Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Perfectly Practical #95 - Thrifty Is NOT the Same As Settling for Less

One of the biggest hurdles people face on their frugal journey is the mindset that thrift is for poor people or that if you are thrifty, you must settle for less.   I know.  I've been there. 

Need I remind you of the champagne purse on a beer budget?  Or the designer bag for $2?  Or the thousands of dollars of clothes I have picked up for pennies on the dollar?  You get the point.

I like nice things but I don't like paying exorbitant prices so what do I do?

First, I determine what my priorities are.  It is important to me that we eat as seasonally and locally and organically as possible most of the time so when we eat at Whataburger, there's no guilt.  But belonging to the CSA is not particularly cheap.  In fact, it swallows up around 30% of my total grocery budget but that's where I have chosen to splurge.  Only you can know where your priorities are and they will be different for different people because we are all in different circumstances. 

Then comes the hard part, saving.  Saving up for something you want is a double whammy, not only are you not spending what you want, but you are also waiting what seems like an eternity before you reach your goal.

Next, I research.  I can go to my favorite hotel in Dallas and spend a lovely weekend away without crumpling with guilt over how much I paid for a 2 night stay.  Why?  Because I look for deals online, take their newsletter, and try to take advantage of any discounts there may be available. 

And then I wait. Just because I may want something right now, does not mean it's the best time to get it.  I may be waiting until I have saved enough to get what I want or until it goes on sale.  Patience is a virtue and an important part of being frugal.  Who knows, while I am waiting, something better may come along.

Yes, you can still have nice things and you don't have to settle for lesser quality, just prioritize, save, research, and wait for it.


This is the fourth in a series on frugality: 
Part 1:  So You Want to be Frugal? 
Part 2:  Frugal vs. Cheap 
Part 3:  Simple Does NOT Necessarily Mean Easy

This is part of We Are That Family's Works For Me Wednesday

6 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree! It's hard to wait, but SO worth it.

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    1. It is more than worth it since you aren't paying interest on an item if you have saved up for it. :)

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  2. I have a warped sense of what frugality and thrift means. I started out on the wrong path, but at some point I let it define who I was.

    One of the most important things I used to say was "we choose NOT to spend our money that way."

    Today I'm having the problem of saying "I am CHOOSING to spend my money that way."

    It took a lot for me to get over my pride and raise our food budget. We are soooooo much healthier now than we ever have been, but it was that whole warped vision I had of frugality/thrift.

    Thanks for sharing ~ love your post! It helped me put things back into perspective.

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    1. You know Ms. Johnlyn, you have brought up a very good point. We can get so wrapped in in what we CAN'T have or do or spend that we forget what we CAN have or do or spend. That's the beauty of budgeting, you are in control. You tell your money where to go instead of the other way around.

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