Still frugal after all these years?

proud to be different

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve been at this money saving malarky for quite a while now to the point that I forget that I might be a bit different. You see, I don’t consider that I live a frugal, austere life with any deprivations at all. I live, in my own opinion, really well. I have hot water every day, I eat three healthy meals a day, I put on clean clothes every day, we are warm, we have hobbies, ten weeks holiday and have savings. I’m more than happy with that lot and consider that we are very fortunate indeed.

I’m a delayed gratifier. I don’t need a take out to save me from cooking, I don’t need new clothes to cheer me up, I don’t need a bit or retail therapy to brighten my day and I don’t need bought and paid for entertainment. My gratification will come one day in the future when I’ve saved for it and don’t owe Santander any money for our mortgage. It’ll also come when we’ve paid fully into our pensions and savings funds. I have nine years until I retire and that might seem a very long term to get the rewards of all that saving but I’m patient enough to just keep on keeping on until I get there.

You might think, it’s ok having holidays but what about the other 42 weeks of the year……who wants to stay home and just amuse themselves for 42 weeks? Well, that’ll be me! I can amuse myself for hours without spending any money and can’t think of anything nicer that being at home or getting out for a walk somewhere quiet and natural.

It seems increasingly less popular to save and to wait and go without. I don’t mind that I’m the odd one out, when other than our mortgage, we have no debts of any kind and haven’t since 2011. We’ve been five and a half years debt free and have no intention of ever borrowing any money ever again. If we can’t afford it then we can’t have it until we’ve saved up for it.

That changes all of our perspectives. Now, if we need a ‘new’ household item, we’ll go without for months waiting to see if we can get one on freecycle, one of the bigger charity shops that sell reconditioned or being sold locally and for very little on ebay. We really only buy what we need and then make do with what we have making a point of not replacing something until it’s beyond repair. If something needs doing then we just have to do it ourselves. Changing our perspectives means we never have to keep up with the Jones. That’s a relief I can tell you.

As I was saying, I forget most of the time that I’m any different but when I remember I know it’s ok.

Over to you my lovely. Do you forget that being thrifty, frugal, prudent or financially cautious makes you different?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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34 thoughts on “Still frugal after all these years?

  1. I do forget how different I am. I am only reminded when others comment, which usually happens when I decline to follow the herd. I am told that they could never live like me–they don’t have the time, patience, and don’t want to deprive their kids! I, on the other hand, could never live their lives. It seems so exhausting.

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  2. We have been thrifty all our lives Froogs, mortgage free at age 50 lots of plans to spend our savings in retirement, then my husband had a stroke and it all that saving seems worthless. Spend and enjoy while you can, I hope your plans come to fruition Froogs,

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    • You would be a lot worse off if you hadn’t been frugal. Perhaps it didn’t work out the way you hoped, but you’re still better off than if you owed a lot of money, and now had to cope on your own.

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  3. Goodmorning Froogs,
    Yes, that’s us, a bit different, but that’s okay, I have learnt not to say too much to certain people about the way we choose to live. Remarks such as “you know you can buy bread” is one that was said to me a while ago. I just don’t share too much info anymore. Give me a simple, small life without all the trappings and I am one happy girl. Thanks for the post today, you always make me smile. Have a lovely day.
    Fi

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    • This reminds me of when I was looking in all the supermarkets around me trying to find Seville oranges for making marmalade to no avail. One of the shop assistants I asked suggested she took me to a certain isle where they sell it readymade in jars!

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  4. I save for absolutely everything, the days of paying a penny of interest are long gone. Mortgage free, car payment free and we use credit cars but pay them off immediately (sometimes a few times a month payments are made) so no interest there either, just airline points which we use to see family and for holidays. So many people don’t get the whole saving for things issue though. We were so proud the other day. My stepson who is coming out of the military in February told us he likely is moving in with his girlfriend at that time and will then go to school the following September. While we have $15,000 saved for his schooling (that will pay for 2 years tuition) for policing he will need to save/have money to live on. He then told us he has saved $17,000 plus will work part-time as a military reservist (Canada) which should give him enough to live on both until he goes to school and while in school. He obviously has learned about saving.

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  5. We’ve also always been different, although with the comments on here I’m beginning to think not THAT different after all. We were married in 1974, and had $5000 in savings, mostly his I admit, than we lived behind a shop because the rent was half the cost of a flat, both worked two jobs, looked out for the shop next door and rang the owners if we heard noises after they’d been robbed once and they gave us $10 meat a week, grew a few vegetables and shopped at the Victoria market for others , I learned to bake bread and cooked from scratch, didn’t buy takeaway, is this starting to sound familiar? Within 2 1/2 years we had $20,000 and bought our first home with only an $8,000 loan which we paid off in 12 months. Then we bought a few bits of furniture, we had only had our bed, a couple of chairs, my glory box and a small portable TVs, plus a few donated old things like a twin tub washer, 20 year old fridge etc. My husbands uncle gave us priceless words of wisdom when we got engaged. Whatever you do make sure you own your house first, then no matter what happens you’ll be fine. He had purchased his house during the Depression from a bank foreclosure, the previous owners had got a mortgage, furniture ‘on tick’, lived it up and when the husband was put on short time couldn’t keep up the repayments and lost everything. Uncle Percy learned from their mistake and so did we. After a few years I left work and we ran a small business for a few years, but my long service payout from the job went into a block of land for the future , we started a family, my husband got sick and went on light duties until his government job was privatised and he got a package. Unlike a lot of people we didn’t buy a car, furniture, trips aircon with that lovely lump sum, but some shares for the future, we moved away from town to the house we’d built on our block as the doctor thought pollution might not be helping his health, we survived on Centrelink benefits, probably as we had no debt, after a few years we had to move back to town for the children’s schools and were able to get a mortgage and pay it off, still on a part pension. I didn’t work , looking after hubby, elderly MIL, and 3 children, 2 of whom had special needs.
    Now I work full time, but still cook, sew and knit, as I enjoy them, we have been 5 cruises and a trip to England in the last 7 years, are renovating both houses bit by bit, go two or three little trips a year with car clubs we belong too and I have a couple of craft weekends a year. I AM NOT DEPRIVED!
    My eldest daughter has told me that other family members have said to her they don’t know how we managed it. I do, we spent less than we earned, made do and mended, etc.etc.etc. I buy home brand and 50% off specials, when chicken breasts drop to $4.99 kg at Tasman meats I get 10 kg and spend the next day preparing and freezing the lot and it does me for months. We are now at a stage where we have too many assets to get a pension, but that’s fine as I know we’ll be alright without any help.

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  6. I buy very little and it makes my life immeasurably easier. Free from pressure to consume, I can really enjoy the things I do have: home, health, family, friends. There’a so much beauty and joy in the simple things around us. Living on a low budget plus huge luck with property prices means we’re debt-free and have built up savings – which itself brings immense peace of mind. Very grateful to be in that position.

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  7. Well this will be the first pay on Thursday that I have no mortgage, paid off 14 years early.No bills either as lodger money is enough to cover elec ,gas,phone, council tax, food, bus pass and £100 play money.
    All salary will be saved for now. Collegue at work said now you have money what will you buy? Erm can,t think of a single thing. Holey boots will be replaced from charity shop.
    Have booked long weekend to Athens return easyjet £69. Hotel £120. 3 nights lovely family run in city centre. Will I join Collegues at midnight at work when salary goes in spending hundreds on tat on the computer cos they can. Erm no chance. No £10 meal delivery at work for me. Prefer my yellow sticker home made frozen meals, posh too salmon,steak, lamb with veggies n potatoes.
    Aiming to retire at 55 NHS pension. No I,m not lucky I have paid in to it for 38 years at 55 when others opted out to have the money instead. 2.4 years to go, then travel is my aim, little studio flat in Athens my goal.
    If I croak it before then will haunt NHS n halifax😂

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    • Well done. That is fantastic! We paid off our mortgage early by overpaying, always been happy to living a simple life enjoying walks, camping for holidays etc. Always had an aversion to shopping and I enjoy home cooking. My husband worked for 38 yrs too for the civil service as a National Nature Reserve Warden, but he died at 58 leaving me and my two daughters then 13. We are extremely fortunate to receive half his pension and have life insurance locked away for our long term futures. We had lots of retirement adventures planned, mainly long distance walks and although I can’t see myself wanting to finish working until in my 60s I do plan to honour our dreams. Our shared life of frugal ways have given me and the girls security, and if my husband was with me today it would be the same as it always was, a simple life , good home cooked food, dog walks, nature watching and smiling. I hope you get to Athens.

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  8. I don’t really think about it. We just do what is right for us. When a friend wants to go buying yarn or fabric for a quilt, I just say that I have enough for two lifetimes, and let’s go out for coffee. We also have no debt…even the house is paid off. I’d rather see the savings accounts go up and up instead of the junk piling up and up. I woke up when my father passed away and suddenly we had two houses full of two houses worth of stuff and it was overwhelming. That’s when I learned that things can take over your life if you let them. no more!

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  9. I have to watch what I say in certain company. When I do buy something, I usually buy for value, meaning I might spend a bit to avoid replacing too soon. If I mention anything, my sister comes back with “oh, I can’t afford anything THAT expensive.” For years I have been biting my tongue, to keep from saying “That’s why we had TWO children, not SIX.” She is up to something like 28 grands and great-grands at this point. Well, we have ONE grandchild. So actually I can spend MORE on a gift, and end up spending less in the long run, as there is only one. I don’t suppose it has ever occurred to her that having two children was done on purpose, planning ahead.

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  10. Hi, we have to budget, we have always been this way, the hardest thing is to see people who need to budget but won’t, but expect you to feel sorry for them.I think that society especially a western one need to wake up!, being responsible for your actions is part of being an adult and being in denial an expecting everyone else to bail you out is wrong. Im very proud to be frugal, I have developed skills that keep clothes on my back and that of my family, I grow food for us to eat, we mend, repair, make do, and believe it or not it’s fun being independent free from “you need ” When we don’t because, “we have sorted it” because we can.I think that if you can keep a simple home warm ,welcoming, and with in budget your life will be full and you don’t need crap!! to fill the empty spaces because you have filled them with your creativity .Power to the BUDGET MAKERS

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  11. I do my best. I have 18 months to pay off my mortgage and a small amount of debt which will be paid off in 6 months time. As a single parent to have a house on the edge of London with a nice garden. I think I,ve done ok. I do save for holidays as an independent traveller. Travelling cheaply, staying in cheap places. For me they are important. My mother who was super frugal and could have been Chancellor, always wanted to go to Paris. She would not go as she was saving for her retirement. She dropped down dead at 64 and never went abroad. Never spent any of the retirement pot. So yes, be frugal but for me not to hinder what do want to do in life.

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    • I am in a similar position to you, almost finished my mortgage, a good NHS pension and within 9 years of retirement at 55. When My extremely frugal Mother died unexpectedly a year after she had retired, it came as quite a shock to discover she had 11 bank accounts with a large sums of money in. She was clearly saving for her retirement. It still breaks my heart that she never got to enjoy her retirement and I vowed that I would not waste her money, instead we call it our fun fund – my Husband and I use the money to travel with our children so that they have a lifetime of memories from experiences we’ve shared together – we travel independently and are happy to stay in cheap bed and breakfasts rather than swanky hotels – we are happy to live a simple life to enable us to do this. My mum’s untimely passing made me realise that whilst it is essential to plan for the future, it is also important to enjoy the present.

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      • Yes quite agree. I don,t go to restaurants here in the UK or to the pub like many of my friends. I live a frugal lifestyle but save for our trips. As, yourself I stay in B&B with my partner. We,’ve had many good trips and memories on the cheap I am happy being frugal during the year. Makes it all worthwhile. All the best Jill.

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  12. i watched a programme last night about poverty, in particular young woman three kids, who was losing her home, owner wanted to sell. I had mixed emotions, it said she only had housing benefit and disability to live on. couldn’t afford the deposit etc to get another property. having had kids I know that child tax and benefit is about 400 per child x 3 kids, no mention of that, she lives in London no family, we watched as she was handing over keys and had a letter to give to council saying that she was homeless, she got a hostel one room and bathroom for the next few weeks. The child was so articulate and made a speech in front of mps about how she felt and how would we feel if we were in same position. at the end she was given a property, but then said how hard it was to get clothes and shoes for the kids when they needed them.
    Yes we are lucky to have a house etc, but we still struggled to get clothes and stuff for the kids but we managed, you find ways, move to a cheaper area, save every penny, she could have got rid of the car etc etc. chase the fathers for money etc etc. there are so many struggling that just muddle through. Id like to go in and sit down and go through everything with a fine toothcomb to see what savings could be made, I do feel for the kids, yes I do. we made a conscious decision to have only two children which we could afford. both families parent had depression issues and signed off, we all have a bit of that at times, where we cant get ourselves off the floor, but like a book I read once, you can go out in the garden and shout ‘no weeds’ no weeds, no weeds, but nothing will happen, but if you go out and kneel and start pulling up the weeds, soon there will be no weeds, you have to take action for anything to happen 🙂 and sitting on the floor crying doesn’t really help in the long run. The programme had the desired effect though it made me think, adjust my perspective in some ways, frustrated at times watching, proud in a way of some of the kids handled things, sad that people expect that help has to be there for them instead of trying to improve their situation.

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  13. I seem to have been born with a frugal gene, I have always been that way. We have been fortunate that most of our friends are frugal, too. They are more apt to comment if we seem to spend too much money on something. I have never understood why anyone would want to waste time or money. Probably now, I could ease up a bit, but it’s hard to change, and why should I?

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  14. This is a great and inspirational post and the replies are wonderful. I too live like this and have done by choice as well as need. I could now afford most luxury stuff but actually the thrill is no debt, good savings, nor mortgage, bargain clothes that I replace only when I need to, money to share in a small way with family members to help them and time to enjoy life. I have worked hard for over 50 years and have loved most of my life. I only had anything extra financially in the last 20 years but thrifty lessons taught to me by my mum when I was a child and young woman have been the most important of my life. Thank you Froogs for your sharing and advice. Not everyone has a mum like mine and you are very good at this.xx

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  15. We have had very lean times over the past 18 months but my frugal ways have got us through unscathed and all our needs have been met. I am now in a new job and stronger position in life but I’m still frugal (as ever) I work overtime and find I have no time to go out spending so savings are mounting. I’ve had one invest though I’m having driving lessons. I count myself as blessed. Different has become normal for me over last 11years.

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  16. Its so true.
    10 years ago I was ill and worn down from trying to work my way out of debt. I read a book on low cost living and it changed my life-I decided to give up working 7 days a week and to change my priorities. Its not all been easy-but in January 2018, I will be debt free for the first time in my adult life..
    The biggest thing ive learnt-isnt about money although i still track it everyday. Its the fact that having alot of stuff both physically and mentally, causes me stress and takes up too much of my time to maintain. Being clutter free is both liberating and a joy to behold.
    Love Sharon

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