When you’re paying off debts or saving up for something, frugality is a necessity (along with a budget). Tied in with that is frugality or, by definition, economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful (dictionary.com) . I’ve been frugal since I was in college and now that I’m paying off my student loans, it’s taken even more importance (because I actually earn money, but have more bills to pay). I’ve always been good with money, I just have student loans because well, that’s another story.
I was browsing forums the other day and stumbled across a trend of frugal things people do that society frowns on. Some things were gross (stealing food from strangers after they finished a meal?) and some were sad (if people have to do these things, you never realize how fortunate you are). Some were by choice. Reading it made me think of the things I won’t do to be frugal and there are a few.
I live in a city that is the second most expensive area in my state to live in. Most places cost $900+ to read (some being just 1 bedroom) and those aren’t always the best places. I got very lucky when I was searching for a place closer to work (I was commuting with a 20 year old car 45 miles both ways) and found my current place. I got it for $800 a month (2BR, 2BA), plus a washer & dryer, an amazing landlord and it’s within ten minutes of where I work. It’s also in a good area of town, which can be tricky to find. Some might argue it’s expensive, but for this area and what I get, it’s worth every penny.
Not having a roommate
I’m an introvert and I need my space, sometimes more than most. My best friend and I were roommates the last two years of college and it was awesome. The roommate before and one of the girls I lived with afterwards were complete nightmares though. It does save money to split the cost, but I’d fine with spending the extra $400 a month to have a place completely to myself.
Buying organic/natural foods
One thing I won’t skip out on is eating healthy. This doesn’t mean I’m doing all my shopping at the local farmers market or Whole Foods, but I do go as organic and healthy as I can. I’m a vegetarian too and I make all my meals from scratch, plus I do all my baking from scratch. If I’m faced with buying generic flour from $2.50 or organic for $5, I’m going with organic (the actual organic, not the mislabeled) everytime. Same way from produce (unless it’s inside the skin, like bananas).
Having a new car
Older readers might remember my complaints about my old car. It was 21 years old and I ran it until the transmission went out. Not wanting to deal with that again, I made the decision to buy a new car. I do not for a second regret the decision. It gets good gas mileage, I can travel safely and I don’t have to worry about it breaking down once a month (which was true for the entire last year I had it).
A popular trend to save money for some is to not have internet. With work (online and my fulltime job) I need internet and a reliable one at that. While I don’t like Comcast, they do have a monopoly in my area, so I am forced to pay their fees for a necessity. Maybe someday I’ll live in area with something other than Comcast.
Miss spending time with loved ones
If a friend is in need and needs help, I’m there. If a friend wants to see a movie, I’m there. Of course the fun things are within reason, but I’ve had friends who really need help in a tight spot and I help them out as best I can. Loved ones mean far more than a dollar to me and I’m not going to be frugal over that. If a friend needs gas, I’ll give them the $10, for instance. $15 in gas to see a friend, $10 to make a friends day or money to help a family member is worth far more than my frugal code.
What are things you won’t be frugal on?