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 Brooklyn Recessionist.
What does frugality mean to you?
At this point in my life, frugality means survival. I graduated into the recession and have felt that monster breathing down my neck ever since.
But on a more basic level, frugality means responsible spending – responsible not just yourself but to your community. Paying close attention to how and where you spend your money can make you more aware and conscientious about your social power as a consumer. A lot of times the cheap buys are the more responsible way to spend your money, especially in New York. Local restaurants don’t mark up prices to make you pay for the chain’s brand name; thrifting means you’re contributing to an independent shop owner’s income instead of a big corporation.
What is something you do that is typically frugal?
I hunt down free events like its my job! I scour the internet, newspapers and magazines, and podcasts for free events. Lucky for me free shows, talks, and concerts abound in New York City, especially in the Summer.
What is something frugal that you do which is unusual?
Well, I can at least hope that the practice of stealing rolls of toilet paper from coffee shops around the city qualifies as unusual…for Starbucks’ sake. I swear though it was just a brief experiment!
What are some of your longterm goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
More than anything I want to always, always keep learning new things. The general goal of scrimping, saving, and cutting the fat off of my budget, provides limitless opportunities and motivation to discover new tricks, secrets, crafts, events, and deals all over New York City.
Back in 2008 when the Recession first hit I was fascinated by all of the stories, deals, and innovations that were coming out of the economic downturn. I took my lifelong tendency toward frugality a step further and began to chronicle the cultural phenomena of the tail-spinning economy – paying particular attention to the inspiring and the bizarre.