Why Are You Thrifty?

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a frugal twist to my life. Even when I went mental on credit cards as a student I still religiously turned off lights, bought clothes from charity shops and often when not addicted to the local pizza joint, meal planned (it was the vast quantities of booze that cost me a small fortune).

I’ve been asked the question ‘why are you thrifty?’ a number of times over the years. Along with ‘how could you be bothered?’ and ‘what is the point of all that penny pinching in the long run?’

Yes, I do it with an environmental hat balanced precariously on my head, I also do it in order to save money,  to stop waste and to make sure I don’t land myself in debt again but mostly the answer to ‘why are you thrifty’ would have to be ‘just because.’

Because that is the way I was brought up, because‘save money, save money, save money’ is stamped through me in pink like a stick of Blackpool rock. I know some people make a concerted effort to save money, to be frugal and live a cheaper life for both their pocket and the planet but to me being a cheapskate comes to me like mathematical ability comes to those tiny dots of children who do Maths degrees at the age of eleven.

My family lived a thrifty life so we could have nicer things. Cheap holidays  or none at all for years in a row so we could have one year in relative luxury (by which I mean ACTUALLY staying in hotels rather than on the side of the road in a broken down VW Camper Van) the next year.

At the weekend Mr Thrifty and I bought ourselves an iPad 2 which raised a few eyebrows on Twitter and amongst friends. ‘Well that isn’t very thrifty, is it?’ was bandied around and  ‘Really? you can’t buy THOSE at bootsales, can you?’
Sure I save money via various methods, I penny pinch, I meal plan, I wear second hand clothes and furnish my home almost entirely from skips, eBay and charity shops not as any kind of punishment but because it seems natural to me. Half the time I don’t think about my penny pinching or frugal ways. I find myself making up homemade washing powder or mending holes in clothes without even setting out to do it. Living a frugal lifestyle is second nature but that doesn’t mean you can’t have nice things.

It is great, great, great to be frugal and save up your hard earned money for a time in which you might need it and it is great to plough it into investments or pensions for the future but every now and then it is more than okay to reward yourself with something you want because you’ve worked hard enough to buy that special something outright. Don’t feel bad about doing it.

Allow me to ask some nosy questions —- Do you ever treat yourself?  Why do you thrift? Why are you thrifty?
In association with Direct Holidays.


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  1. This is a brilliant post! My dad really tries to save any money he can so always tries to get the best deals for things. I think I have inherited that from him, but my mum just calls me tight! I love buying from charity shops and car boots because not only is it cheaper and can go to a good cause, but the items have a story behind them from previous owners, which i I think is quite sweet :) xxx

  2. Have to agree with you Mrs Thrifty.

    We choose to watch our pennies too in order to have the nicer things in life. We save for our holidays, try to make a few £££s on auction sites and enjoy buying second-hand knowing that we’ve helped to maybe save a little bit of the environment. We do have luxuries too but only because we’ve been able to save money in other areas.

    Plus the fact that it’s actually quite fun being thrifty and finding new ways of using things instead of throwing them out!

    Enjoy the I-Pad ! xxxx

  3. I completely agree with this post! I enjoy saving money and finding a bargain makes me feel good. I feel I can justify spending money on something that is expensive that I really really want then. I am lucky I have no debts and can spend whatever I like whenever I like and I intend to stay that way as long as possible!

  4. yet another lovely post! i grew up with a mother who always looked amazing despite only ever buying from M&S and Fenwick sales and a father whose time in the Navy made him… rather ‘stingy’. but it wasn’t until coming to University that i really began my own frugal journey. one of my flatmates is the queen of all things second hand; her most awesome find, a pair of Russell and Bromley boots for just 20p! seeing someone my own age whose style i admired and whose wardrobe was comprised mainly of charity shop garbs encouraged me to take more time and spend less money on clothes. saying that, she still knows how to treat herself and recently splashed out £70 on a fancy perfume which was the most she had ever spent on anything, i’ll have to show her this post as i think the two of you have a lot in common! -x-

  5. Love this! Can’t believe people were talking about your iPad – are they getting thrifty confused with miserly? Do they actually think you just hoard all your hard saved money somewhere?

    My parents aren’t well off at all and have 6 kids, so being thrifty was installed into me. New clothes weren’t that common and my family have literally never had a foreign holiday. My mum is also some kind of amazing genius craft lady so making my own stuff was set in early too.

    What annoys me now, is that although I buy everything second hand, save money wherever I can and so on I’m still always broke due to a total lack of planning. Oh, and going out for dinner and drinks about five times a week. Oops! I guess you could see it as spending my money where I like to (nice food, seeing friends) and saving it in the other places….

  6. I love this post… i have only just find the fun of finding thing at a carboot sale. It saves me so much money and now looking for new ways to save myself and my family some money and this blog has given me so many tips thanks.x


  7. I love this post!

    I was thrifty initially so that OH and I could put down a decent deposit on a house.

    Now that we’ve got the house, I’m thrifty because I love being thrifty! I love nothing more than bagging a bargain and saving up for things that I want. It’s so easy to just go out and spend money on something, but actually saving up for it makes me appreciate it so much more. We’re just about to buy a puppy and I’ve been saving up for him since March!

    I love bargain hunting, I love meal planning (geek!), I love making something out of nothing, make-do and mending etc etc. Being thrifty’s brilliant (yes, I really am a geek!) :)

    Ok, essay over! Haha!

  8. I try to be frugal as I’m a stay at home mum and for that reason we have to mainly survive off just OH’s income. Therefore, I do all the necessary to keep the bills down – planning meals, only putting the heating on when it’s absolutely freezing and making sure the tv is not left on etc. etc. It’s a personal challenge reducing bills and I get a thrill out of it.

    My love of charity shops is more to find something unique rather than saving money I have to say. Again, it’s a thrill thing as you never know what you are going to find.

  9. I treated myself to a macbook pro when I got a scholarship for university! :)


  10. thrift deluxe says:

    I became frugal out of necessity and stayed for the fun! We usually don’t buy cheap but we just don’t buy that often. Kick me out of the brownies but I have never been to a jumble sale, car boot or shopped on ebay. I save on what doesn’t matter (like kitchen roll) so I can spend on what does (like Arne Jacobsen lamps).

    My grandmother was frugal, my mother went totally the other way because of it and I think I have a balance – I love luxury but I don’t like throwing money away.

  11. I’ve never really thought about this…i’ve always been ‘careful’ with money. The most extravagent things Ive ever ‘bought’ are my student loan (eek!) and my car (which I saved for 2 years to buy outright without credit. Ive never had a credit card. I think i’m quite thrifty because I saw my parents struggling with credit card debt when I was a child. Im pretty sure they had the credit card debt because they wanted me and my sister to live in a nice area, have nice holidays and days out etc etc, but I suppose in some way it had an impact on me. I wouldnt say I never buy myself nice things, cos I do…Maybe I will be different if I have kids and want to buy them nice holidays but until then, Ill continue to be thrifty! ps, I dont even have a pension! eek!

  12. Joanna says:

    My mum and dad didn’t have much money when I was a kid, but were never in debt. As a result I wore a lot of hand me downs from my cousins and never had the latest ‘trend’, but my childhood was full of love and looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. Plus my parents paid off their mortgage early which meant my Dad could retire early due to ill health and they don’t have any money worries.

    When I moved out of home I racked up £3k of credit card debt – mainly on going out and having fun (although not as much as my flat mate who had £10k on her credit card, which included a new car!!).

    Anyway I learnt my lesson, husband and I have no credit cards and no debt (other than a mortgage). We save where we can so we can treat ourselves now and again,

    Plus we enjoy walking round the car boot together with our friends, having a tea and bacon sandwich pit stop. The same cannot be said for walking round the shops!

    I shall shut up now x

  13. Being thrifty has been drummed into me from a young age. Mainly by my Dad, my Mum used to love spending lot’s on clothes. Now however, my Mum has seen the light and enjoys nothing more than a rummage in a charity shop.

    I can’t seem to buy things ‘new’ anymore. I feel guilty for spending so much money on myself. Does that make sense?

  14. Hi
    Another wonderful post, and quite thought provoking.

    I wouldn’t class myself as thrifty, though i do try. I spend far too much, but i am starting out on the journey ( through necessity – credit card needs paying off and I want to save for nice things at christmas) – I’m a thrifty disciple!

    But I think thrift, budgeting and NOT getting into debt need to be taught early – I think there is too much of a credit culture.

  15. Brilliant post! I find I am thrifty in part because I am poor student, but also because it’s the way I’ve been brought up. I turn off all electrical appliances at the plug if I’m not using them – but that’s down to fear of fires as well. I hate paying a lot for something, so I don’t. I try and get bargains where I can because if I don’t, I’ll feel guilty, whereas if I spend little on quite a few things, I can buy something bigger without the guilt because I’ve been frugal beforehand. xx
    Sirens and Bells

  16. I think if you’re money savvy then it’s got to be for a reason, otherwise you run the risk of becoming a bit miserly and just rubbing your hands in glee over the money you’ve got stashed in the bank.

    With me it’s partially the way I was brought up. My mum has always shopped in charity shops and we were never a family with flash cars or expensive household stuff. Their parents were both firmly working class and the very idea of getting into debt for anything other than a house was just abhorrent. You work hard, you save your money and *then* you buy whatever it is that you want.

    I can’t get my head round people who treat their credit card as an extension of their bank account. Mine is there for emergencies and large purchases but it gets paid in full every month. I don’t class it as my money.

    I feel really guilty when I fritter money. I much prefer to spend my smallish amount of disposable income on something that will create memories rather than on disposable fashion. Nearly bought a pair of boots in the River Island sale yesterday but then I realised that the £15 would be much better spent on a ticket for something at the Edinburgh Festival. Suppose it’s just about which priorities you apply to things.

  17. I don’t seem thrifty. I seem like I splurge a lot but I don’t. We don’t have take-aways when I can make a chinese dinner for us that will do a few days and tastes nearly as good, we have a relatively small house which we have slowly filled with nice things but not all new, a lot are gifts.

    I think it is about priorities. We’d rather have money to see the people we love and have fantastic experiences than to have stuff. I’m going to invest in anew work wardrobe as I need to look smarter than I do for my job. But I’ve shopped aorud and budgeted for that, so though it will seem like a splurge to the outside world it will have been budgeted for, planned and worked out.

    I like to save money and save the environment where I can. In fact the latter half of that sentence has made me wary of the new clothes ” splurge” but I know I do genuinely have a need for it even if it just that these clotehs will help me with my job whcih I need to ensure we have the house and all other things we need.

    I think the iPad makes sense – you priorotise!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Good post Mrs T. Saving up for the luxuries you want is the way things should be done, the way my parents taught me to behave – but not always the way I behave do in real life. You are rather an inspiration you know…

    p.s only signing in as anonynous ‘cos I can’t remember my Google id! Doh.

  19. Frugal living is a fantastic way of life, I’ve been ‘pursuing the dream’ for years, simply because I love it.

    Keeping a very tight rein on the budget eventually enabled us to realise a dream – to buy a rural property with a decent sized garden outright. No more rent to pay and what gets earned from home gets spent (in my opinion) wisely.

    As a few others have said, it’s also about being able to afford the occasional luxury. The whole ‘make do and mend’ ethos, coupled with debt free, frugal living can bring about happiness and contentment that no amount of money can buy for some.

    I’m totally addicted and can recommend the lifestyle to anyone. It teaches you to appreciate what really matters to you most – life itself.

  20. I believe in being thrifty now so we can save for retirement and still fit in a few indulgences. For us, indulgence is our summer camp — but rather than a cottage, it is an RV on a leased pad overlooking a lake.

    In our world, frugality makes better things possible because we find a way to do and have nice things without mortgaging our future (i.e. retirement).

    You are very sensible!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Aaargh, can’t stand people being judgemental about others’ use of money! Some days ago I dropped my Macbook (PANIC) from the armchair so that when I open it now it makes a slight cracking noise. But it’s not broken and works fine. Well, a FB friend made a rant about me having to buy a new one and help economy, because the crisis is “our” fault since “we” consumers have debts after buying by instalments. Actually I’ve only paid by instalments one thing, my car. I’ve never had debt or even a mortgage. And I don’t buy a new computer just because. Sorry for the rant! I just hate those kinds of remarks. The jokes about you buying an iPad (or anything) are out of place, it’s about choices and you evidently make smart ones.

    Back to topic: my parents were never really frugal actually. Careful but not frugal. I discovered frugality just before losing a job, so it was very helpful. And I stick to it because it just feels smart. :)


  22. 1) Eco and environmental reasons FORCE me to be thrifty (almost every made new is still made in shocking conditions across the globe using resources and so on and so on – you know my shiz on this!)
    2) You know what, it makes you so creative – unique – and you NEVER have what someone else has…I find that really interesting – so if you want to be a mould-breaker, individualist, thrift makes you be one.
    We like!
    x x x

  23. I’m thrifty, extremely thrifty and it because of this that I can afford to treat myself and my family occasionally without going into debt.

    Yes I will save money on food (I grow my own veggies and fruit and have my own flock of chickens for eggs) and I recycle, reuse and shop in charity shops or on Ebay, but when there’s something I really….. need I buy it.

    Being thrifty does not mean being mean or stingy it means being careful with your money after all you’ve worked hard to earn it. And if you’re careful with what you have and what you buy you deserve it.

    Brilliant post.

    Sue xx

  24. My Mum’s from Yorkshire – nuff said! I was brought up to look after the pennies. The majority of the stuff I buy is from charity shops or in the sale. My husband always cringes when I tell someone how cheap something was when they say how much they like it! But we do treat ourselves sometimes and we find it difficult paying a lot of money for something so we always make sure we have got the best deal. I’m just glad I’m not the only one! Enjoy the ipad. x

  25. My parents never had much money, and I don’t think my Dad ever paid full price for anything in his life – he absolutely loved a bargain. I think that must have brushed off on me. Being thrifty enabled me to buy my first house aged 18, it has enabled me to work only part-time or not at all for the last 23 years, and it enables me to live the life that I want. During one of my long periods when I wasn’t working , J’s workmates used to comment that we had loads of money if we made a high-value purchase. Whatbusiness of theirs it was I never did work out.Those purchases were made through being thrifty , and J did point out that he earned the same as them , and unlike their wives I didn’t earn any money. They still didn’t get it – I think there are some people who won’t get it no matter how much you point it out to them.

  26. I did exactly the same thing – you will never regret buying a mac book pro – it will save you money in the long run. This is making the very best use of your resources; knowing when to spend and when not to.

  27. I completely understand this! Having recently bought our first house, people think that we’re quite well off and we are comfortable BUT we earned our deposit through hard work and saving our money all throughout University and our first professional jobs. We both stayed at home for Uni and I worked right through Uni too so I saved a lot of that. I never went without, I was just more sensible than others. I didn’t have lots of expensive holidays or go travelling, I saved it all for my house because it’s what we wanted to do. Some people might think that we had a boring time at Uni, but we didn’t. We just had different aims and found other ways to have fun. I wouldn’t have it any other way now :) I know we will continue to be thrifty now we have outgoings but we will also still save money for big purchases. I don’t like buying lots of things on my credit card and never go into my overdraft because I like to know that things I buy are MINE, not the banks. But I don’t criticise people who do use their overdraft, it’s just different choices. Money is a very touchy subject and people need to just respect what people decide to do with their hard earned money!

  28. Such a great topic Mrs T!
    I was brought up to be thrifty, wore clothes that my mom knitted and sewed! I got married at 19 and we were saving for a house before that but we still had fun!
    We have only ever bought what we have saved for and not lived beyond our means.
    In the last 10 years we have had luxury holidays in the Carribean because I save all year round, I shop carefully.We have a lot more money now, Hubby has worked hard and has a good job, I still like to be thrifty as you don’t know what we happen in the future so we like to have some savings to spend on what we like!
    Rachel x

  29. louise says:

    Great post. Im a big thrifter (yorkshire lass) with 6 brothers and sisters. My parents lived through the war and I can always remember their thrifting attitude to life. Nothing got wasted or throw away. Its all coming around full circle, there has never been such much hype about saving money,thrifting etc where some of us have been doing it years.

    Thrifting is a challenge,it stretches your imagination. I’m a big fan of reinventing things, with a needle and cotton. Since I was made redundant,even more so. Thrifting also makes those indulgent purchases so much more pleasurable.

  30. I am Thrifty because my budget is stretched so incredibly thin! But also I really enjoy finding something I really like without the HOW MUCH FOR A JERSEY T SHIRT?!?! In Topshop moment. I love the fact I put effort in to finding what i want :)

  31. One of the points of being thrifty is so that you have money available for the things that matter to you – whatever that may be – and only You can decide that. One person’s essential can be another’s ‘waste of money’. No one has the right to judge how you spend your – or save – your own money.

  32. My parents grew up in the war with rationing and making do and mending, and always instilled in us the value of money; even though we were comfortably off, treats were special. At University I made most of my clothes or revamped jumble sale/charity shop gems, but it was the 80s and Vivienne Westwood Pirate was the look; so you could get away with things people wouldn’t dream of wearing today! We save in order to build our own house from green and sustainable resources, so more recycling and re-using. But – an iPad 2 is on my wish list too!

  33. My thrifty genes seem to have skipped a generation. My mum, dad and brother spend money like it’s going out of fashion, and I regularly hear the phrase “you really can taste the difference!”. But this way of life has never sat comfortably with me and I just enjoy the thrill of the hunt finding great vintage furniture or clothing, I adore spending time in my allotment and get a giddy thrill out of eating food I grew from seed. Yes of course I want to own my own house, and have a car that doesn’t have a massive dent down the side of it. But these things aren’t within my grasp so I don’t worry about them, life is better when you have a healthy appreciation of the small things, as my friend from Devon once put it “it’s as good as sticking your hand in a bale of warm hay”. Damn straight.

  34. I grew up in a working class house, where Mum couldn’t work as she was looking after disabled me, and Dad still is a manual worker. We never went without, but we appreciated everything we had (and still do!).
    Conversely, at least two of my great uncles are millionaires. They are self-made men, but they are also thrifty. Their money isn’t burned, it is used wisely.
    I don’t understand why people attach negative connotations to being thrifty. To me, there is a gulf of difference between being thrifty, and being a mean cheapskate. My frugal relatives don’t buy flashy cars etc, but they will happily help family in need. Wanting to be secure and have money for important things isn’t the same as being a tightwad (in my humble opinion).
    I don’t have money to waste, but I do have a little magpie in my head saying “buy shiny, pretty things! They will make you happy!”. I’m learning to put a rubber band round its imaginary beak, and think “do I really need another…?”. The answer is no, 98% of the time! I couldn’t do the boozy student thing, so I justified my spending by saying “but I can’t go out…”.
    It’s making me much happier to see my bank account in the black, and knowing I’m saving up for real treats, like weekends away (on a budget!), and adventures with my friends. Things that will create lasting, happy memories.

  35. Hi Thrifty Miss, I love this post, I have the same thoughts on thrifting as you. I also feel that by creating, buying charity shop clothes, getting furniture from the recycling centre etc makes me who I am today, and makes me different from the main stream modern culture of buy now pay later, pile ’em high attitude. I feel that by being thrifty we are contributing to a better society, less wasteful and more respectful of things we own, and I often think it is more in line with the ‘make do and mend’ era our parents and our grandparents had to endure but with ‘want’ rather than ‘need’ in mind. I wonder what is really fashionable now? Do you think it is becoming fashionable to be thrifty or is it a more primal desire from within those of us who thrift? bee x

  36. I think part of being thrifty is buying wisely, so it makes sense to save for good quality things which will last – like your ipad!

  37. Great post – really enjoyed reading the comments left. I think for me its just a way of life, I don’t notice that its different to shop second-hand or make most of the things in my home. I try and save pennies where I can, I shop wisely for everything, I don’t ‘keep up with the jones’ and we have no debt and are currently trying to pay off our mortgage quicker. The main thing for us I’m a SAHM and by saving pennies on this or that means we can afford for me to stay home and still live in a great house, do lovely things and have treats without worrying about debt.

  38. I grew up in a big extended family with handing-down of clothes and toys etc’. So I guess like you I got into the habit of thrifty behaviour – but my parents also spoilt us/themselves sometimes with the money they saved. My dad collects antiques and my mum loves her travel. I think that attitude stuck with me: shopping in the sales and charity shops, buying own brand foods etc’, but then saving the money for something really nice when I want/need it. Plus the peace of mind aspect: I might have cash for treats, but I also feel a bit ‘rainy day proof’, which is really calming.

  39. I think there isn ‘t a lot of milionaire out there…so we live a thrifty life and sometimes we threat ourself with nice things…I bought a iphone 4 two month ago and I’m happy!!!

    ps. I hope that makes sense because my english is a bit rusty!

  40. Anonymous says:

    this post is very relevant to me, I love to be thrifty with things in life like food and bills and general things around the house which then allows me to buy the things i really want, not just need!

  41. Such a great post! I’m totally with you on this one. My parents came from very working class farming families. In fact, my mum’s parents only started paying income tax when they got their pension! My parents were brought up being thrifty and they’ve brought me up the same way. We look after the things we own, mend them, and I often received hand me down clothes from my cousins which I loved. It made them special knowing they had a history. We never went on holiday either,spent all summer on the beach near our house and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Although my family would now described as “middle class” we still have solid working class ethics and my parents have worked damn hard for their money.

    Because I don’t drink or smoke (and don’t go out clubbing) I’ve saved a hell of a lot of money compared to most people I went to uni with. Like Helen, I’m hoping it’ll go towards owning a house one day. Although the odd splurge on clothes, shoes, cameras, doesn’t hurt 😉

  42. I am jealous of your ipad. There. I have said it. It is your money, you spend it how you see fit. You have saved / earned it.

    I thrift for moneys sake and also for individuality. When I moved into my new flat 4 yrs ago, I decked it out in Ikea. The thought of that makes me wince nowadays, because my style has changed. All of my ikea stuff has gone (sold)barring some bookcases, and I have spent half the amount raised on rekitting my abode.

  43. I totally agree. My parents have only started using ebay and charity shops recently because they saw the fantastic things I was getting, but I was brought up to believe that you saved up for the things you really wanted and did without some things and you didn’t settle for 2nd best.
    The sofa I’m sat on is a perfect example. It’s a green leather chesterfield which must be nearly 30 years old. The arms are cracked and have a couple of rips, the seat covers were held together with duct tape and are now so bad that I’ve made cloth covers for them. It has a large piece of MDF under the cushions to stop it sagging, but it’s incredible comfy and suits our style. It was free but cost me £40 to hire a van to collect it. (I also got 2 matching windsor chairs.)
    I could take advantage of a sale and get a new fabric sofa for £200. Family have offered to buy us one. But it wouldn’t last 20+ years like this one has. So I’m waiting till my children are bigger and less likely to ruin it, then I’ll spend several £100’s buying a good quality leather sofa which I’ll love for 30 years.

  44. Well said, Mrs!
    I was bought up thrifty – jumble sales were a staple of our young lives.
    Now? I’ve given up work to provide the best posible care for my two little’uns, so I try to save money where I can.
    (may I say, I now have a new wardrobe full of Whistles, Boden, Next, Monsoon, Principles etc, courtesy of charity shops- I’d never be able to boast that otherwise).
    May I also say that I also have a pair of Hunter Wellies, some Cath Kidston goodies (sale) and an ipad, like you. Being thrifty doesn’t mean that I have to miss out on quality stuff.

  45. I completely and utterly agree with this wonderful and thoughtful post! I have far too much to waffle on about this so I am going to blog about it!

  46. I too am trifty out of necessity, but I also enjoy it. I now hate paying full price for anything and will very rarely buy clothes or books new. I do treat myself, but as I’m on a very limited budget it’s normally in the sale (like the yarn I purchased today!) or even some charity shop purchases I class as a treat as they are non essential and, as you’ve recently discussed, getting pricier, which is a main gripe of mine lately!

  47. Ok first off, it REALLY annoys me when people get on their snide high horses about having nice things. Most people who have nice things either work hard to have or/and make compromises on other areas to be able to have them. *rant over, bows head in apology*

    I’m not sure I’d consider myself thrifty, but there are certain things I’d go out of my way to buy/do things cheaply to save money for things I want. When I was at uni, other students used to find it odd that I’d rather hand wash my clothes in the sink and dry them on an airer for the sake of “only” £6 per week but I’d have a £2-3 coffee out 2/3 times a week. For me saving or compromising meant I could afford to do the things I wanted or buy something I wanted. That “only” £24 a month bought me a lot of laughs and comfort with friends and that meant more than the convenience of using the crappy uni laundry. Besides what else does an insomniac do when they’re awake at 0430?

  48. I think many people confuse being thrifty and frugal with being mean and miserly. good for you buying the ipad, its about spending the money you have in a way that suits you. We have to be thrifty in order to dig our way out of debt – our own doing, but I suppose now it is also part of the long term plan to get out of the rat race and follow our dreams x

  49. i grew up in a council house in the 80’s, and remember long periods of unemployment for my parents. Being thrifty wasn’t a lifestyle choice but a necessity. I was lucky that both my parents were creative and inventive people (my dad was an engineer and my mum was a seamstress ) so they were always making something wonderful from very little. I never went without the essentials and looking back, it has stood me in good stead for later life. Being able to make something from nothing has got me through a lot of hard times- although sometimes it can be exhausting, when you’re not well and have three children to care for too.
    Being creative and inventive with the resources you have rather than going out and buying stuff you don’t really need is something i have been brought up with.

  50. When my parents separated and then divorced money was very tight as my mum went onto benefits. I saw first hand how hard it was to balance the money out so all things got paid. Also my dad was so clever if he could fix something or make something then that’s what he did. He only spent money if he had too. So a combination of those things were already there as I began to grow up and have my own money. I became more interested in green issues as I grew up and so recycling of things was another reason to get thrifty. I have always meal planned, I shop in all the usual thrify places for my clothes and now we have children kit them out this way too. I want to make the most of the money I earn, I work for it and I work it to work for me in return!
    Lisa x

  51. My Dad is crazy for the thrift. Seriously. He’s the kind of guy who’ll tack on a piece of guttering to your bike instead of mud guards. It’s weird how it gets engrained in you (yesterday I made my boyfriend make an abrupt u-turn so I could pick up a towel rack from the side of the road).

    That said I’m a firm believer that being thrifty shouldn’t be a punishment. I don’t go in for ‘making sacrifices’ by scrimping. Thrifty living is (and should be) fun.

    I hope that iPad 2 is incredible!

  52. I’m thrifty because it was drummed into me (and I mean DRUMMED) as a child. I wish I was less thrifty sometimes, I’d love to buy something without having to weigh it up for ages, and then get guilt about whether or not I need it… but it’s not to be…!!


  53. Your reasoning is absolutely right, I reckon. You can’t buy ipad2 at a boot sale so if you can justify the use of one you buy it new. The other things you do cheaply – perfectly sensible. Thrifty living isn’t about ‘nothing new, nothing good’, it’s about getting good things cheaply when possible and saving properly for other things you need.

    So, do I treat myself? Probably a lot less than I used to, because I realised that some of my ‘guilty pleasures’ were more guilt than pleasure! But if it’s really pleasurable, I will still spend money – a meal out with the family before going to see Harry Potter 8, why not?

    Thrifting is certainly in my blood – really, my blog is all about how my mother brought me up to thrift, and how that translates into moving to France. My husband’s mum brought him up very thriftily too, but in a TOTALLY different way – handmade clothes instead of secondhand ones, garden veg instead of late-night supermarket bargains. I’d like to think we’ve combined the two traditions, and added green ones from our own generation, fairly successfully!

  54. I’m a first time poster, thanks for the really interesting blog. I’m sitting in the garden on a lounger chair with a ripped cover that I got from the tip shop for £3.00, tying this on my second hand iPad 1… that pretty much sums my outlook up. Save what I can, think before spending and enjoy both.

  55. Loving this post… I’m a frugal miss too (well actually a frugal mrs too!) but we have just bought an ipad. Part of the reason we can afford nice things is that we save elsewhere. Strange that people don’t realise that!

  56. Yes, Some of us (quite a lot I imagine) are thrifty by necessity. A very nasty (unwanted) divorce which cleaned me out forced me into extreme thriftiness, and it’s since become a habit even now when things are a bit better. Agree with the comments, we can afford some nice things (holidays in our case) because we’re so careful about what we spend (or don’t spend) on others.
    I don’t know if it’s just thrift, or priorities?

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