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Posts Tagged ‘frugality’

Binge Buying

January 13th, 2009 No comments

The Simple Dollar had a recent post about frugality and binge buying.  I’ve realized I’m very guilty of this, even now.  Last week Woot! had a dvd recorder really cheap, and I thought “ours is having problems, this is a good deal, and we deserve it because we are saving money.”  WRONG! Now we are just that much more behind in retiring our debt.  This same mentality is what helped hold us into debt before:  “we make good money, so buying this item (which we don’t likely need, nor will likely use more than once) won’t be a burden.”

I need to get some blinders on (and maybe quit checking Woot! every morning) if we’re going to make this work.

The Simple Dollar » Frugality and Binge Buying.

When is Frugal Really Just Cheap?

January 5th, 2009 No comments

I’ve been trying to reflect on some of the things I do, or have done in the past, to save money and decide if they are frugal, or if I’ve gone over the edge into being a cheapskate.

One of the things that prompted this was my reading of The Millionaire Next Door.  Dr. Stanley’s found that a good percentage of millionaires bought a good, expensive (but reasonable) pair of shoes and then had them resoled several times.  I have always bought cheap shoes, and, being cheap, they fall apart and I have to replace them.  I used to think this was better than buying expensive shoes, but now I need to reconsider.  If I can buy one good pair and get them resoled, in the end I will probably save money.  The fact that I now budget money for shoes and could afford to buy more expensive shoes helps.  I’ve never had a pair of shoes resoled, and I wonder if there is even anybody locally that can do it.

Another thing that I have always done is cut my own hair.  I let it get longer in the winter to try and stay warm, and buzz it off (or even shave it completely) during the summer.  I think I have been to a barber twice since I was sixteen.  My mother-in-law was a hairdresser, and whenever I needed a haircut, she’d haul me to the shop and just do it.  When she passed away, my hair got pretty long for awhile, and I just took care of it myself.  This has worked out okay the past several years as I worked from home and didn’t have much in-person contact with customers or fellow employees, but now that I go to an office, I’m starting to wonder if I am being frugal or being cheap.  Perhaps I’m being frugal, but to the detriment of my career.  I’m not capable of cutting my hair any way except with a big pair of clippers.  If I had a professional looking hair style, would it help me to advance?

One area that I am very stubborn about frugality is clothing.  I am not paying $50 for a pair of blue jeans.  I don’t think I could pay that much for a pair of dress pants.  I can go to the Goodwill and get pants for $3-$5 and sometimes they still have the original tags on them!

What ways do you find yourself being cheap instead of frugal?