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 Duncan.
What does frugality mean to you?
For me frugality is the opposite of frivolousness, both in attitude and action. I’ve been frivolous in the past and actually think that it has its place; it’s a very human way of releasing stress by letting go of everyday concerns (including money). Right now though, with money extremely tight for lots of people, frugality is the attitude that takes over I think and for me it’s about thinking cleverly and carefully about what you want, what you actually need, and the best way to get it.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
In the last few years I have been given a real education in how to think about money and how to get the most out of it. I used to live quite a decadent life, which I was forced to re-structure a couple of years ago when money stopped coming so easily to me. I got online and got involved in money saving forums and blogs, and just listened to what everyone else had to say about being money-smart. Nowadays I often consult such forums when I am looking for the best credit card deals or top offers from energy suppliers. I would consider these ‘typically’ frugal, but then given in huge increase in awareness of frugal living recently, I would probably also consider using money-back websites or using auto-shutdown plug sockets ‘typical’.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
I work for a luxury health spa so often people are a bit taken aback when I start talking about frugality. My argument though is that frugality and luxury are not opposing forces, and luxury is certainly not the same as frivolousness. Everybody needs to treat themselves from time to time, but as long as they live within their means, I don’t think there is an issue. I would certainly not advise someone who is strapped for cash to come in for a full spa day, but saving up for a back massage or to have your nails done as a treat is actually very healthy I think. So I suppose the most unusually frugal thing I do is work in a luxury spa, but that isn’t very helpful to readers, so I’ll share one of my own frugal tricks I learnt.
Get yourselves a blog and starting writing about any topic that takes your fancy. Then after a couple of months, sign up to some affiliate networks such as Webgains or Affiliate Window. Join the programs of as many online merchants as you can, and you’ll not only receive their voucher code offers before the general public, but if you purchase their items via your own affiliate links (which is completely acceptable), you’ll get another load of money off in the form of affiliate commission.
What are some of your longterm goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
At the moment I am saving up to buy a house with my girlfriend. So I guess my long-term goal is to be able to afford a decent down payment in a couple of years time, but still be able to give myself the odd treat whilst I’m saving. My other goal is to become less wasteful. I don’t regard myself as being a particularly wasteful person anyway, but there is always room for improvement. Wastefulness (different again to frivolousness) is something that really bugs me and I hate seeing other people being wasteful without consideration for others. It might sound a bit clichÃ© but there are people starving in the world, and throwing out food every day just because you “forgot to eat it” just doesn’t cut it for me.
A Little About Me
I’m 25 years young and currently live in a flat in London, England. My girlfriend supposedly lives with her parents but I can’t remember the last time she didn’t hog the bed sheets at my place. I’m learning something new every day about using money in a more respectful way and not letting is slip through my fingers as I used to do.
Here is my bio from my blog:
As mentioned before I work for a health spa in London. My personal website however, and the one I use to buy things through affiliate programs is an extreme sports website where people can trade their second hand sports goods free of charge.