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Are You Uncomfortable Being Frugal?

frugalWhenever a lot of money is being spent, I tend to be uncomfortable, even if I am not the one doing the spending. Just hearing about lavish consumption kind of creeps me out. I keep wondering about the mortgage on the friend of a friend’s McMansion or how I could apply the cost of someone’s lavish vacation to building up our retirement fund.

I don’t know how to react when friends give their toddlers spa days or I am invited to jewelry parties, or when the suggested contribution to the teacher’s or pastor’s gift is three figures (nothing against our teachers or pastors, of course). I usually mutter a surprised “wow,” when someone gushes that they saved $25 on a $300 pair of shoes or talks about the hot new restaurant with the five dollar signs next to its review. I feel like I am in a different world sometimes.

It is not that I begrudge others these excitements, just that I have a hard time appreciating them, I suppose. I view it more as excess than as tools of fostering happiness.

Out for lunch the other day, I balked at the thin turkey sandwich that cost six times more than it would have prepared at home. I was uncomfortable ordering it.

It is important, of course, when I find myself in these situations not to make others uncomfortable, too. And while my suggestion that someone could save money by buying their children’s clothing at yard sales may come from a place of helpfulness, it might not always be viewed that way. The person who just spend $400 on their child’s soccer camp may not want to hear about free sports at the Y. When someone admires our vintage coffee table, I don’t have to mention that we found it on the curb…unless they ask.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com