Word-Of-the-Week #765: Frugal

April 4, 2019 by  

Frugal – practicing economy; living without waste; thrifty.

Do you consider yourself to be frugal? Do you use coupons? Do you love a good deal?

I have a post card on my desk that reads, “frugal is such an ugly word.” It cracks me up every time I see it. And it spurred to revisit this word when one of my acquaintances laughed out loud when I said, “I am working on not being so frugal.” She clearly has no idea how frugal I am!

For many years I took my recycling to the center to get my deposit money back. Do you know how many cans and bottles it takes to make $8?

I subscribe to “The Friends & Family Plan” when it comes to home repairs. Many providers offer discounts when you give them referrals.

All the people that truly know me well know I love a “bargain.” I don’t like paying full retail! When I was remodeling our home I told the salesperson I was “Looking for top of the line economy.” That usually evoked a smile or a laugh. I still do it today!

And when we take our grand-kids shopping for their birthday presents they know that if they buy items on sale they get more. For Christmas we put money in their 529 college fund. They get enough “stuff” and I feel it’s our responsibility to teach them how to save and spend.

For every international flight we’ve used points and flew in either first or business class. Frugal doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being comfortable! It all comes down on ROI – Return on Investment. It’s very personal. What is most important to you?

Don’t get me wrong as I love spending money. I just hate wasting it more! I’ve also learned the hard way that buying the best quality products cost more up front but are cheaper in the long run. Perfect examples of that are luggage, blenders, and tools. Or anything you use a lot.

And this excerpt from Zina Kumok on “The Cult of Frugality – Why Being Frugal Doesn’t Work”  speaks volumes.

“Every day, people choose not to spend money on something that could change their lives – like a Master’s degree, investment opportunities, or a new business idea. They get so wrapped up in daily financial decisions like whether to buy brand-mane or generic salsa that they forget about the big picture.

My husband used to fall into this extreme frugality trap. For years he avoided buying fresh vegetables, preferring to buy cheaper ingredients to make pasta and sandwiches. After developing a daily exercise habit, he slowly loosened the reins. Now, we eat fresh veggies with every meal and have a salad at least once a day. Our grocery bill is slightly more than it used to be, be we consider it an investment in our health. Turns out this thinking makes good financial sense as well. A report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that, “People in bad health work less, earn less, face higher medical expenses, die earlier, and accumulate much less wealth compared to those in good health.”

If you’re avoiding exercise because a $40 gym membership is expensive, you’re actually costing yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. Skipping spinach because it doesn’t last as long as a bag of rice, is actually the less frugal decision.”

Being frugal doesn’t mean you can’t have some periodic splurges and luxuries. It’s WHY you can! As my dear sweet friend Sandra says, “The people I know that have a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY have a healthy respect for it.”

This week think about what frugal means to you. How do you spend your money? Are you investing wisely when it comes to your health? Do you talk to your staff, your kids, and/or your grand-kids about spending and saving?

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