Some imagine a penny-pinching Grinch that hoards every dollar as if clinging to life itself.
Others imagine a destitute fool who doesn’t recognize the so-called “finer things in life.”
My hope is that this blog post gives a better picture of the mind of the frugal individual. Set aside the inaccurate, and sometimes insulting images in your mind, and let’s discover the real reasons for developing the frugal mentality.
There is a scene in The Great Gatsby where Gatsby is on the second floor of his bedroom, throwing pieces of clothing down to the woman he loves. His intention is to entice her with his riches, impress her with expensive clothing, and therefore hold her affections.
This is a far cry from the frugalist’s mindset. A frugal person is free to see things as they really are. Free from the prison of materialism. The frugalist understands that the really important things are neither material nor monetary. Unlike the get-all-you-can attitude of most folks, the frugally minded actually see the ultra-lavish lifestyle as both sickening and greedy. I say this from personal experience.
The movie scene I described earlier actually turned my stomach. Why? Because I think of all the desperate folks in the world who could benefit from the generosity of the ultra-rich.
Can you imagine the problems that would be solved if every mega-rich celebrity or sports personality decided to sell their mansions and some of their many luxury vehicles, then donated the proceeds to feed the hungry or help rescue victims of human trafficking? What if all those millions were funneled into creating jobs for those in desperate situations instead of being used to buy expensive purses, over-priced shoes and jewelry?
It is the frugal mind that can do this world the most good because it is not trapped by the mentality of gathering more and more stuff. The frugalist is free to give to charities, churches, and the indigent on the street without feeling she has missed something.
She understands the importance of paying a homeless person to wash her car instead of going to the car wash. In fact, giving to those less fortunate gives the frugal person a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
So the next time you’re tempted to think of a frugal person as stingy or cheap, you may want to consider that she is not hoarding her pennies, she is proactively funneling them to where they are needed most.
And you SavvyReader, what frugal practices have you adopted?