For the last few years I have not had a whole lot of cash to play with. Much of this was due to an overwhelming debt which is now under control via a debt management plan and the fact that I have not been earning a high monthly wage. However during this period I have lived in 3 countries and done many wonderful things, not lavishly but I have done things and I owe all of this to the frugal nature that I have acquired.
I wasn’t always a frugal being. When I was back in London (my home town) earning a high wage I would always blow it on the weekends and expensive items (By the way this is not how I got in debt, read my post Me My Debt And I for info on this). Now days I really have to think before hitting the town or buying the newest iWhatever…. But I would 100% say I am happier now. I live on far less, so I need far less. Needing less to live on greatly reduces general stress and expectation of money. Sure I would like more money but it’s not the most essential thing….. This I guess is why I am and what makes me Frugal.
Over the past few weeks we have had a guest visiting us in Sunny Cairo. My partner has been slaving away at University so the guest and I have been out and about doing touristic things and normal life duties as well. Her spending habits are what I would classify as normal in USA so having a normal spender with me has made me realise a lot of things…
I have become a tightwad!
I stand in the supermarket working out the price per gram of cheese to see which feta is cheaper, I argue with taxi drivers over 5LE ($0.85) and generally just monitor every situation when it involves money leaving my possession.
I asked my guest “I am being tight?” and she replied “No, you are just a very very frugal person!”.
My first reaction was a little negative, I felt attacked but when I sat down to think about it I realised it’s probably a good thing and to coming over as frugal or tight isn’t the end of the world if it helps me in my overall life.
To the normal spending folks us frugal minded types seem a little extreme, I mean who cares about a $0.10 difference in cheese? Is such a decision worth the 45seconds it takes to work out?
In our frugal bubble we all make sense to each other. When Jeff showed us how to practically get free Gillette Fushion Razors that seemed great to me, to others it would just seem a tad extreme. Many of us frugal bloggers talk about how we scrimp and save and we rejoice in the fact that we spend less money even if it does take a lot of our time. Some excellent recent examples from other include the articles How To Become A Coupon King (or Queen), Buying Used Clothing For Kids and Cheap Meals: Dine for Less.
The internet has created many monsters but the strong frugal beast is nothing but good in my mind. I struggle with money at times and work hard to live well on my budget. Without the frugal and personal finance community online I probably would have my frugal ways beaten out of me by the normal folks. In fact I would have probably resorted to getting even more in debt!!!
To others we may seem like odd creatures, obsessively humped over our computers crawling for deals, banging numbers into our calculator and hoarding our wallet like it’s our “Precious” but I am proud of my frugality and I think you should be too…. “I Am Not A Monster” (Now which movie did that come from?).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and if you have had any attacks against your frugality and money saving ways from the “normal” people.