If I’m honest, I don’t really like the words ‘frugal’ or ‘thrifty’ because I think some people (not all) hear those words and make a bit of an instant judgement that someone who’s frugal is a tight penny pincher who hates spending money, doesn’t have nice things or do fun stuff.
Clearly I know that’s not the case and I hope you do too, but there’s lots of people who would disagree.
So, what do the words actually mean?
Reading those definitions it looks to me like being thrifty is all about making the most of what you’ve got and being frugal is about saving money where you can – they’re both pretty similar aren’t they?
It doesn’t say up there that being frugal means you have to have your heating turned off when you’re cold and that you have to sit under 3 quilts with a hot water bottle rather than turning it on. It just means that you should make sure that you’re on the best deal that you can for your gas and electricity and that you don’t use it wastefully. I’m not sat here shivering in the cold because I won’t switch the heating on because I know that by being frugal, I pay as little as possible for my utilities. By being thrifty in other areas, I also have the comfort of knowing that we have extra money available each month if we get a higher than expected bill.
It certainly doesn’t say that you can’t go out for the day and have fun together. But it does mean that you should make sure that you should do a bit of research beforehand to make sure you get the cheapest tickets for wherever you’re going and that you should take a picnic etc to make sure that you don’t spend a fortune while you’re out. Believe me, we’re not sat at home while everyone else is out having fun because by being frugal I know that we’re paying the lowest possible price for what we’re doing. It’s probably the opposite and we more than likely do more than most families because we’re able to budget for fun things.
I haven’t missed out on anything (other than the odd handbag) since we made a concious decision to try and live more frugally and I have a much better quality of life as I can now afford to work part time and we have spare money leftover to do lots of fun things together. I do still have a some debts to pay off and a mortgage that I’d like to be reducing quicker than we are and we could be paying more to them but just at the moment, we’re enjoying lots of family fun while the kids are still young enough to want to spend time with us – it’s all about balance and I feel like we’ve got it right at the moment.
So please don’t judge me for being frugal.
Trust me when I say that Frugal is Fun – there’s nothing boring, penny pinching or tight about my version of frugal living 😉
What do you think?