I was recently exploring several personal finance blog sites I subscribe to and have noticed a pattern among the comments in stories about us frugal folks. We constantly run into opposition and misunderstanding from those who do not quite get our non-traditional mindset. We are spoken to rudely or given weird looks by those who don’t understand our decision to go against the grain.
Some of us, like Green Money Stream, grow our food instead of buying it and do not buy things like Twinkies for our children. Upon learning this, our friends, family, and neighbors tell us we are depriving our children.
Many frugal folks, like SavvyJames, seek to buy used cars and drive them until the wheels fall off. Others look at this choice as a result of being cheap, penny-pinching Grinches. They may even make fun of our vehicle because it’s old and out of date.
Despite this opposition, we move forward with our gardens of free food and our old, paid-off vehicles because of one very liberating fact…we are free from the bondage of public opinion. (This concept is very close to being free from materialism, which I’ve written about in The Frugal Mentality.) The difference here is that we do not concern ourselves with the idea that we must do as our friends, family, and Hollywood do because it’s the way it’s always been done. Neither are we swayed back and forth by ever-changing fads and fashions. We can purchase a tiny or small home, unshackled from the popular mindset that bigger is better. We pay to have shoes repaired, save as much as possible, invest, create emergency funds, etc. And we are happy!
We are not stressed out by wondering if the person next to us approves of our expensive three-piece suit or we are doing enough to keep up with the Joneses. We are fully content in our resale shop purchased blue jeans and jacket. We are not trapped in the tradition of replacing our sound system with the latest upgrades. We are just fine with the straight-from-the-factory system that came with our used vehicle. Also, if we have financed our used vehicle, we are thrilled to know we’ll pay it off in less time than it will take our neighbor to pay off his brand new, completely unnecessary Hummer. To be honest, I actually get a kick out of that.
So, let the masses say what they will, we are resolved to save in any way we can for the betterment of our loved ones and a financially secure future; and honestly, we just don’t care what others may think … ahhhh that felt good. Live more frugally and live more comfortably!
Have you Calculated how large your nest egg needs to be to generate your desired retirement income? Have you developed, and are you actively managing, a comprehensive retirement plan?