get a new vehicle, because my Jeep was paid for and it sort of had sentimental value to me. It was eight years old with 116,000 miles and at the time I was making several trips back and forth to the mountains of western North Carolina, so I finally talked myself into purchasing this Land Rover. It had all of the bells and whistles on it. It had the safari racks, front row bars, deer guards, the additionalexterior lights, all leather interior, etc., I really liked that vehicle. It looked cool! After driving it for some time, I noticed that every where I went people would look at my vehicle and point, because they had not seen this vehicle, not the way I had it geared up with all of the extras. I thought that was pretty cool at first, but after awhile, I began feeling wrong, sort of like I was gloating and enjoying the extra attention. I can afford to drive the latest BMW Series or any vehicle I want for that matter, but I chose this Land Rover, because it identified me.  I genuinely love the outdoors, I own a cabin in the mountains of western North Carolina and I love to hike, back pack, canoe, kayak and so forth, so again this car suited me, except for the fact that it drew attention to my family and I when we were in it. Somehow, it just didn’t seem right. On a recent trip to the mountains to stay in our cabin, on July 3rd, my Land Rover caught on fire, after making a trip through the mountains. Shortly after this experience, I traded my Land Rover in for another Jeep. I could identify with my Jeep, because I had owned four of them prior to this one. I even had two of the soft top Jeeps, the “fun” vehicle. Now that I am getting a little older and enjoy more of the comfort of a vehicle, I opted to trade down for the Jeep, Grand Cherokee, Laredo. Sure it has leather interior, a GPS System, a six CD Player System, etc., again all of the comforts of a luxury vehicle, but it doesn’t stand out and we no longer are the center of attention at stop lights. I feel much more comfortable now. I guess in some way, you could say that I was trying to be “frugal” in my purchase because I didn’t like the way I was viewed driving the Land Rover.” — Don Vance

“Thanks susan! This hit home today…. I defintely have areas that I need to be more frugal….and boy do I know some who should and could afford to be more lavish….. ” — Cathie Capolino