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 Katy from The Non-Consumer Advocate.
What does frugality mean to you?
For me, frugality is about living a rich life without the burden of wealth. My family has everything we could ever possibly need, and we know how to have rich experiences without spending a bundle. Instead of scrimping and saving all year to fly to Disneyland, we’re perfectly happy to drive to the beach or mountains for inexpensive mini-breaks.
Almost everything we do is a lesser price option, yet none of it lessens our enjoyment. We wait until movies come to the second run theaters, which then cost us $3 instead of $9. We also cook almost entirely from scratch, which helps both our wallets and our health. My list goes on and on.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
A typically frugal thing for me to do is to plan my socializing around frugal activities. Instead of getting together for lunch and shopping with a friend, we’ll meet up at one of our houses and then go for a walk. Tea, coffee and munchies can be prepared at home, and conversation always seems better when the body is in motion.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
I am a member of “The Compact,” which is an international buy nothing new movement. I have been doing this for three years now and have no plans to ever stop. Not only has this saved me thousands of dollars, but the environmental benefit of no longer buying overly packaged unnecessary consumer goods just feels right.
What are some of your long term goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
I started writing about frugality in 2001, and have been writing The Non-Consumer Advocate blog since 2008. The relationship that I discovered between myself as a writer and my readership has been a wonderful gift. My long term goal is take this experience and turn it into a book.
Who I am is so tightly intertwined with my frugality, that it’s almost impossible to know how it affects me. My life is so satisfying, that it’s hard to set long term goals. I’m already where I want to be, even if I’m only 42 years old.
Which wouldn’t be true if I was living beyond my means.
My name is Katy Wolk-Stanley and I write the blog “The Non-Consumer Advocate” from my home in Portland, Oregon. I’m raising 11 and 14-year-old boys, as well as working as a labor and delivery nurse. I describe myself as a “library patron, Goodwill enthusiast, utility bill scholar, laundry hanger-upper and citizen.”
I’m here, I’m frugal, get used to it.