Why are you frugal?
I have been prompted this week to think about this after reading someone else’s blog post.
According to Wikipedia; Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.
Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities. Frugality may contribute to health by leading people to avoid products that are both expensive and unhealthy when used to excess. Frugal living is mainly practiced by those who aim to cut expenses, have more money, and get the most they possibly can from their money.
Frugality is enforced upon some. I remember being a new mum (no maternity pay as I had worked via an agency at that time) when my husband’s company went bust. Damn, those days were hard. Benefit was £70 per week as far as I can remember. That can certainly focus your mind. We didn’t have to choose between heating and food as the heating didn’t work anyway. We just wore loads of clothes. The gaps in the badly fitted windows were stuffed with old blankets from mum.
A couple of years of that was enough for me. I planned our escape. I decided to be an accountant. I worked through 2 books by Frank Wood. Signed up for AAT and passed, then skipped to CIMA 2. No college or other courses for me, too expensive. I bought the books and studied at home. Every night after the boys were in bed I worked at my desk for 4 hours.
So now the kids are in their early 20’s and we made it. I earn quite well (thank you accountancy for being there for me). Fahed does okay financially despite battling heart problems (heart attack at 37) and years of depression. The road looks easier looking back than it did at the time.
So now I am still frugal because I really know what it is like to have nothing. I might be ‘affluent’ now but only because I have worked my backside off.. I don’t intend to feel that way again so I watch my money, shop sensibly, avoid waste, derive no pleasure from ostentation and occasionally indulge my kids. As Fahed says ‘if not for them, then for who’.
So that's what frugality means to me.