This is What Frugal Looks Like is a series that highlights different ways that people can be frugal in their lives- after all, frugality doesn’t have to be drastic or just about clipping coupons. Frugality can be fun and easy. Each respondent answers the same four questions.
Today’s interview is with Imene from A Journey to a Simple Happy Life.
What does frugality mean to you?
I am not frugal by nature I am trying to be one. I started thinking differently about money after we purchased our house and realized that even though we doubled our mortgage payment we still managed to save . So where did all that money go? We didn’t take any vacations or bought expensive items. That’s when I realized that we were wasting a lot of money. So Frugality for me is about using your money in a smart way. It is being conscious of where your money goes , differentiating between your needs and wants and being a good steward of our planet.
Another reason for my change of perspective is that living in the USA has brought a sense of fragility I have never experienced living in Algeria or France. Loosing your job here can have dire consequences. That has changed the way we use and see our money. Our savings have become our safety net when they used to be just extra-income we stashed for big projects in the future.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
I tend to be frugal when it comes to buying clothes or large purchases such as fridge, computer…I shop around, read consumer reports and try to get the best for my money. I think it’s better to buy few things of good quality than cheap ones you will need to replace all the time. It’s better for us and better for the environment.
In that spirit there are two places I try to avoid Target and the yarn store. The first because I always end up buying things that were not on my list, that store is just too tempting. And the second because I walk in there and my brains stops functioning. My primal instinct of hoarding kicks in and I feel the urge to buy it all.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
I can’t think of anything unusual. Frugality seems to come more naturally these days and is in line with my yearning for a more simple, minimalist life. Oh think of it..I use the library more often. I am book lover and I use to buy all the books I read. Now I check to see if my library has them.
What are some of your longterm goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
We would love to save enough money to be able to pursue our passions in life. My husband dreams of managing a soccer team and my dream is to own a bookstore just for the fun of it. Maybe we’ll get there after the house is payed and the kids are done with college. It helps when you are looking at that pair of boots that you have to have.
Imene and I first ‘met’ through a comment she left on Almost Frugal. We’re similar in many ways (two boys and a girl, living in countries that aren’t our own, trying to move towards simplicity and authenticity) and different too. She’s a technical sort of person, who’s now a stay at home mom, while I don’t do technical and prefer to work outside the home. No matter the differences, however, her’s is a blog that I always enjoy reading and enjoys a prominent place in my bookmarks list.
She has her own series on A Journey to a Simple Happy Life: Blogviews.