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Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

Last post 10-25-2009 3:03 PM by Juneflower. 78 replies.
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  • 02-29-2008 8:37 AM

    Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this from family or friends.

    When even mentioning the term FRUGAL I get snickers from some folks. How did the term frugal ever become a bad thing? I thought it used to be a virtue. Now it seems associated with being a Scrooge or poverty stricken. I remember my mom saying once, "well some people just don't care what they appear to others" referring to me when I discovered thrift store shopping. Well I guess i don't care. But she meant instead that i would look like a street creature if I wore used clothing....it really disgusted her. I got the same thing recently from my sister when I mentioned the term frugal. What is wrong with these people?

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • 02-29-2008 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    Personally, I have not been ridiculed.  But my Darling brother tkaes PB&J sandwiches for lunch daily.  His co-workees laugh at him, but he is sockign dollars away for his retirement ....   Yours in Him, Deb

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Government & Charity Assistance

    Proud guardian of Heart, a black female Miniature Poodle, a Psychiatric Service Dog

    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name. (Psalm 100)

    Yours in thrift, Deborah



  • 02-29-2008 9:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    Yes on snickers or snide remarks, and it used to bother me when I was younger.  But even though some laugh, they will also conceed being frugal is smart (which it is!)...

    To me it seems to come from insecurity.  People feel a need to surround themselves with things like expensive huge houses, cars, clothes, etc. etc. to impress people.  Things they can't afford.  I mentioned in another thread, some want to live for now and have fun, and that means spending on themselves.

    Now that I'm older, I don't care if people snicker.  I'll even admit I'm cheap or frugal!  We save in order to make a more comfortable life for ourselves, and when we need something, have an emergency, or want to splurge, the money is there.  With the way things are going - rising utility costs, gasoline, groceries... people need to realize saving, shopping smart, doing more with less, is important.  Concerning clothing, I buy new and used, just depends.  I go to Goodwill and see almost new stuff there all the time.  People do turn in clothes that don't fit, were unwanted gifts, etc.  Why is there that assumption that buying used means buying old, soiled, ripped up stuff?  If a used clothing item (or any item for that matter) looks bad, I pass it up.

  • 02-29-2008 9:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    I've never really been ridiculed (luckily). But I do get a lot of "huh?" comments (MOSTLY FROM MY HUSBAND) and stares when I talk about things like coupon clipping, stocking up, bulk cooking and freezing, wanting to live "off-grid", etc. We aren't dirt poor but we aren't rich either. I guess we're middle class. So, we go through periods where I am being frugal because I HAVE to be and other times it's just because I WANT to be. That's the part that my husband and others have trouble understanding. He thinks that when we have a little extra cash (which usually isn't much), that I shouldn't stress about coupons, shopping sales, stocking up, etc. But I try to remind him of our looming credit card debt (that needs to be paid off) and also remind him that being frugal all the time will pay off both in the short and long run.

    I have to say, though, that my interest in living "off grid" one day, growing my own food (I have just a modest "kitchen" garden now), etc. is what really baffles people, my husband especially. They think it's such a strange idea and they dont see how it's even do-able.

    You would think that the sky-rocketing price of gas and food would make people re-think they way they live: stop living in debt, start living within their means/budget, at least THINK about growing food for themselves, etc. But no. I think that they are purposefully acting like all this will fix itself soon enough.

  • 02-29-2008 10:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    juju_mommy:

    You would think that the sky-rocketing price of gas and food would make people re-think they way they live: stop living in debt, start living within their means/budget, at least THINK about growing food for themselves, etc. But no. I think that they are purposefully acting like all this will fix itself soon enough.

    You would think so!  : )   You would think price gouging would also inspire people to start living differently.  Two years ago, we found out we were badly being gouged by our propane company.  My husband bitched them out so bad, they ended up giving us a $200 credit.  After we used the credited gas, we switched to a different propane company.  Being at the mercy of gas & oil companies, utility companies, sometimes makes me feel helpless and mad because they can hike prices, and you have no choice but to pay.  Like you, juju, I am greatly interested in living off the grid.  I have a passion for it, and that's one of our goals for the future - save as much as possible, semi-retire, move to New Mexico and go off the grid!!

    People think that's crazy too, but only because they don't understand it or are unwilling to look at more self-sufficient / alternative ways of living.

  • 02-29-2008 11:15 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    CharlieB:

    Like you, juju, I am greatly interested in living off the grid.  I have a passion for it, and that's one of our goals for the future.

    I feel the same way! But my biggest obstacle is that my husband would never go for it! Haha. I mean, perhaps if we won the lottery he wouldn't mind the solar panels and such. But that's probably the extent of his willingness to go off-grid. My husband likes his TV, has a muscle car (talk about bad for the environment), and though he eats some things from the garden I don't think he could be totally self-sufficient. But, I can still dream. And I can still take baby steps and drag him along the way! Haha.

    God bless,

    Julie

  • 02-29-2008 11:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    Yes, both my mom & my sister have made fun of me for buying groceries at Aldi and/or Save A Lot, and also for taking the time to plant, grow, harvest, and preserve things from our garden. My mom doesn't believe it's truly cost effective to can veggies in this day and age, and perhaps in some instances she's right. However, on days like today, I love being able to pull a quart jar of stewed tomatoes that I grew, and that I canned myself....it's not always just about saving money. It's about doing more with what you have, and honestly, nothing tastes better to me, than my own home canned green bean and/or tomatoes. My mom, at first, didn't like the idea of me shopping at Goodwill for clothes for the kids, but when she saw the lined windbreaker (LLBean) that I bought for my son, for all of $2.50, she changed her mind!! I wish my sister would shop there more for her 2 boys! I think she'd be amazed by how much she could get for little money.

    I turned our heat down to 65* during the day, because propane has really gone up just since November!! My mom thinks we're nuts...it's too cold, blah, blah, blah. On really windy days, and days when the temps go below 20*F, I'll kick it up as high as 67*, but never above that. My sister is finally learning to be more frugal, but only because she HAS to....they're behind on all of their bills. I'm afraid that once they get back on their feet, she'll go right back to spending like crazy! Oh well.....you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

    ~*~Angie~*~

  • 02-29-2008 11:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    Yes here too I've just gotten so I look them in the eye and come back with something dh's cousin told me

    "Thrift is a sign of intelligence; any fool can spend money!"

    then smile and walk away while they try to figure out what I meant. Angel

     

    The sadly comical thing is that they don't think twice about making cracks at how I save money but when they're in a fincial bind I'm the one they come to for advice on how to make ends meet.Sad

    thrift is a sign of intelligence, any fool can spend money


    A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17 verse 22
  • 02-29-2008 1:41 PM In reply to

    • sab
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-23-2007
    • Sacramento, CA
    • Posts 80

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    My coworkers get funny looks on their faces sometimes when I talk about coupon clipping or whatnot.  It doesn't bother me much, though, because I know what my priorities are.

    Sometimes I think the word "frugal" is the source of the weirdness, which doesn't make any sense, but I do notice I get much less reaction when I just say things like, "Oh, I'm just conservative about how I spend" vs "I like to be frugal."

    But a lot of people these days don't know or appreciate much of anything that requires effort, I think.  Even some people dismiss crafting even if you don't say it's for frugal reasons.  Their reasoning is that you can buy it much cheaper or that it's just easier to buy.  Sometimes that's just not the point.  I'd like to make my own wedding dress when I get married, not only because it'll be cheaper, but because it'll be nice to look at the photos and think, "I MADE that."

  • 02-29-2008 2:24 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-17-2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,399

    Re: Have you ever been ridiculed for being frugal?

    Oh, yes many's the time I've been ridiculed for frugality. I drove a 1970 neon-green Plymouth Duster from 1973 to 1985. Six-cylinder engine, the only options on it were that it had the larger size six-cylinder and an AM radio. Guys at work called it the "green lunger" because the color was the same (they said) as a "lunger" that some old drunk would cough up. Okay, they weren't real big on sensitivity But it was the best kind of car. Paid for.

    I brown-bagged lunch for decades because it was cheaper and easier because I couldn't always find time to eat at work, but lunch was right there in the car with me with a bottle of tap water.

    When I bought a house after the divorce the living room and all but one bedroom stayed devoid of furniture until I got married four years later. She's the one who wanted furniture. Fancy that! For a bachelor, all I needed was one bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and workshop. The rest of the house was wasted space and I just ignored it, focusing on fun stuff that I could afford. Furniture was not a priority. I remember joking with a friend that I'd bought a drill press and an air compressor on sale three months before the wedding because afterward I knew she'd want furniture, not the important things in life.

    The room I slept in had dark paneling and I had room-darkening shades taped to the sides of the windows so no light would get in. (I worked shift work and slept during the day when working midnight shifts). She said it "looks like a cave in there." "Yeah, isn't it great!" All I got was an eye roll and a sigh.

    My sisters were happy to see me get married because they thought maybe someone would talk some sense into me. But DW is sometimes worse than me....

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
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