How Do You Describe Yourself?

by Kelly · 15 comments

in Thoughts On Frugality

How do you describe yourself? Can you do it in five adjectives? Here are mine: frugal, generous, intelligent, impatient, stubborn.

Why is describing yourself important and what does this exercise have to do with being frugal? I’m glad you asked!

Describing yourself accurately requires knowing yourself and knowing yourself is one of the first and most important steps towards meeting your goals. But to really be successful in meeting your goals you have to be honest, brutally honest. Try the exercise again, and this time add qualifiers.

Here’s my list again: somewhat frugal some of the time, generous with time and with others, intelligent about words and culture, impatient with not making progress, stubborn when I think I’m right.

That’s a really different list, isn’t it?

Here’s how being so honest helps me to meet my goals. My goals are to live a frugal life, to have a large emergency fund and savings account, to be able to comfortably (not excessively) earn enough to meet my family’s needs.

I know I’m not frugal enough; I spend more than I think we should on things like eating out. That won’t help us achieve our goals. I am generous with my time and with others, but I think that sometimes I am not generous enough with myself and I cut myself short. I believe that I am intelligent when it comes to verbal ability, but not so much when it comes to math or science. Therefore I don’t trust myself to handle money, especially large amounts, because I think that I don’t know about that sort of thing. I am impatient with not making as much progress as I think I should be making, which leads me to believe that I’m not making any progress at all; then I throw my hands up in despair. I am stubborn when I think I’m right. This keeps me from accepting advice or changing course.

On the other hand, I am frugal. Being frugal some of the time is better than none! Volunteering can be frugal, and giving of your time or energy can help in other ways, like networking. I can make intelligent decisions about our situation and adjust our plans accordingly. Is impatience a virtue? Well it helps me to learn about new things, that’s for sure. And finally being stubborn can help me to convince others (namely my husband) that my plan of action is the best, and we should do what I want to do.

Because I am honest with myself about myself, I know what obstacles I have to overcome on the path to meeting my goals of living a frugal life and providing for my family. This doesn’t make it easier, it just gives me a head start.

And you? Be honest, brutally honest! Take it all off! What adjectives would you use to describe yourself and how do these traits help you or hurt you in meeting your goals?


1 Michelle August 13, 2008

Great post Kelly. I’d say I am… wise, crunchy, flexible, angsty and forgiving.

Michelle’s last blog post..Things I Didn’t Know About Newborns

2 Nicole August 13, 2008

Interesting post, loved the pictures of the two little old French dames!

I would say I'm intelligent, social, creative, and an entreprenneur. I think a lot of these traits are somewhat divergent and I do have a tendency to go madly in all directions (keeps me from being focused). Now you've got me thinking!

3 Lucie August 13, 2008

Intelligent, loving, worried, creative, sleepy

The worried and sleepy parts hold me back but I swear I feel like that everyday! Sleepy in general (babies do that, especially when you are breastfeeding and caffeine deprived), and I spend an unhealthy amount of time worrying about my children, money, who will be the next president, etc.

Lucie's last blog post..Love and Marriage – Do You Need One to Have the Other?

4 Carol August 13, 2008

I happened on your blog today and enjoyed reading the five adjectives to describe you. I asked your dad what his five adjectives would be, and, after a moment’s thought, he said, “I like Kelly’s.” I think those are mine, too.” Does the apple fall far from the tree.

I’m still thinking about mine. I definitely want to appropriate some of yours, but I prefer “committed” to “stubborn.”

Your blog just keeps getting better.

5 Carol August 13, 2008

Kathleen says the five adjectives that describe her are grouchy, grouchy, grouchy, grouchy, and grouchy.

6 Ann at One Bag Nation August 13, 2008

Great post – lots of thinking to do. Since I can’t come up with my five adjectives (yet), I’ll go with one: indescribable LOL!

Ann at One Bag Nation’s last blog post..The Basement Report: It’s Been Too Long!

7 Carol August 13, 2008

OK, here are mine: intelligent, committed, generous, adaptable, and stingy. Of course, generous and stingy (or frugal) are a conflict. But, as you know, it's possible to be one in one case and another in another.

I think "adaptable" is very important, though. The world just keeps changing on us, and it's important to be open to learning new ways of doing things.

8 dawn @ iowahippiechi August 14, 2008

Kelly … my previous comment apparently didn't go through so I'm trying again.

I really am so happy I subscribed to your blog & I love this post.

I'm going through a really big transitional phase in my life and I think this is just the activity I need to do to help me find my way!

This post was really meaningful to me ~ thanks so much!

dawn @ iowahippiechick's last blog post..Fun On A Tank Of Gas …

9 Kelly August 14, 2008

I’m glad this post helps! I find that when I feel like I’m getting lost or off track, particularly as you said in periods of transition, it helps me to think about my strengths and weaknesses. I can’t change myself, only my behaviors.

10 Mydailydollars August 14, 2008

I love your honesty in this post. . .you’ve inspired me to do some thinking on my own. At first, I’d say: enthusiastic, obsessive, frugal, competitive, compassionate. I’ll have to mull it all over and try my own post. Thanks for the inspiration!

Mydailydollars’s last blog post..My Debt-Reduction “Ah-ha” Moment

11 neimanmarxist August 15, 2008

i am gregarious and hot-tempered. i am occasionally selfish and usually responsible.

neimanmarxist’s last blog post..Time

12 rtc August 22, 2008

Thanks, Kelly, for the post.
I am loyal, procastinating, and patient. I’m still thinking about the others! These sound pretty boring.

rtc’s last blog post..Murphy strikes!

13 Mrs. Micah September 1, 2008

Worried, creative, procrastinating, enthusiastic,…can’t think of a good 5th one.

On the one hand I’m creative and enthusiastic. But sometimes I’ll get worried and even procrastinate. I almost only procrastinate on my own projects, though, when I’m working for other people I feel a lot more confident and motivated.

14 Frank October 28, 2008

Passionate, curious, frugal, intellectually simulated, grateful for what I have.


15 Ruchi January 12, 2010

Great post … got me thinking!

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