/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » thoughts on frugality

I’ve been thinking about our lifestyle of frugality for a while now and read something that made me want to write about it and develop my thoughts more fully.

I come from a long line of frugalistas – my grandparents were immigrants (on each side) and lived through the Great Depression.  While that history doesn’t necessarily provide a basis for frugal living (sometimes it just meant that my grandparents saved everything), as it filtered down through the generations, it became frugal living.

But lately, I’ve been pondering whether I do what I do out of need or desire.  And in living frugally, what do I communicate to others?  I truly enjoy doing things by hand and from scratch.  I think it works well with my creative-side and gives me an enormous sense of self-satisfaction.  I know I’m not responsible for how other people perceive what I do and how we live, but lately I’ve felt the need to make sure that my attitude isn’t that of “poor me” or “we can’t afford that…”  Does that make sense?  This lifestyle is a choice – a game, if you will.

I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, and I don’t want to exude the sense that we are “poor.”  We might be a bit cash-strapped, but that has more to do with the broken-promises from my husband’s employer than anything else.  We eat well, live well, and are healthy in the process and I make every penny count around here.  We save money towards goals and being frugal is part of that.  Buying in bulk and using food storage techniques definitely helps, too.  And I mend things and make things work for as long as possible – just because it feels wasteful to do otherwise.

So why do I feel the need to “justify” buying a new top (purchased on clearance with a gift card)?  Or feel weird about having a Coach purse (that was a gift)?  See, even in those statement, I’m justifying the blessings we’ve been given!  Somehow, I think I still feel judged – as though I’ve spent my way in to needing to be frugal, when nothing could be further from the truth.  I also feel a little weird sometimes about the car we have.  We have ONE car, not two.  My husband and I make it work, and our car is a nice one.  So why do I feel the need to justify what I drive by saying that we have one car only?  Ugh.  I hate this.  I’m comfortable enough in my own skin and yet somehow, I’m still sensitive to being judged.

I think being able to project joy is key here.  If I’m working on my attitude and not comparing myself to others and the way they live, then I’m not going to worry as much whether I’m being judged.  We’ve been blessed with nice things and I’m blessed to have the skill set that I do.  That skill set allows me to stay home and do the things I love – which is living a frugal, from-scratch lifestyle.  I need to revel in those blessings and move on, realizing that those who judge don’t understand a full scope or understanding.

With that, I’m off on a little jaunt to replace a threadbare sweater that is (honestly!) 12 years old.  It’s time & I’ve got some gift cards.  And I hear there’s a wicked clearance sale going on at Kohl’s.  😉


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  • Betsie

    I know that you are not fishing for a compliment or looking for justification, but I happen to love how frugal you are and I learn new things from you about being frugal all the time :o) Every time I turn around, I find new reason to feel blessed that you are my friend!

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Thank you, Bets. I count you as a dear friend and blessing as well – I appreciate the encouragement! :)
    .-= sue´s last blog ..thoughts on frugality =-.