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 Anastasia from My Budgetting.
What does frugality mean to you?
I really don’t like this word, though I support the concept behind it. When people say they are frugal, or that one needs to be frugal I always have to think of someone in a really bad financial shape, some one not wanting to heat in winter just because it will cost more and using blankets is perfectly fine.
So, you see, frugality for me is kind of “overdoing it on the saving and conscious spending” front. That’s why I call it “conscious spending” – the essence of what I do when I am consciously spending is exactly the same as what people living frugally do! It’s just it makes me feel “better off” it doesn’t feel like a constraining behavior but rather like a clever way to escape advertising and consumerism.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugal?
A lot of things! I sit down maybe two-three times a year to analyze how we spend money on utilities, recurring bills etc., and than I try to optimize our payments by looking for better deals – this alone tends to spend several hundred a year.
I currently started to “down-grade” the brand when grocery shopping – I will buy one brand cheaper than I usually would and if I can’t tell the difference in taste or quality I stick to the cheaper alternative.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
Maybe it would be – not spending money during Christmas but rather buying presents for New Year’s Eve and getting most out of the sales that are on by than. Though here I have an unfair advantage, I grew up in Russia and we haven’t celebrated Christmas at all, our “big day” always been the New Year’s Eve. So even though I save a lot of money by delaying my festive impulsive shopping I still get 100% satisfaction out of it.
What are some of your long term goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
I want to feel much more in control of my spending – I want to know that I am as unbiased as possible when I make purchasing decisions and I don’t’ want to feel fooled into spending by clever marketing. It’s all about conscious decision making for me. Spending mindfulness if you wish!
Some favorite frugal links:
- MoneySavings Expert – it’s a British site that helped me save several thousands of pounds in just a few days. Outstanding value!
- Neuron Marketing – this one is not about frugality per se, it’s a network dedicated to neuromarketing (stuff I am really into at the moment) and it helps me uncover how I am “made to buy” things.
Anastasia is a 36-year old Russian woman, living in UK with her Kiwi husband and a baby-boy. She searches, tests and reports about tools, theories and tips on budgeting and financial management, on dealing with debt and on psychological tricks that retail uses to lure us into more and more spending.