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Old 06-11-2010, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,122 posts, read 9,424,685 times
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Frugality varies in the hearts and minds of each of us.

For me, once I'd read a book called "Your Money or Your Life," I came to realize that everything I bought could be measured in time spent in working to earn the money for its purchase. Then I began to weigh whether the thing/object/service I wanted was worth an investment of the minutes/hours/days/weeks or months spent to earn its cost. This was a huge mind shift for me. It impacted my buying/spending patterns immediately and this mindset has stuck with all through the years.

How does this play out in my real world? Here's an example. I love to read, books are my passion. So I trade books with friends, utilize the library, buy used books at yard sales or buy used books to help out the Friends of the Library. I get my book needs met--but in a much more frugal way than shelling out $24.95 for a new hardback book.

Same with clothes. I like clothes, I like having a closet with interesting and well-made things to wear. But now my clothes mostly come from swapping with friends, from consignment shops or greatly reduced sales at dept. stores. No more impulse buying. No more paying top dollar.

This new mindset filter through my life on every purchase. Often, I'll decide the cost of something isn't worth the time invested, so I don't buy it. So many of my purchases used to be impulsive buys. Not any more. Not when I weigh their cost in terms of my life and precious hours.

My frugality enables me to pursue my freelance magazine and Web writing career, which is not the highest paying career in the world, but is one that brings me joy and new discoveries. When I worked in the corporate world, unhappily, I used to spend unwisely and often because "I deserved it."

Now, while I'm 'following my bliss," I'm also not denying myself some basic desires and wants -- I just have discovered alternative ways to get what I want/need without paying top dollar. It feels smart to me. And I must admit, I'm very content, and don't need to fill an unhappy life with a lot of stuff as I did before. Good food, good friends, books and time in nature cost not very much.

"Your Money or Your Life"--a book that forever changed my life. I'm very grateful.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:13 AM
 
9,338 posts, read 11,261,655 times
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I think Frugal is best defined as being creative and finding multiple uses for things so by stretching your dollar.

Adding water to a half full bottle of Window Cleaner ( cleans just the same )

Adding water to Sauve Shampoo ( no need to buy expensive shampoo , they ALL work the same ) the shampoo will be thinner but what hits your head when you are washing with shampoo- water , thats right.

Buying those cheap paper napkins on sale and they have multiple uses NOT to mention they are great when you are running out of Toilet Paper until you can get to the store.

I can think of a million things since I was growing up that my mom/dad did to save money. It rubbed off on me LONG before the economic crisis...

Buying a bottle of Vinegar , multiple uses and including getting rid of pet odors and urine stains.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Being frugal, making due with what you've got. Thinking about how badly you actually need something. How important is it on a survival scale. Cable/Sat tv, expendable, telephone(land line) expendable and way to darn expensive, we need electric, water and a roof. Internet, with a small business trying to survive in this economy....required and deductable . Dryer, microwave, coffemaker, expendable.

I think jtur88 said it best, if your not poor then it's a "hobby". If your on a limited income as we are then it's an everyday lifestyle you get used to although it would be nice to not worry about paying bills day in and day out. Are we gonna keep the house this month? Christmas.....here's an idea, we get to stay in the house one more month, Merry Christmas.

Fixing things to keep using until they are no longer repairable. A good test is taking it to the local dump. If one of the guys at the dump picks it up to take home and fix/use, then you wasted money. When I take stuff, they don't even bother because it has been band aided, bubble gummed and swiss armied to death. Being creative, fixing it so it works almost as good as it did.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:04 PM
 
9,338 posts, read 11,261,655 times
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Okay does anyone want to admit to Dumpster Diving when they were younger ? Or even now . How about if you are driving and see someone left something out front thats perfectly fine ?

I don't do it now because I don't want to accumulate too much stuff in rocky times. But I have done it years ago...
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,536 posts, read 8,196,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Here's mine. I think frugal living is living well and within your means by finding ways to spend less. What do you think?

I don't think frugal is necessarily cheap, but looking for ways to afford better quality for less.
I think frugal means not paying more for things than is necessary, as well as living within your means. The term 'frugal' has a positive connotation, while 'cheap' has a negative connotation. Cheap goes a step further than further, with the implication that a cheap person is trying to stiff another person who provides goods or services to them, while being frugal doesn't have this connotation.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,095 posts, read 12,752,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaliveinGreenville View Post
Okay does anyone want to admit to Dumpster Diving when they were younger ? Or even now . How about if you are driving and see someone left something out front thats perfectly fine ?

I don't do it now because I don't want to accumulate too much stuff in rocky times. But I have done it years ago...
My father used to walk 5 miles every day. One Sunday in 1985 he wandered into an alley behind a Bank of America that was closing. Next to the dumpster in the alley were five empty 4-drawer and 2-drawer filing cabinets (a horrible institution green color) with the locks removed, and boxes and boxes of letterhead envelopes.

He walked home, got his little home-made trailer, hitched it to the car and drove back to the alley. Loaded everything up and brought it home.

He gave most of the window envelopes to the church, and the family used the regular envelopes for over 10 years. We just stuck an address label over the letterhead corner. I'm still using a 4-drawer and a 2-drawer.

I've picked up coils of rope and hoses from the road. I'll stop and pick up furniture by the curb, if I can lift it into my truck. If I can't use it, I find a charity that can.

But crawl into smelly dumpster? No.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:19 PM
 
18 posts, read 39,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaliveinGreenville View Post
Okay does anyone want to admit to Dumpster Diving when they were younger ? Or even now . How about if you are driving and see someone left something out front thats perfectly fine ?

I don't do it now because I don't want to accumulate too much stuff in rocky times. But I have done it years ago...
I did!! When I was 9-10 then we moved away from the dumpsters!!

I do have some friends that used to drive around the wealthy neighborhoods the night before trash pickup in their pickup truck. They would find tables, furniture, just amazing stuff you could not believe somebody would throw out. No problem with that, they had some dynamite stuff you would look at and say, "They threw it out!!".

I found a weedeater in my neighbors trash once. Threw it in the truck, took it to work, took it apart and found out he ran it without oil in the gas. Galled the piston and seized the engine. Took it apart, ran some 3m scotch pad in the cylinder, cleaned the piston and reassembled with correct gas/oil mix. Used that weedeater for the next 3-4 years!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaliveinGreenville View Post

Adding water to a half full bottle of Window Cleaner ( cleans just the same )

Buying a bottle of Vinegar , multiple uses and including getting rid of pet odors and urine stains.
Vinegar is all you need to clean your windows.
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