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 meal planned (it was the jaunts around the world at the last second with my flatmates, oh and 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 on campsites in France for four years in a row so we could travel across Europe 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. Hand me down clothes, renting out the barn and going without so my parents could buy expensive things such as cars and tractors (in order to replace the one that looked like this) for the farm outright instead of having loans and debt.
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.