The Search for Frugality

I grew up frugal.  It didn’t mean my parents were cheap, but we were thrifty.  I wore hand me downs.  We shopped at thrift stores before it was cool.  I can still remember trying on clothes at a tiny basement store across from Manor Family Health in Millersville – a place where I’m pretty sure I picked up my most beloved pair of blue Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls.

Today everyone prides themselves on the savings they accrue.  Let me state this for my own benefit: saving money on buying things is not saving money.

I’m a saver shopper.  I spend money and when I get a “good deal” on an item that is heavily discounted, I am happy.  But I am not saving money.  I am spending money.

A hefty portion of my budget goes to food.  Growing up we rarely ate out.  I recall 3 types of eating out as a kid: Pizza Hut when I won free personal pizzas through their Book-It Program (best program EVER), McDonald’s after church and orange soda (mmm, such a treat) and dinners at the Firehouse after donating volunteer hours there for special events.  I’m not saying we *never* ate out, but growing up in the country with no delivery service available and with a huge garden, it wasn’t necessary.

I have spent the past 10 years treating myself by going out to eat and trying tons of new and interesting foods.  While my palate has certainly expanded, so has my weight and my debt.  Is there a correlation?

Thanks to Clipper Magazine’s Double Take Deals and frugal eating has returned.  While I try to use coupons, these deals seem to be better and easier to remember than the coupon shoved in the depths of my purse.  But again, it’s spending, not saving money.

I want to be frugal and thrifty, but I also want to pay off debt and SAVE money, not spend to save.

As I continue building my sales at my new job, and working on commission, I think about how to best manage the commissions when they come in, so I’m going to put it here (in order of priority) to stay accountable.

  1. Fix the “womp womp” noise on the Subaru
  2. Pay 1/2 towards medical bills and 1/2 towards loan/credit cards
  3. Pay 1/2 towards student loans and 1/2 into a savings account after #1 & #2 are completed.

I’m putting this out there to the Internets for a few reasons.  The first is accountability and the second is because publicly declaring my goals says to the world – this is a gal who needs/wants to stick to her goals.  These days, I want that more than anything.

The best part of this, is that seeing this in writing is freeing – a lot more freeing than dreaming of replacing my “womp womp”ing Subaru with that cute little Fiat that I keep seeing commercials for.  More freeing than traveling to far off places for long periods of time and still returning home to this debt that stifles me every month.

So here’s to a world of frugality – enjoying life but looking for the discounts.  Working hard to pay off the debt so that I can breathe.  I am so very happy this door of opportunity opened and now I have control over the future ahead, financially.

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