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Does anyone here at ThriftyFun have any other ideas to share of what might be going too far to be frugal?
All I can say is you are 100% correct on frugalness. I have always said there is a difference of being frugal or just being downright cheap. It is too bad that some people just don't understand the difference. I know that some people are on a tight budget and have to make do. But there are others ( we may all know someone) that just enjoys being cheap and then say they are frugal. Pick and choose what is important for you to save money or spend on. Give yourself some pleasure. Otherwise you might get to a point in your life with no friends or family no hobby and no joy for living. It could make you a real sourpuss.
Frugality practiced responsibly is the saving grace for most families on extremely tight budgets. I believe what you're describing is being greedy or stringy, and that's a whole different kettle of fish. Watching my mom, I have to say that the elderly are particularly vulnerable to being victims of their own cheap and stingy habits. They eat food way beyond the safe zone, skimp on medications, refuse to use their AC/Heat for fear of running up the bill, etc. And many have hoarding symptoms, not wanting anyone else to get that item someone else is giving away or throwing out. It is up to family and friends to keep a close eye on the aging as this can quickly lead to a serious problem.
I absolutely agree with everything, except: "You deny yourself even the tiniest of treats that would be good for you emotionally...". I don't understand the concept of splurging as a necessity. Why would I pay four dollars for a cup of coffee when I can make it at home for pennies? Does the $10 body lotion moisturize better than my free samples or cheap after coupon buys? Why pay $30 to eat out when I can cook all natural foods for a week at home for the same price? I don't feel that I am denying myself anything by being frugal. Instead, I have more money that can be allocated to other areas: seeds, charity, home repair, savings, etc.
Excellent article and ethically sound; especially about stocking up on "free" items in stores and restaurants. I do find this activity as a form of stealing. In my world, frugality is expressed as taking, using, what is actually needed, and conscientiously discarding and recycling.
This is a pretty good post.
As a single person, it's hard for me to use up a bag of produce, even though the per pound price is cheaper. I often just get one large onion or bell pepper instead. With meat it's okay to get the big pack because I can freeze it in portions.
I've been a hoarder in the past so I have to be careful when it comes to saving anything that could be "useful", like product packaging. I don't want to get the behavior started again. Trust me, it isn't worth any little bit of money you might save.
Pixiedust, I agree with you about using dryer sheets. The only time I use one is when I've left a tissue in a pocket and find that there's tissue lint all over a load of clothing. I cut one in 3rds and only use a 3rd to tumble the load, and the lint goes to the filter. Sometimes in winter, when there's a lot of static electricity, I'll throw a 3rd in with a load, but I've also found that running a wire hanger over the clothes makes the static go away.
I think people overuse liquid fabric softener because they believe the commercials on TV. My MIL douses everything with fabric softener, and using one of her towels is like trying to dry off with a plastic bag.
I know someone quite elderly who waits all day to flush her potty. This is so unsanitary! She thinks she is being "frugal" by doing this.
I worry when I read about the use of home remedies when a visit to the doctor is in order. Example, several suggestions for ingrown toenails....but if you are a diabetic, it's not time to fool around saving money with home remedies when there is the issue of an infection. Some times you just need to see a doctor or risk your health further by trying to save money.
I found a useful rule of thumb in Richard Foster's "Freedom of Simplicity" - unless you really enjoy doing something yourself, or are very poor, think twice if it saves you less than you could reasonably get paid for the time that you spend
I Agree With you 100% I Myself think eating out has become overrated an I find the food blah ,but I got to go to please boyfriend .I also would never spend 4$ for a cup of coffee I have learned to blend my own at home and enjoy it twice as much