Word-Of-the-Week #765: Frugal

April 4, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #765: Frugal 

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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WOW Word-Of-the-Week #308: Frugal

June 22, 2010 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #308: Frugal 

WOW Word-Of-the-Week #308

Frugal – practicing economy; living without waste; thrifty.

Jacqueline, Nikki & Sheridan

Jacqueline, Nikki & Sheridan

Do you consider yourself to be frugal? Do you recycle? 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 all the people that know me well know I love a “bargain.”

Last week’s WOW generated lots of feedback about the youngest generation. Jane wrote, “My grand kids are very smart and yes – know about money and its value.”  As a parent and/or a grandparent do you talk about money with them? Do you let them have everything they want? Do you talk about different saving and spending options?

We take our older grand kids shopping for their presents. They know that if they buy items on sale they get more. On one of those shopping trips last year we had Sheridan & Jacqueline, the four year old twin granddaughters. While looking for clothes for Nikki, our eleven year old, the twins spotted dresses they liked. I said, “Let’s go see what’s on sale.” There wasn’t anything we liked so I went back to the dresses they picked out, took them off the rack and said, “We could get you these for Easter.” On the way to the checkout stand Jacqueline said, “We should put these back and wait for them to go on sale.” I was shocked and proud at the same time. (I would have never given up the dress.) And clearly their parents get lots of credit.

As adults we are responsible for teaching them how to save and spend. I did a program for a country club and one of the other speakers was a financial advisor talking about this very subject. This week think about what frugal means to you. How do you feel about recycling? Do you talk to your staff, your kids, and/or your grand kids about the economy?  Do they think you are an ATM machine? Do they appreciate what you do for them?

Reader Responses

“I love a bargain also!!  Years ago we bought a car and  by the time we paid it off, we only paid a total of $200 in interest on the loan – LOVED IT! However more recently I was at an estate sale and offered less for a table (my son is moving off campus, so I didn’t want to spend much on furnishings). The man did take less because I was also buying a chair . . . but then he mentioned that all proceeds were going to the cancer society. Of course now I could not pay less for the table, so I told my brain that I got the table for less and made a donation to the cancer society. So it was still a bargain – Nick got his table and hopefully my ‘donation’ will assist in finding a cure for cancer! I so love your weekly emails and your commitment to helping so many people be better, stronger, smarter, kinder, and more human.Thank you!!” – Mary

Word Of the Week #54: Frugal

April 22, 2009 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #54: Frugal 

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