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Why are you frugal?
Old 04-22-2016, 07:51 AM   #1
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Why are you frugal?

Were you born that way? Did you teach yourself? Did you do it to overcome mistakes or to achieve a goal? Who were your frugal role models?
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:57 AM   #2
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Over the years I've become more frugal from a conservative (small C) point of view. Conserving resources and lowering my impact. If I repair/repurpose/reuse things I not only save money, I avoid sending the item to the landfill. If I cook food from scratch (vs processed/prepackaged) I not only reduce the packaging trash I generate, I also end up with healthier diet. If I mow my own lawn and clean my own house I am getting some exercise as well as saving money.

It's bonus that doing all this saves money... I'm doing it more for conservation of resources.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:01 AM   #3
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Taught myself & born this way I think. Brother and sister grew up in same family, have different spending patterns and attitudes.

For me frugal is about being freedom: Free from things ("you don't own things, things own you") and freedom to allocate my time (resulting from significant savings and thus less need to work).

Why that's important to me is basically because the most common lifestyle patterns fit me poorly while having reasonably high anxiety about financial security. So I have to deviate somewhat from the norm, for optimum happiness (for me) but with a safety net. Luckily, I could build one.

Hope that makes sense.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:03 AM   #4
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I am convinced it is a "born that way" thing. Of course early home life, experiences will enhance or defuse the tendency. In my own case it is a race between my frugality and my sloth. Once I retired sloth is winning. I decided long ago that I would rather work more hours than clean a house, mow grass, do home work. So part of retiring was to not take on stuff that I did not want to do. If I could not afford to hire others to do the maintenance of life then I would keep working. So far, so good.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Markola View Post
Were you born that way? Did you teach yourself? Did you do it to overcome mistakes or to achieve a goal? Who were your frugal role models?
Maybe the better question is why do others spend like a drunken sailor (no offense to drunks)...

I have always been a saver. Mostly only purchased what I need. At some point in life, I came to the mentality that a dollar spent now, meant I would have to work for a dollar longer later in life.

Then, I came to think of purchases in "do I want that widget now, or do I want to work xx weeks longer?"

I am frugal because I am do not want to work forever. The reason why I work so hard now, is not because I am a hard worker, it's because I am lazy... At some point (very soon), I no longer want to work.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:20 AM   #6
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For me, definitely learned. As a child, we had just enough and waste was not tolerated. I also learned not to let people take advantage of me, and overpaying seems to fit in that category, in my mind.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:24 AM   #7
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With me, it seems to be genetic. I don't like waste of any kind.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:28 AM   #8
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Family was dirt broke. Survived on Social Security Widow benefits through childhood. Frugal was the only way to survive. Never want to be broke again so decided to save like crazy. Eventually saw that I could escape corporate slavery if I continued being frugal. Since frugal is all that I have known it is a way of life now.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:29 AM   #9
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I came from a family of 5 kids and my parents were saving to put us through college (which they did). We had a few frills and all the necessities. My maternal grandparents really seemed to bear the scars of the Great Depression (maybe because they also had 5 kids) and were so frugal they were fanatic clean-plate advocates and had the big bellies to show for it. Can't let that last little bit of food go to waste.


I've inherited a far more moderate version but I appreciate all the lessons. I'm almost silly about little things (it drives me crazy if I go over the lowest tier of cell-phone minutes on my Ting plan because then the bill jumps by $6 for the month; I buy mass quantities of bananas reduced for quick sale and freeze them because I love them frozen anyway; movies are from RedBox). That, IMO, allows us to splurge on the things really important to us, like flying Business Class on long-hauls. Not spending mindlessly in every category leaves us money to spend more on the things we love.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:35 AM   #10
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Learned from my father. I watched him pay his bills on time, put money in savings and provide for a family with 5 children on a small salary. He paid his house off in 10 years before people were paying down mortgage debt early. Vacations were always to relatives houses instead of high dollar trips.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:36 AM   #11
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It was "in the blood". As my maternal aunt says... I never knew we were poor until I was an adult... Gram had a 6th grade education and was widowed in her thirties with 4 young mouths to feed but persevered through hard work and extreme frugality... put her son through university and I know gave her kids a six-figure gift in her waning years... she was and still is my hero. Dad's family struggled and Grandpa went bankrupt at least once. We had five kids and one breadwinner and frugality was a way of life, particularly in the early years. Although I like to kid my sisters that the spigot opened up after I left the nest for college.

DWs family was similar... her Dad died when she was 13 and there were 7 kids and money was scarce.

In our case it is just the way we are... I try to avoid crossing the very thin line between frugal and cheap... not always successfully.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:44 AM   #12
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Taught myself. Seen situations where others were not frugal and didn't want to follow in those footsteps.

Now, I have some of those folks every so often expressing "Gosh, wish I could retire!"
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:49 AM   #13
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If I had to be honest, I'd have to say that I'm more frugal than not. My frugality is driven by: i) a desire for financial freedom and the powerful serenity that comes from that; ii) simplicity; and iii) my need to avoid the uncomfortable feeling I get from overspending.

I have mixed emotions about this trait. While internally I view it as a good thing, I'm not wild about expressing it to others.

For those of you who consider yourself to be frugal, are you openly proud of your frugality or do you keep it in the closet?
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:59 AM   #14
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I've never considered myself frugal.

Very little money in early life, so we just didn't spend more than necessary and saved as much as we could. Nobody ever thought we were being frugal, just living rationally.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:04 AM   #15
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Taught myself. Seen situations where others were not frugal and didn't want to follow in those footsteps.

Now, I have some of those folks every so often expressing "Gosh, wish I could retire!"

Pretty much the same for me. I am completely self-taught. My parents both grew up poor and are definitely of the "spend it if you've got it" mindset. My mom put away a small amount when she was young, but once she met my dad all bets were off. Now they are well past a normal retirement age and still working full time and stressing about money full time.

I didn't want that to happen to me.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:09 AM   #16
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I am convinced it is a "born that way" thing. Of course early home life, experiences will enhance or defuse the tendency....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
....

I have always been a saver. Mostly only purchased what I need. At some point in life, I came to the mentality that a dollar spent now, meant I would have to work for a dollar longer later in life.

Then, I came to think of purchases in "do I want that widget now, or do I want to work xx weeks longer?"
....
I used to become physically sick after making a large purchase even when it was something that I considered an investment in future earnings: PC's back when they were expensive, car to get to work and school, etc.
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Why are you frugal?
Old 04-22-2016, 09:11 AM   #17
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Why are you frugal?

I was born a spendthrift, a black sheep from my family. I've learned over the years that everybody in my family was reasonable frugal, except my oldest brother and me. I used to read the Frugal forum for fun. Some of the tips helped. But in the last few years, I'm in the no waste mode. Only buy what I need. Maybe that's frugal enough for retirement.


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Old 04-22-2016, 09:15 AM   #18
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My dad usually made good money but he always spent as much or more than he made (often this was on other people, he was very generous). The spending created great stress for him because he was always behind on his bills, not having enough money, lacked savings, waiting for the next pay check or expense reimbursement, putting $5 gas in the car rather than filling up, etc. I decided I was not going to live with that stress, so I saved aggressively. I have been very lucky to earn a good income, so I don't have to be too frugal in order to save a lot. But the saving always came first.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:15 AM   #19
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Family was dirt broke. Survived on Social Security Widow benefits through childhood. Frugal was the only way to survive. Never want to be broke again so decided to save like crazy. Eventually saw that I could escape corporate slavery if I continued being frugal. Since frugal is all that I have known it is a way of life now.
Similar childhood experience. We weren't dirt poor, but growing up in the 70's with 5 siblings and a blue collar dad made for some pretty embarrassing footwear. Didn't want that for my children, so LBYM, i.e. frugal, has always been my mantra. ER at 49 was the final result.

As a side note, brother is also pretty frugal, but sisters are a little more spendy.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:24 AM   #20
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I would have to say I was born that way. As a kid I would make my Halloween and Easter candy last for months.
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