Welcome to Dollar Stretcher Community Sign in | Join | Help
in Search

Defining Frugal

Last post Wed, Feb 13 2013 7:24 AM by Brandy. 24 replies.
Page 1 of 3 (25 items) 1 2 3 Next >
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  • Wed, Jan 19 2011 2:10 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Defining Frugal

    A reader has written in with this...

    "Lately everywhere I turn people are talking about being frugal. I've always been careful about spending money. Does that make me frugal? Or do I have to start reusing paper towels and only shop at thrift stores to qualify? Can you be frugal and still enjoy a Starbucks coffee or a night on the town? What exactly defines someone as being frugal?"

     This is a good question...what is frugal? Can you spend money on things and still be considered careful. Everyone draws the lines in different places but is there a place they should be?

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, Jan 19 2011 2:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

     Ask 10 different people and you are going to get 10 different boundaries for frugal.

    In general, it is being wise with your money.  You don't step on others in being frugal and you don't inflict "pain" or deprivation upon yourself.  

    If you can go to Starbucks and not get your lights cut off or your kids miss a meal, then IMO yes you can still be considered frugal.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • Wed, Jan 19 2011 3:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

    This is a good question, one with lots of possible answers. A friend and I discussed this (friendly) a few weeks ago. I look forward to seeing more definitions.

    IMHO, frugal is more than just living within your means or even below your means. It is reducing, reusing and recycling to achieve living below one's means in a way that improves one's life and world.

    I also agree that frugality does not harm others and does not harm yourself.

    When people start to include values and morals into the definition, it becomes more subjective. What is frugal for me may not be frugal for you, etc. But that is ok!

    Erika
  • Wed, Jan 19 2011 3:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

     Brandy, I think different people see frugal in different ways. My opion on being frugal is all bills paid on time,watching the money close but not to the point where it makes your life miserable,ocassionaly going out to dinner an occasional outfit not purchased at the thrift store even though I love thrift store shipping, going to Starbucks every now and then the Starbucks the closest to me is inside a Target so I have to control myself.We haven't been out on the town in so long I can't remember. I have also have always been careful about spending money but since I have absolutely no help in that area sometimes I feel just taking the money and doing whatever I wish but have more sense than that.

  • Wed, Jan 19 2011 9:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

     Nice question.  As the others have said, each person has their own definition.

    For me it goes along with my general life goals of doing more good than harm and to live in a conscious manner.

    So, I'm a reduce/reuse/recycle type which is generally frugal/thrifty, but I spend more to get organic food in order to avoid the "harm" of creating more garbage or spreading more used plastic around.  And "harm" is only in my eyes.  I don't expect others to have the same view or do the same thing.

     I also make conscious decisions about spending. If I go out to eat, it's a conscious choice now, not a blind stop at a drive thru like it used to be (moving to a town with no drive-thru makes this a super easy choice now).   I spend quite a bit on travel compared to my friends and colleagues, but I get more for my travel dollar than my wealthy relatives do and I travel with the intention of getting to know folks in the region and while trying to generate the least impact on the planet (or the least impact while still finding some joy in life!).  

  • Wed, Jan 19 2011 10:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

    Brandy  maybe I might got this wrong or a miss understanding thing going called a brain fart or a senior moment your still a youngster so I finally can say this about some of you....:)-

    Ok to define frugal frugal is just watching and being carful about the money doesn't mean once in awhile you can have a so called strbuck thing now if you went past the bestro to go do it then I can say you are not but you are you watch the penny can't denie a coffee once in awhile.

    There is serval forms there is skinflint,cheapskate,tightwade,cheap buzzard my friend is that i have know him since I was 14 he was cheap bussard then he is now he is 70 no wonder his girl friend left him,tightass and frugal micster and last a no excuse for a bugeter thats all I can think of I am just a little tight seatutle,debra and I have to be we don't get top wage so w watch and tighten the strings a bit I know there is other people like us out there.

  • Fri, Jan 21 2011 9:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

     I think of frugal being provident, not spending more than necessary, more than is reasonable and that which fits our needs. Not living by the dictates of the media or fashion or the people next door. Not spending on things for status, rather, for dependability, durability, serviceability.

    Doesn't mean tight-fisted. Treats are necessary to keep us frugal, I think, and to keep us from feeling deprived. A treat may be an ice cream cone, a special piece of clothing.  Not a mink stole, but not a hair shirt, either.

    Even if I had money, I wouldn't be comfortable not being frugal. It seems wasteful not to be.

  • Sat, Jan 22 2011 12:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

    seaturtle:
    I think of frugal being provident, not spending more than necessary, more than is reasonable and that which fits our needs. Not living by the dictates of the media or fashion or the people next door. Not spending on things for status, rather, for dependability, durability, serviceability.
     

    seaturtle:
    Even if I had money, I wouldn't be comfortable not being frugal. It seems wasteful not to be.

    I think my definition is very similar to yours, seaturtle. 

    I would also include being frugal in my charities, trying to be sure that the money I donate is being used for actual charity needs, not administrative needs.

  • Sat, Jan 22 2011 5:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Defining Frugal

    I've got a very basic definition of frugal.  I spend where it matters, and save where it doesn't, and never in a manner that I feel would be ethically questionable.

    This applies in several ways for me.  I spend more on experiences, and try to minimize my basic cost of living.  For instance, I buy the cheapest brand or version that will fit my needs at the grocery store, but I don't let price dictate that I buy something unhealthy because it is cheaper.  When buying an appliance, I'll pay more to get one that is the best fit for our needs, which includes quality.  It's no savings to pay twice for something cheaper when a slightly larger intitial purchase will the need to repurchase.

    Kris in VA
  • Sat, Jan 22 2011 10:27 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Defining Frugal

     Frugal is to be a wise manager of the resources available to one.  It means to make wise financial choices, not the alwyas the least expensive choices.  It means financial security, as wise choices will also lead to future planning aka savings.  It means to look at the "big picture" and not just the moment. It means to not be wasteful of the resources I have. 

    To me, being frugal is a philosphy of life.  

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

Page 1 of 3 (25 items) 1 2 3 Next >
About Us    Privacy Policy    Writers' Guidelines     Sponsorship     Media    Contact Us



Powered by Community Server (Commercial Edition), by Telligent Systems