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Frugal Friday: What “Frugal” means

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Frugal Friday: What “Frugal” means

Frugal Friday what frugal means

Welcome to Frugal Friday!  Each week, I’ll share tips, encouragement, and practical ideas for living a frugal lifestyle.

We’re going to start the new year right back at the beginning of our Frugal Friday series.  It’s a great time to get a fresh start with your finances!  Many of us are starting the year with a new commitment to do some improving in our lives, and this is a great place to start.  Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what the word frugal means.

Sometimes frugal gets lumped in with words like tightwad and cheapskate, but to me there’s a difference.  Sure, all those words imply that we don’t want to spend a lot of money, but I think the difference is in the motivation.  Tightwad and cheapskate bring to mind being selfish.  Frugal brings to mind being smart.

So what does frugal look like in the real world?  Let’s take a look:

Frugal DOES NOT mean:

  • Total deprivation
  • Selfishness
  • Never buying or doing anything fun
  • Never buying anything nice or brand name
  • Only shopping at thrift stores or garage sales
  • Forcing your kids to be the “have nots” all the time

Frugal DOES mean:

  • Delayed gratification–saving then spending
  • Creating and following a budget
  • Prioritizing wants and needs to fit with your financial goals
  • Shopping strategically to get the most for your money, so you can provide for your family and share with those in need
  • Being a savvy consumer who doesn’t fall for marketing ploys and understands the cost of credit card interest
  • Teaching your kids that they can’t have everything right now, but that we can reach goals by saving

So, Sisters and Misters, what do you think?  Are there areas where you’re a frugal pro?  Are there parts that look like a major challenge?  We’ll work through it together and support one another each week.  It’s not always easy, but if you can keep your eyes on the prize of long-term financial security, it’ll help you get through the rough spots.

If you’re just joining the Frugal Friday series, check out these other posts:

Megan has been frugal most of her life, but has been really honing her frugal skills as the chief home economist for her family of six, surviving and thriving on a single (teacher’s!) income.  If she can do it, you can too! 

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