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Frugal Living Doesn’t Mean Being Poor

In today’s economy it is very important that we all learn to live frugally and spend our money wisely.

In a recent article on Living on a Dime Jill responds to this comment,

You sure have a nice house for someone who’s really cheap. I would think you lived in a shack and not a $144,000 house. Your business must be doing well. Not that you don’t deserve it, but it doesn’t match up with your poverty mindset and kind of misleading as a business owner promoting frugal living. I know lots of really poor people and they sure don’t have a house like that or TRULY can’t afford it. I still like your books but you lost a lot of credibility.” Sally











Part of her response is:

“Actually, Sally, it’s because we are frugal that we can afford it. I find it very interesting how people think that if you live frugally you can’t ever own anything nice. Frugal living is about spending the money you do have wisely. We have been working very hard since we were first married to be completely debt free, including our house. As Mike said, “The entire point of living frugally is so that you don’t have to be poor anymore” or, in mom’s case, even if you do live on a true poverty level income, you can still have nice things.”

You can read the full article here:  Frugal Living Isn’t Poor

In today’s economy it is very important that we all learn to live frugally and spend our money wisely.

We’ve know people who leave their summer toys outside in their yard all winter (even in Minnesota – where snow and cold are frequent visitors, especially this year). Then in the spring they throw them all away because they’re ruined and buy new ones – often similar to the ones they just threw away. I’ve never been able to understand this waste.

Caring for what you own is one of my favorite ways to live frugally. We still use the tent and sleeping bags that we bought for our honeymoon 26 years ago!

I remember saying to my husband when our 12-year-old dishwasher (which we had gotten for free, used) broke, “I just can’t believe it isn’t working.” While he laughed at my words, it prompted him to look it up online and find a very inexpensive fix for that old dishwasher – which was still working when we moved several years later.

We have older appliances in the house we are currently living in too. When Dan asks me if I want to replace them I always say no – mostly because appliances today are made to be disposable. For instance, we are replacing our 31-year-old furnace – which really does need replacing – with one that is supposed to last 17 years. How much sense does that make?

We are in the habit of purchasing the best item we can afford at the time, and then taking really good care of it. We usually purchase a middle-of-the-line product because bottom-of-the-line is often less than we need, while top-of-the-line has features and options that we probably will never need.

What are some ways that you live frugally without being cheap?







Don’t forget to check out this weeks Frugal Friday links.

Finding Joy in the Journey,


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Phyllis Sather

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  • Phyllis
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    I do know what you mean. I’ve been where every penny counts. As a new believer I was very much in debt and working my way out of it to be debt free taught me so much about trusting the Lord for His provision.

    Needing something and not having the money to purchase it really opens your eyes and heart to seeing the Lord provide.

    Things are no longer so tight – debt free living really helps – but we still are very careful how we spend what we have.

    My husband says that no one loves a bargain like I do.

  • Phyllis
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    I copied Wendy’s post from a different article where she accidentally posted it since it has some very good thoughts that I wanted to be sure others got to see. Thanks Wendy.

    Wendy Gunn Says:
    July 15th, 2011 at 12:18 pm e
    My motto is “Buy the best you can for the cheapest you can.” I always, always pray over major purchases! And, God, Who gets all the glory, has provided us with wonderful bargains over the years.

    I have an aversion to making frugality my god. I’ve known too many people who, yes, are good stewards, but who also are very, very proud and rather arrogant. They look down on others who don’t have the gift from God (some frugal people have the gift of “Giving”), or the time, or every other thing that it takes to be as frugal as they are. There are levels of frugality, choices involved.

    I grew up with a dad who made today’s frugal look wasteful. He never was proud, though. We always had “nice things” and no one of the four of us kids ever felt poor.

    I am not as frugal as he was (I draw the line at eating rotten grapes, for instance–something I once saw him do–just to “not waste them”) but I can still hear his voice, and my own in echo, saying, “Don’t use so much water!” or turning off lights in empty rooms, etc. He was the consummate bargain-hunter, and boy, did we have some crazy stories!

    One thing my father always did was make family times special, and his frugality at other times made it possible for him to be very generous then.

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