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Frugal is a Beautiful Thing

“Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.” – Samuel Johnson

A frugal person might be named a penny pincher. Tightwad. Cheap. Non-indulgent. Spartan. Parsimonious, even! Yes, these are some of the less flattering terms used for those who are careful about money. This negative language may make one reluctant to be cautious about spending what they have worked so hard for. One may see frugality as self-deprivation when, in reality, frugality is a way to reduce debt, save money, and free yourself from wasteful spending. It’s a different way of looking at the world and thinking about your own money choices. Frugality puts you in control and makes you knowledgeable about the difference between want and need. Rather than deprivation, it is a way to free yourself from your own carelessness. Best of all, if you apply frugality along with a plan for saving, you will likely see that when you find yourself needing a new set of tires or just wanting to purchase something special, you’ll have the cash you need, guilt and worry free.

"Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

Beginning to live a more frugal lifestyle takes some time, and ideas and advice from others really helps. It becomes a great treat to find a new tip from a kindred spirit. I recently came across a neat little book of tips in the library. Surprisingly, I’d not heard of the author, Mary Hunt, before I saw this book. The title really caught my eye: Everyday Cheapskate’s Greatest Tips: 500 Simple Strategies for Smart Living. Did you know that if you soak your plastic shower liner in salt water before hanging it up the first time, it will prevent mildew from forming? Don’t ask me the science behind this – just believe me, it works. Have you ever used clothes pins to seal your chip and cereal bags to keep them fresh, rather than buying chip clips? I’ve used this tip a long time, but it’s nice to see it in print. While enjoying her book, I also discovered that Mary Hunt has a really terrific web site: http://www.debtproofliving.com/. Along with tips, she also introduces readers to her five element plan for debt-proof living. Even if you are not that structured in your saving style, the tips and ideas may save you a bundle.

“Thrift comes too late when you find it at the bottom of your purse.” – Seneca

Of course, Mary Hunt isn’t the only saving guru out there. There’s Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard, Steve and Annette Economides, and many others who have books, blogs, and websites full of money tips. Find someone who works for you and stop thinking of being frugal as a negative thing. Frugality really means being cost effective, practical, watchful of funds, efficient, provident, thrifty, and wise. So reward yourself and go save some money!


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