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Friday, January 31, 2014

FF- What's Not Frugal

What is frugal?

Frugal, as defined by Webster's is "careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to: using money or supplies in a very careful way". 

Here is what frugal is NOT:

1. Taking 8 ketchup packets every time you go to McDonalds so you never have to buy ketchup again.

2. Going out to dinner and not giving the waitstaff a tip.

3. Wearing holey socks to your wedding.

In my opinion, these things could be considered "stingy", not frugal. Frugality should bring you to a state of abundance, not a state of greediness.

Just because it's DIY doesn't mean it's frugal either. I tend to think that everything is cheaper if I do it myself, which is not always the case. I like to remind myself of this with the following example:

4. Spending six hours knitting one pair of socks when you could have worked one hour and bought six pairs of socks with the earnings. (This being said, I have made 2.5 pairs of socks myself, so I am not condemning the knitters! But it is a hobby.)

Another thing DIYers miss out on sometimes (or at least I do) is networking and building relationships with people. That is worth something too. Possibly worth more than the few dollars you saved doing it yourself.
If your goal is to be frugal, it's important to step back and look at the big picture. Are the ingredients to make this costing more than the cost of buying it already made? Could my time be worth more doing something else? Am I missing out on friendships by doing this?

Make sure an activity is in alignment with your goals and priorities before putting it on the golden gold-plated pedestal of 'frugality'.

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