The other day a friend of ours called and was about to give me his cell phone number so that my husband could call him back . I told him to hang on while I found something to write with.
He cracked, “It must be hard to find something in the dark,” implying that my frugalness would mean that I was operating without lights on in the house.
I’ve heard other comments like that from people… “Are you going to wash out this baggie?” “Do you always have a coupon for everything?” “How old is that pair of socks your wearing?”
There’s a tone in their voices… it implies they think I’m stingy… I prefer the word frugal, thank you very much!
I think being stingy or cheap implies self-centeredness. It implies that you will do whatever it takes to save a dime, even if it’s at the expense of others.
Frugality, on the other hand, is a lifestyle choice I have made for the greater good of my family. It represents the time I put into making the most of our limited resources so that I can be a better mother, wife, daughter, and friend.
There are certain things I will not do in the name of frugality:
I will not lie, cheat, or steal. This means I will not lie about my age to get a freebie intended for a teenager. I will not intentionally abuse the friendly new clerks at stores who don’t know their company’s coupon policies. I will not take a penny from the penny jar… ever. Even if I need it.
I will not spend great amounts of time doing things to save a tiny bit of money. I refuse to wash out Ziploc bags. I will not be melting down old pieces of crayons to make new ones.
I will not sell my soul for a few bucks. There are a million survey companies out there that will pay you 50 cents to tell them your whole life story. It’s not worth the time.
Frugality means using your time and resources wisely to stretch your dollars. Stingy means conniving and conning your way to that same savings.
I hope that my friends and family see me as frugal, and not stingy. Frugality is a passion of mine, and it is a way for me to have the freedom to share a better life with those around me.
I hope that I am able to inspire all of you to be frugal.