Start Where You Are

The other day I was reading a post on a message board from someone who was very proud of their money saving efforts.

They listed things they’d cut including the house cleaner, the lawn service, eating out, and that they’d dropped premium channels on their cable. They’ve started buying store brands and given up many designer labels. They also sold a luxury car and replaced it with a cheaper model. They were pretty proud of themselves because they were now saving several thousand dollars per year. I thought they were doing a good job, but other posters jumped on this person telling them that they weren’t being frugal and that their efforts were stupid.

The general conse


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6 Responses to Start Where You Are

  1. You may also consider that, for some people, spending many hours every week mowing their own lawn or cleaning their own house is time they lost working on their small business or doing other money-earning tasks that potentially earn them more than they pay for those services.

    Sure, you can save energy costs and appliance costs by washing all your clothes by hand, but is that time value of money really worth it to lose? For some it is, but for others whose time value is high, it might actually be a net loss.

  2. patty says:

    There now s a snobbery associated with not only being ecology mind (I can spend $3k on an organic bed!) and with being thrifty now. I saw this on several blogs, it is a type of class warfare and it is never helpful or pretty. It is sad. I say enjoy what you have, and use what you have.

  3. Ezra's Mom says:

    Thanks for this post! And thanks for the important reminder, White Eyebrows. I am in the process of trying to be more frugal. But I am also in the process of starting my own business and helping my husband with his business. And I have a problem with low energy and headaches. And I have a one-year-old.

    So, yes, I could save even more money if I had limitless time and energy, but I don’t. So I focus on the ways to save the most money and on what things we really value. We’ve cut out a lot of things, but cutting out the housekeeper who comes once every 1-2 months to do the deep cleaning is going to be one of the last because it’s worth it to us, even though theoretically we could set aside the time to do it ourselves.

  4. Sarah says:

    Great post – rather than cutting people down we should try to be supportive of people who are doing what they can to better themselves. And I agree with WhiteEyebrows – “frugal” may mean sewing your own clothes and only buying from thrift stores. But to others time is factored into the frugality equation. To each his (or her!) own.

  5. 20 and Engaged says:

    Great post! I’ve noticed some of the ultimate frugal people have a sort of snotty air about them, looking down at those who are cutting their spending from where they are. You can go from 100 to 0 in a day. If you have a house keeper or someone who takes care of your lawn, those are obviously the first thing to go. You can’t expect someone to go extremely frugal overnight. That’s equivalent to a crash diet. You can’t go from cheeseburgers and pizza to grapes and cheese. It’s just not going to be successful. Shame on those people. We need to support each other.

  6. Le-Anne says:

    This article says it all. It is important to recognise the frugal journey as it is to learn different methods and ideas. A start is a start, no matter from where that starting point begins.

    I do not have a problem with people spending their money on services or items, it helps the economy going, especially for the self-employed! They make adjustments in areas that suit their lifestyles, and in the end, isn’t that what frugal is about – creating a ‘lifestyle’?

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