I saw an interesting article in the Washington Post this weekend about the trendiness of being a tightwad and how some folks are almost viewing it as a competitive sport.
Since many people are cutting back on their discretionary spending, they’re finding new ways to entertain themselves. People are staying in more and having game and movie nights instead of spending money. The consumer-driven culture is taking a turn as frugal living becomes acceptable and even idealized idolized.
People, en masse, are spending less on frivolous things. They’re making food from scratch (or at least eating at home more often). They’re socking away more money in the bank than in recent decades. This is great!
And friends and acquaintances are inspiring one another to live on less. Some are taking it a bit to the extreme and treat saving money as a competition.
Well ya know what? It shouldn’t be. If someone pays $40 a week to feed their family and their neighbor harvests bushels of vegetables from their own garden, who wins? They both do!
If one mom buys disposable diapers when they’re on supersale, has a coupon for them and also earns Extra Care Bucks, and another mom diapers her babies in second-hand cloth diapers, who is more frugal? They’re both frugal. They’re making a conscious effort to save money and do what’s best for their individual families.
The frugal community can do well to inspire one another and teach each other new ways to save money. That’s why most of us frugal/pf bloggers blog — we want to share what we know and learn from others. We figure if everyone can save a buck here and there, that’s more money that can be used to build savings, pay off debt, give and live a better life.
We have to be careful that we don’t turn frugal living into a race. That’s not what it’s about.
I think the lovely Meredith said it well in her post here as she poses the question: “Which is more important–what actually fills our shopping carts, or our common commitment to live within budget and belief?”
Have you seen a change in people’s money mentalities?