U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 07-15-2017, 01:16 PM
433 posts, read 530,217 times
Reputation: 220


Maybe you're frugal because you want to maximize your savings towards retirement, to have greater financial independence and therefore freedom, to simply your life by minimizing your possessions to modest essentials due to more possessions tending to require more of your time to maintain, protect, and use. Or, maybe you're frugal out of some strongly held principles of life that you strictly adhere to.

Whatever your reason, I was wondering if you ever have any exceptions to your frugality that you find justified.

As an example, myself and another family member have pretty routine weeks. Monday-Friday work during the day, chores or errands after work, on the computer or watching TV before bed. Saturdays and Sundays, housecleaning, chores, erands, recycling, maybe drive to visit a neighboring town, dining out, catching a movie, taking care of pets, time on computer/tv and sleep.

Very rarely, we go on vacation for 10 days or so. Once a year, at best. Primarily due to pets. We no longer have family around to watch them, friends are busy with their children so don't want to impose on them to watch them, and don't feel comfortable with having a stranger visit and care for them in our home. Also not comfortable having them in some "pet hotel" for any length of time over a couple of hours or so, especially after hearing bad stories about experiences with them.

Out of primarily health concerns, I've considered joining us to a gym, to lose weight and get fit. While it's true that there are free activities in your home and outdoors that can enable you to do the same, we don't have that much space in our current place and it would not be as conducive to working out since we don't have the features/equipment found in a decent gym, like a pool for lower impact fitness activities. As for outdoor activities, it can hit the triple digits here in the summers, so it's not always pleasant to go bike riding or what not.

So we looked at 24 Hour Fitness and California Family Fitness in our area. The former is your basic gym with the essentials. Nothing special but you can get a Costco 2-year membership for $399 ($16.63/mo. for 1, or about $33 for two, which isn't that much). The latter is a little better equipped, has more amenities, but the one at our location is a little smaller/cramped where we prefer a gym with more open space. Family Fitness costs $69/mo for 2.

Since we weren't quite satisfied with both, we went to check out a more upscale gym called Lifetime.
I should say that the other family member makes light use of the exercise equipment and moderate use of the swimming pool, hot tub, lounge, and shower facilities. Something that provides a more spa-like retreat/resort-like refreshing experience is more satisfying to the other family member. After taking a tour of the Lifetime facility, it was very impressive with indoor and outdoor heated pools w/ cabana-like furnishings to lounge by the pool with nice music on, sauna, hot tub, hundreds of free classes, superb change/shower facilities, food/juice bars, and lounge/tv areas. It's a cross between a high-end gym and a "poor man's" country club, and feels like going to a spa retreat, on a cruise on a big cruise ship, or on vacation at a nice resort. Unfortunately, costs about $189 for 2.

Ouch. That's pretty much a car payment for some.

However, because the perceived benefits to body and mind would be hard to put a price tag on, because a 10-day cruise or vacation could cost about the same as the annual cost of a Lifetime membership for 2 ($2,268/yr) but the latter would be something we could continue to enjoy and benefit from year-round, and because we spend a good amount on dining out or outside entertainment each month that could be redirected towards the Lifetime membership, we're considering joining and trying it out for a year, to see if it's worth it to us in what we feel we get in return.

But it's very hard to bite the bullet. $189/mo is a lot of money (someone's car payment, HOA dues, payment towards mortgage principal, added contribution to 401K, etc).

That said, while it's good to be optimistic about one's longevity and assume reaching 80+ years old, there's no guarantee of that. And you only have one life to live/enjoy. So how do you best balance between being frugal in order to achieve your long-term objectives or live by your life philosophy vs being able to enjoy some of the great things that life has to offer, while you're still relatively young and able bodied?

Do you make exceptions for things/experiences you can't put a quantitative value on?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 07-15-2017, 01:20 PM
691 posts, read 217,331 times
Reputation: 370
frugal does not mean humble. So the only way this would be wrong to do is if you paid for it and didn't use it. frugal meaning spending with a purpose that is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2017, 01:30 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,433 posts, read 24,210,764 times
Reputation: 24745
Why be frugal if you don't have a reason to do so? It's much easier to go out every night than it is to plan meals and cook. It's easier to just go to Nordstrom and have a professional shopper plan your wardrobe than it is going through every thrift store in town looking for that perfect wardrobe piece. Thrifty is work!

Being frugal is a means to an end for me. It means I can afford to do some things that I would not otherwise be able to afford.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2017, 02:11 PM
433 posts, read 530,217 times
Reputation: 220
In my case, I'm not sure if spending $189/mo for two people for a fitness club membership could be justified over a $69/mo for two or even $33/mo for two. To me, though, it seems the reasons I stated above may make it worth it for us. And we could try it for a year and see if it delivers the value that meets our expectations. It's month to month, so we aren't committed to a full year if it doesn't turn out to deliver a worthwhile return.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2017, 02:50 PM
Status: "I am in preparation mode!" (set 6 days ago)
5,514 posts, read 5,499,127 times
Reputation: 4210
Sure. I bought a LV wallet and people on CD went bonkers. Lol! I love it. It makes me happy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2017, 03:15 PM
Location: Phoenix-Valley of the Sun
2,462 posts, read 1,203,437 times
Reputation: 3047
I became hella frugal except when it comes to my electronics and my clothes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2017, 11:38 PM
Location: Texas
6,486 posts, read 2,353,576 times
Reputation: 13885
Most people seem to believe their splurges are justified, while other people's splurges are too extravagant and unwarranted.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2017, 02:26 AM
433 posts, read 530,217 times
Reputation: 220
Maybe it's all relative.. one person finding the next person's spending to be splurging. Two people making the same sandwich to take to work, except the 2nd spending 30% more on more expensive meats and organic vegetables. Maybe the bottom line on is that what's justified is a personal question and everyone has to live with the consequences (if any) of their decisions (i.e. opportunity costs).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2017, 02:41 AM
3,468 posts, read 1,983,736 times
Reputation: 7864
That all depends on the definition of frugal as perceived by each person.

Is it less frugal that we go on one to two weekenders per year, and a "major vacation" (Disney world, Hawai'i) every 3-6 years NOW as opposed to saving the money for retirement and traveling then? Maybe, maybe not.
But this is the drill: we choose to travel NOW, because I may NOT be able to in retirement. Why? Because my health is not that great. My body is falling apart NOW, let alone in later years. I may NOT be able to travel well in later years. In 2005 we climbed Diamond Head volcano (the backdrop for Waikiki Beach in pictures), but I don't think I can do it again now, let alone when I'm 75. I'd have to tote my cane along (as I do every where I go now) and a motorized scooter chair will NOT climb that volcano for me! Our last trip was more tame. Our next trip is planned for 2020, our 20th anniversary.

So we've chosen to do some traveling NOW. I find that justified!

Is it frugal I put bottle return money in a CD for later use?
Probably more than the cruise my OH is just dying to go on, but I may not be able to travel a huge cruise ship, even in a motorized scooter!

It's all relative.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2017, 02:43 AM
11,625 posts, read 5,465,637 times
Reputation: 11000
Originally Posted by goodlife36 View Post
Sure. I bought a LV wallet and people on CD went bonkers. Lol! I love it. It makes me happy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top