Being frugal takes a bit of an independent streak, a willingness to take the road not travelled by most of the world. Buying the things that we want when we want them at whatever price is available seems to be the thing to do. Oh sure, most of us still look for bargains, but when we really want something, we usually buy it anyway.
It takes the ability to not follow the crowd, when you shop at thrift stores, make your own laundry detergent, cook from scratch and spend the summer hunting down free entertainment.
With the recession, came an increase in frugality. People needed to save money and were anxious to do so, and do it quickly. Extreme couponing became fascinating for many who wanted to “get frugal quick” and get hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for $5 or less. Some families even started creating budgets, which is a wonderful thing that has a much longer-lasting impact on a family’s finances, if it continues as part of running the household.
Others embraced the idea of frugality as a temporary measure. Once things get better, or sometimes even before they do as we have already seen, they are ready to go back to their normal ways of spending. So while saving money was cool for a while, you may soon get some funny looks when you excitedly tell a new acquaintance how your vintage-looking t-shirt actually is vintage, a 50 cent buy from the local thrift store.
Everyone has to find their own level of frugality. So while I may in fact wear that 50-cent t-shirt, others would not, and that is fine. After all, I will not go to the extreme of dumpster diving for food, although many people do so happily and with much success.
The important thing here is to find your level and then be willing to stick to whatever works for you, to tap into your independent spirit and go against the crowds. This way you can reach your own personal goals.
* Image courtesy of Art to Life Photography