What do you think when someone mentions the word “frugality”? In the past, I would think of frugal actions. Re-using plastic bags. Eating lots of leftovers. Shopping at thrift stores. Things like that.
Frugality isn’t just about action, though. It’s a mindset. Being a frugal person means being a person who thinks outside the box. Instead of running to the store to buy something when there’s a perceived need, the frugal person will ask the following questions.
Do I really need it? If the clothes dryer breaks, the frugal person will begin by asking if they can do without a dryer, even for a while. Maybe it’s summer, and line drying the clothes is an option until money can be saved for a new dryer.
Can I get it free or used? If the frugal person decides that the item is indeed necessary, they will then see if there’s a free option. Maybe someone is giving away a dryer on Freecycle or Craigslist. Maybe a neighbor is selling a dryer at a garage sale, because she got a new washer and dryer.
What is the best value? Being frugal isn’t just buying the cheapest product. It’s buying the best value for what you’re willing to spend. Perhaps the cheapest dryer isn’t energy efficient. You may spend $200 more for a unit that uses less energy, but you’d recoup the money on your lower electric bill.
Where do I want to spend my money? I had a friend who let her grass go brown every summer. She had a large backyard, and paying for water to keep the grass green was pretty expensive. She had the money to easily afford it, but she used to tell me that she’d rather spend her money on other things.
Frugality can be summed up with this thought: Making the most efficient use of your resources for your priorities in life.
What do you think of when you think about frugality?