Frugal repost

My Hawaii vacation is half over. We are having a blast and loving Hawaii. We rented mopeds and went to a luau yesterday. I was hoping to find time to blog yesterday, but we were just having too much fun. Hope you don’t mind my repost of an article called “I’m frugal, I swear!”

Screen shot 2009-12-17 at Dec 17, 2009, 11.14.55 PMI got out of my 2007 Toyota Scion TC, walked in to my apartment, made a call on my iPhone, checked my email on my Macbook, opened up the box to my brand new Digital SLR camera, and then thought to myself “Holy crap, am I a hypocrite?” How can I possibly preach frugality, when I own some rather expensive items? I’m sitting here typing this, on my 22″ external monitor, desperately trying to figure out a way to reconcile my possessions with my frugality.

And then it hit me… it’s because I’m frugal that I can own these nice things! We get caught up in the mentality that, to be truly frugal, one must save every dollar they earn and avoid nice things at all cost. Wait, that’s not what frugality is about, at least for me it’s not. For me, frugality is a commitment to manage money wisely, and have fun doing it.

I can afford to spend more money in some areas because I minimize costs in other areas. I keep a tight budget on expenses that most people (not you) tend to spend more frivolously on. I don’t drink alcohol, so that automatically saves me $20-$200 a month less than most other people my age. I still wear clothes that I’ve had since college. I try to eat out no more than once a week. I don’t go clubbin (Girl Ninja would not approve). And I only shower once a week to save water….just kidding….kind of.

Sure I may own some Apple products, drive a car with less than 30K miles, and have two computer monitors, but the beauty of frugality is that it’s expressed differently for each person. It’s about living within your means, not avoiding luxuries.

Indications you may not be frugal and you are just a straight up reckless spender…

1) You put “dining out” expenses on a growing credit card balance

2) You buy things you don’t want or need, simply because it was on sale.

3) You own multiple DVDs you have never taken out of their wrapping (I know some of you are guilty of this).

4) Your name starts with a “C” and rhymes with bongress.

We all tend to make assumptions about others based off our observations. Heck, I’m guilty of it, but I hope a few nice possessions wont disqualify me from joining Club Frugal. What kind of frugal dude/dudette are you? Are you the I’m-so-cheap-I-won’t-have-any-fun frugal? The I-like-to-monitor-my-spending frugal? Or the I’m-not-really-frugal-but-I-like-to-pretend-that-I-am person?

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  1. “Frugality” was thrust upon me and Hubby in Oct./09 when he lost his job; even though he got a nice buyout package, we did what we could to live off of my salary, and held off touching the buy-out money for as long as we could. Luckily, Hubby managed to find a job in Feb./10, but not before the car needed about $1400 worth of repairs. We had to use some of the buy-out money to cover the repairs, but because we had lived very frugally (yep, even during that Christmas season), we didn’t have to carry that hefty repair bill on the credit card. We’re now in the mindset that anything can happen (ie: losing a job), and do what we need to do to live within our means and build an Emergency Fund, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun every now and then… we just don’t splash out the moneym as foolishly as we did prior to Oct./09.

  2. I’m totally with you, ninja. For me, frugality is just about watching my money, and not spending on things that don’t matter (to me) so I can spend on things that do. So yeah, I may have bought a new iPad 2 when they came out, but I also don’t spent $200 or $300 a month on drinking or going clubbing. It all averages out. I can’t tell you how many friends of mine bemoan that they can’t afford things they want that I have, but go out and spend huge amounts of money on frivolous things they don’t even care about—and they make more money than me, too!

  3. The congress reference is so appropriate right now!

    Right now I really am pretty frugal to the max compared to many of my friends, but I’m going to be blowing it all on an MBA from a top business school. So hopefully I’ll be the one buying some luxuries when I graduate into a well-paying job with no debt 😉

  4. Glad to hear you are having fun in Hawaii! Can’t wait to hear more about it when you return.

  5. I’m jealous, I don’t want to hear one word about Hawaii, damn it! But if you must “brag” about your Hawaiian trip, be sure to include some pictures!

  6. You hit the nail on the head Ninja!

    Living within (or below) your means is what frugality is all about. When you save up for things…and pay cash for them… you enjoy them so much more! So what if it’s extravagant? You didn’t go into debt for it! You don’t have to feel the PAIN of bills and the worry of “can I really afford it??”

    My Orlando vacation was a total blast because it was already pre-paid and saved up for in cash.

    Enjoy yourself!

  7. In the end it doesn’t matter if You’re an apple i-whore or have a giant shoe collection as long as you can afford buying those things, you do it in moderation and last but not least, you USE the items. If you had that fancy computer and never used it, then I’d say you weren’t being frugal. I like to calculate things in a cost/hour basis. My mountain bike cost me $1400, but I’ve put a lot of miles on that bad boy in the last 10 years. I won’t feel bad buying another one at over $1000 either because I know I’ll get my money’s worth.

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