Thursday, October 24, 2019

A New Era of Frugality

Have you always been frugal?  Did something happen to get you started on the frugal pathway?  Did you learn this way of life from your parents?

We all know that things happen in life to make us need to watch our funds.   Things happen in society to scare the beejeebies out of us.  Stuff happens in life.
I know my parents and grandparents went through the great depression and they HAD to be as frugal as possible.
Regardless of the depression - Momma and Daddy needed to be frugal and wise with everything.  They had little money and many children to take care of.  Neither came from money, so there wasn't a base to fall back on - they had to do the best they could with what they had.

Many people are getting "into" being frugal again and trying to live a more simplistic life.  It is becoming the THING to do.  That is good, but some of us have spent our lives being this way.  I know it wasn't always fun - but then it just became a way of life and made so much sense.  Being a GOOD STEWARD of what you have should never go out of style or be a trend.  It should be a way of life.
Life changes and we must adapt or we get left behind.  
Challenges will come and we may fail - that is natural.  Failure is just an opportunity to grow and learn.  So many people just give up too soon, because that is easy.  You have to commit to living the best possible life you can with what you have - even if it isn't a much.
ATTITUDE will determine success or failure.  

A big thing to remember is DON'T PANIC!  Panic can send you into a tailspin that takes ages to come out of. Remember those people back in the depression (or the 80's) who went ballistic when the stock market fell?  Had they kept calm and steady - things would have leveled out.  Life has a way of recovering for you if you just stay calm and give it a chance.  "Slow and steady wins the race" is  absolutely true.

I think that being creative with finances and things is what makes this whole frugal journey fun.  I like seeing what I can do with what I have.  I like seeing how far I can stretch my funds.  I like that feeling of "hey, I did it".
Now don't think for a moment that I condone being CHEAP.  That is a whole other thing than frugal.  I would never cheat, steal or harm another - I would never resort to doing gross/nasty things to save money.  However, I DO believe in being resourceful and responsible.

I had a younger family member say something the other day, that seems so fitting in this regard.
She was talking about how life is basically like the colors of fall.  All the colors are mixed together and often even distorted - but if you keep your eye on your goal or prize you can single in on one color or the greener grass that is still there.
That seems so fitting.
My advice is keep your family and friends close, be mindful of your money and things, be a good steward of all that is put in front of you on this earth and look towards the spiritual.  Whether your spiritual side comes from nature or from a higher power - look to the greater good.
We are part of a huge system and we are but a speck of sand on a beach.
SO the next time you get your panties in a fluff thinking the world is conspiring to "get you", just remember there are so many things out there that we can't understand or control.

You can't always choose what happens around you - BUT you CAN choose how you respond to it!
Choose to be happy with what you have.
Give up the pity party to get back the power.

Live the best life you can and TEACH others how it's done!  That is CHOOSING a good life.
THAT is the new Era of Frugality.


  1. What a great post. I think I have always been frugal but I have also been very bad with my money. Growing up in an unstable financial environment, taught me frugal ways, but I also rebelled against them and over spent. I just wanted what everyone else had. I didn't want my children to go without. The 80's almost killed me and my marriage. The years of unemployment (hubs) and the high interest and gas prices were very hard. I think I have some PTSD issues when it comes to money. I realize almost all of the problems were brought on by myself, but crap life can be hard. It is all a matter of choice. How badly do you want something? DO you want to be in debt? Or do you want to be free?

    1. Preach it girl! In the 70's I had my moments too. My ex came from a family that liked to portray wealth (although they had none). As well as I knew better, I fell in that trap too.
      Thank goodness I found my Glen and we got our lives together and worked hard to have something.
      It happens to us all - but you are right - we choose what we want and how to live.
      You got it right and chose debt free - so you learned on your journey. Learning it key.
      You should be proud of what you have done.

  2. I like that...Choosing a good life!
    I think that I have always been frugal since my mom and dad raised me that way. Dh was raised by parents who bought what they wanted as long as they could put it on a credit card. Mil was in terrible financial shape when fil died, and I don't even want to think of how much she has mortgaged her house.
    Anyway I think I was a good influence on dh. We did Dave Ramsey's financial peace university, and paid off our mortgage early, and we are debt free. Paying cash for son's college now. Putting money into retirement. We have been through several layoffs in the past, and I want to keep our emergency fund healthy. Seems like something always comes up. We had to buy a new dryer this week, and take a kitty to the I don't want to ease up too much on the frugal living.

    1. You are living the good life. I am so glad you rubbed off on your hubby OR maybe he just saw and realized how fake his parents financial decisions were.
      There will always be things that come up - ALWAYS. But it wonderful to have the funds to cover those things instead of going further into debt.
      Keep on living in financial peace!!!!

      PS - hope kitty is OK.

  3. I was one of 6 children and although my dad worked hard, it was in low paid jobs so there was never much money. Mum taught us priorities. First you paid the rent to keep a roof over your head. Through life I have had spells when I have had to be frugal for various reasons but I always thought of it as a challenge and enjoyed it.Then it becomes a habit and it keeps going. Then there is money for what is important.

    1. You got that right. Same here - Daddy always worked one or two jobs - but nothing paid a lot back in the 50's /60's. Mom stayed home and did everything else.
      It does become habit and I find it fun now.
      Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Cheryl, I agree. We need to be good managers of the resources that God gives us. Nancy

    1. Nancy we sure do. We need to do better with EVERYTHING!

  5. Hi Cheryl and gang, I need some advice. My niece and her family are back living with my sister with 4 kids. They make $7000 a month and are always broke ! She has asked me to help her figure her situation out...the first thing I told her was that we can't do anything with your finances until your husband is on board with what ever plan we come up with to get them out of debt and their finances under control. My question is do we approach him without starting a family feud?? Thank you in advance for your insights...Love Gaila

    1. Gaila, try the book "Your Money or Your Life". Ask him to read it with an open mind.

      Dave Ramsey does "Financial Peace University". It is available online for $130.

      Really, it is up to his wife to get him to go on the journey of managing money. And honestly, it is up to your sister to not allow them to live with her for long.

      Best of luck!

  6. WOW Gaila - $7,000 and broke??? That is amazing.
    I sure can understand your cautiousness. That is a tough situation.

    I guess make sure she has talked to him and explained that she has asked for help.
    Moving back with Mom ought to say something to him. You would think that would humiliate him a bit.
    I would start basic - listing every single debt and expense they have on one side and income another. Add them up to show expenses so much more than income.
    Start giving options of what to get rid of - then what to start paying more on. Suggest getting rid of credit cards (or give to someone they trust) and to STOP ALL extra spending. (No new stuff, no lunches out, no fun nights, no sports events, no gifts, etc.)

    If they are not paying to live with Mom, that should free up funds - to start paying off bigger and higher interest debt.

    I sure hope he is in board with this. I have had this conversation before with different relatives and with some it worked and others it did for a while - then they went right back to old ways. All you can do at that point is throw your hands up and pray for them to see the light.

    Maybe some of our other readers can offer suggestions as well. GOOD LUCK to you all!!!!!!

    1. Getting rid of credit cards is BAD for them. They need to stop using but pay them off. Getting rid of them will make their credit score drop and they will need a good score if the future holds home purchase.

    2. I agree - I meant give them to someone to hold onto for them. Credit to debt ratio is very important. Stop using them.
      Thanks for clarifying.

  7. I was blessed at a young age to have a good sense about money. I actually enjoyed frugality since I was a teenager. I probably was one of the few teenagers who had a subscription to Tighwad Gazette. Frugality is the coolest thing ever.

    After I was raped- frugality, that was a teenager hobby, became a lifestyle and a survival skill. I had to rebuild everything in my life from scratch. Young girl who is supposed to start her life. has to think and survive like one in her prime. I look back at that girl now I am in my prime & I love her. Hopefully, a young girl reading this who is going through the same situation can take hope and comfort. I read a lot of frugality blogs but I never see us survival girls. :) Frugality helped me flourish in a time when the odds were against me.

    I know this might seem silly to a lot of frugalites but it was profound to me. One of my friends since high school told me "I always have the most beautiful purses since high school." That her and my other girls spent thousands of dollars over the years on purses to find the one perfect couture purse. Now they all have ugly so not couture persons, lol. I have twenty couture purses to their one. Which is sadly a bit true. I love purses. :) This was her words she said she had earned the skills to throw down a credit card to buy couture. I learned the skills to create the couture. She spent $600, I turn around and sell purses for $600. Yes, I have done that. She said watching me over the years was like magic. Instead of watching she should have learned. It was really sweet. Side note- I seriously doubt she wants to make couture purses. She is a successful career girl, lol. I understood what she was trying to convey.

    I think the biggest takeaway about frugality is that it has to be a love. You have to love doing it. If you don't you will fail. Some frugality skills are just out of reach due to health reasons, personality, etc... Yes, so many have to adopt frugality out of necessity. I think so many believe it has to be rigid survival thing with no happiness. I started my frugality flourish as a young girl who had been severely injured from her rape. Cooking dinner was hard so I couldn't do these traditional frugal meals from scratch. I lived in a tiny studio apartment so I couldn't really garden. My landlord let me help with his garden though. He actually started that because he was worried I was too scared to leave the apartment. I was a young girl I wanted pretty purses and cute clothes. An ugly purse from the thrift store and a needle became my frugality simplicity and love. I am probably one of the few readers here that don't practice traditional frugality. I love the things I do. That is the secret to frugality success. Hope my book inspires somebody. :)

    1. Your testimony is amazing. Thank you for sharing.
      I do believe we each have our very own and personal to us reason for being the frugal queens we are today!
      No two people start frugal living for the same reason. We are individuals as are our lives.

      I think you can learn to love it. Sometimes things happens that can force a person to make changes - then it becomes easier and it becomes joy!
      I find JOY in my frugalness.
      Thanks again.

  8. Pretty much always been frugal, but now that we are retired I am getting Hubby on board. In this day and age living a frugal sustainable life is just the smart thing to do and be.

    God bless.

    1. Yep. It IS the smart think to do. Prices go up - most incomes do not (especially if retired) and finding a way to bridge all of that is smart and essential.

  9. This week I had a friend give us some apples, but I already had some in our fridge. So I made baked apples to go with dinner last night. I'm not going to let them go to waste. We love baked apples and even dried apples. Being frugal has always been a way of life for me since I was first married. My Mother was frugal as I was growing up and so were my grandparents and now my daughter is frugal as well. SHe doesn't waste money and is very careful with what comes her way.

    1. I wish I was at your house. I love baked apples and fried apples. Yum
      I love that your daughter is following the foot steps of many generations. That is fantastic. You just have to love it when it all comes together!

  10. I was raised poor and didn't know it. Mom always had clothes on our backs (homemade until we grew out of kid size) and there was always food on the table and cookies in the cookie bin.

    When I started making money at age 15, I started spending. Fast forward to married at age 19. Got our $ advice from the in-laws who looked like they were living the good life. We bought on credit, cars, house meals, stuff. Forward to the tax law changes of 1986 and we were nearly bankrupted. We couldn't afford all that debt incurred when our tax rate took a major leap upwards. Well, I was too stubborn to file bankruptcy as many around me were doing. So we stayed home for 5 solid years. No meals out. No vacations-camping only in our $100 tent trailer pulled by our not-paid-for-must-have little pickup. In 5 years we paid off all that consumer debt. Down to just our mortgage. We invested in 2 responsible vehicles and yes, we financed them but we could afford the low rates we got.

    In 1999, I heard about the book "Your Money or Your Life". I read it. I asked hubby to take the journey with me. I did all the exercises and we discussed. (he really hates to read).

    Advance to age 49. Debt free. We own 2 small homes (1 in the mountains where we love to downhill ski). These are forever. The mountain place was a piece of crap with a sound foundation. We've done all the interior work ourselves and 16y later we are nearly done with the last room rehab. We've worked on it as we've accumulated cash to buy the supplies.

    In the early 90s our primary goal was maximized retirement contributions. This allowed me to retire a few months ago at age 58. I take an allowance from savings that is just 10% of what I earned. And we don't spend it every month. So we're going to be just fine.

    I think once one gets comfortable with frugality, it becomes a game......a friend once said "now that I can afford broccoli, I'd rather grow it". There is so much truth to that!

    I am Blessed and I know it. We've worked hard, I had a wonderful and rewarding career, and we don't take it our life for granted... not for a minute.

  11. Love your testimony!!!! My goodness your early years and mine seem to be mirror imagines.
    I also had a good life at home even thought we had little money. Started working at 15 as well. My ex's family were spenders - thus we followed suit.

    I got away from that situation (he continued the path) and found my love and we worked hard.

    I love when you gals give your testimonials. It reaffirms everything. I don't want to be preachy or "do what I say" - so it is wonderful when you all share your stories too.
    Thank you!

  12. I think I was born to be frugal. My grandmother was, my mother was, and it is just ingrained in me. My father died when my mother was only 42 and she was left with 3 small children, no life insurance and $10,000 in debt in 1960.(No telling how much that is in today's funds.) She worked 3 jobs, raised us well, paid off all debt. She was elegant, beautiful, walked with her head tall and she once told me"We may not have money, but we are not poor." I am married to a very successful attorney who has not often understood my frugal ways but now in retirement appreciates my endeavors to cut every cost possible while still enjoying the special opportunities that may come our way. I love saving more than I love spending unless it is for a really special goal or life experience.

    1. Love your story. I love, love, love the phrase "We may not have money, but we are not poor". That is a great attitude and outlook. This is one so many people should strive for.
      She was quite the woman, wasn't she?

      I think sometimes it takes our partners time to understand our ways. Like your mother - never apologize for what you do, and always be proud.
      Thank you

  13. I was raised mean , well my mother was just plain mean , there was no pleasure or joy in our lives as a kid . She scrimped and saved everything holes in your shoes heres a bit of carpet the thing is we wernt well off but we really wernt poor , she now in her 80s sits on a huge pile of money that will pay for her gold plated coffin , has it bought her happiness? not in the least shes still the same mean spirited cow shes always been.
    My miserable childhood meant that when i had kids i was the most laid back parent on the planet , fun was to be encouraged . The kids had huge dressing up boxes that cost pennies , pets, days at the beach etc etc . We never had much money but we had fun somehow . Now theyve grown and left we manage , partner became disabled so now we have endless years of real poverty to look forward to , its no joke but we still try to have a laugh. anything is better than the endless accumulation of money shrouds dont come with pockets as my granny used to say

    1. Kate I know people like that too. What good is it going to do anyone? It sure is sad (for them). They have missed out on so much, just simple happiness and simple joy.

      Maybe you went through that so you could be so different. It sounds like you children will have wonderful memories to remember and share.

      You know, I sometimes think we will all be taken care of regardless. If we have money - we pay for the care. If we don't, then Medicaid will pay for care. One way or another we will be taken care of.

      I think you were wise to have fun. Hopefully your kids will be there to help a bit in the future.

      I am sorry your childhood was that way. God bless you.