I've always been fascinated with money, and more precisely saving money. I've never had a desire to accumulate a great deal of it, it just has always pricked my interest. My mom used to give me her old check book ledgers to play with on my little white desk before I even went to school...no kidding! Ever since I doubled that first coupon back in Lincoln, Maine at the ripe ol' age of 12 (Anybody remember Wellbys Superdrug, beside Shop & Save?), I could never for the life of me figure out why anyone would pay full price for anything. That's not to say that I never do, it's just that I try awfully hard not to.
Through the ups and downs of the economy, I've noticed that there are several types of frugalistas. Here's my synopsis:
The "I'm only frugal because I have to be and as soon as the money's back, I'm spending!" In my not-so-humble-opinion, these aren't tightwads at all. They don't understand the concept, which is why they are usually in boatloads of debt and only start saving money to be able to spend again. Author Joni McCoy, (Miserly Moms), fits this category.
The "I love to get a deal, but only because I like really nice things and I want to buy more of them." These are the folks who still want to look rich, but don't want to spend lavishly. They appreciate the finer things in life and would rather have one really nice item than 5 generic alternatives. They generally shun debt. Authors Mary Hunt (Debt Proof Living), Marjorie Harris (Thrifty) and Dave Ramsey (Total Money Makeover) belong here.
The "Green is good, I am saving the world by being thrifty." This is a bigger movement than I'm sure I am aware of, but there are hundreds of blogs out there on the subject. These are the folks who will spend extra to buy organic and who wouldn't be caught dead with a Teflon frying pan. They are thrifty because they don't want to use precious resources, but it's really not about spending less, it's about consuming less. Thrifty Green by Priscilla Short fits here.
The "I'm so cheap I'll do things that border on illegal just to save a buck." Now, IMHO, these guys sometimes go too far. I take great pains to try to be "above board" in all I do. John Hoffman (The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving) lives in this group. I have to admit, the book is funny...and yes, I've been a diver on a couple of occasions!
The "I'm living in grinding poverty and see no way out." This is truly the saddest place to be, because I believe there is a way out (at least in our county), but it's not an easy road and requires much work. I have seen this first hand (up close and personal) growing up in rural Maine.
The "I'm just thrifty because I like to be. I appreciate nice things, but I can do without them because I have greater goals in mind, and debt is the REALLY bad 4 letter word." This would be the Jeff Yeager (The Ultimate Cheapskate), Amy Dacyzyn (The Tightwad Gazette) and Steve & Annette Economides (America's Cheapest Family) crowd. Oh, and this would be me! So, of course, I'm a little partial to this brand of tightwad.
Now, obviously there is overlapping involved and sometimes folks move from one category to another, but no matter which way you slice the frugal pie, there's enough thrift to go around. And you can even have a cup of coffee with it (make mine generic!) In which category are you?
I haven't had a giveaway in quite some time, and have decided to set a goal. Right now I am at approximately 205 subscribers and 57 followers. If I can make it to 300 (combined) by October 1, I will randomly select one person to receive a brand new 14 piece knife set!
This will coincide with the beginning a great shoe drive I am planning to be a part of. The greater frugal blogging community is "pairing" up with http://www.soles4souls.com/ and http://www.flipflopwines.com/ (I know, a little weird, apparently because of their name, they are sponsoring the drive) to collect shoes to give to some of the world's poorest people. There is a contest involved (surprise) to see who can collect the most, but really, I'm just doing this one to help clean out my closet! My collection will run the entire month of October. So, while you're doing your fall clean-out, save a few pairs of shoes for me!! More info will follow.
And thanks to you, my blogger friends, I am advancing nicely in the Bring Home the Bacon Contest. Thanks so much for your votes of confidence, 3rd in state, 33rd overall. You really have no idea what this means to me! http://www.cheapsally.com/profile/tricia-cliff/