4 Mainstream Common Misconceptions About Frugality Destroyed!

Frugality definition according to the dictionary is “The quality of being economical with money or food; thriftiness”. While one might think this is a clear and definitive explanation, a lot of people still have extremely common misconceptions about frugality. Here are some that l see people assuming over and over again.

Common Misconceptions About Frugality:

thumbs up to frugality savvyproblogger

Frugality is for everyone:

This is a common misconception in the early retirement and financially independent minded people. Just take a look at the big bloggers out there. They preach about frugality to the point where it becomes an obsession. They love putting down people who don’t behave like they do.

They forget to “live and let live”. Saving money is obviously a good thing and can make life a bit easier down the road since there is hopefully less debt to be repaid. Every person’s financial situation is different.

For instance, someone making $30,000 per year, has 3 kids and a spouse to support should understandably be frugal as money is tight. On the other hand, someone making $100,000 as a single person can afford to splurge on themselves.

They may choose to be frugal, but if they’re not, it might not affect their overall quality of life. They can therefore live the high life if they choose. It is just as bad to force your belief unto others in the mistaken belief that there is only one way!.

Alter in church with huge painting of two old men and poinsettias at the base. Misconceptions about frugality destroyed.
The church can be a great way to learn about history, not just biblical either, and is often free entry

Frugality means depriving yourself:

We as a whole have become so conditioned to believe that having a good time should always involve spending a lot of money. You feel bad if you’re not out spending money like there’s no tomorrow. You envy your friends living the high life.

Facebook is full of travelers showing you what a great time they’re having and you feel so deprived. This is clearly another common misconception about frugality, that fun is out of the question. Take food for instance.  Rather than meet your friends at the new fancy restaurant and spend $100 dollars per head just so you have bragging rights.

What if instead, you have a potluck dinner at your place or even spend $20 on some good meat or seafood at a grocery store and make awesome food to share with your friends right at home? You still eat absolutely fantastic food, you can still post away and you still definitely have the good memories. 

The restaurant might become a distant memory as a newer, hipper one opens up, often in the same spot. There is no need to deprive yourself of good times. A local vacation can be just as enjoyable as an international trip, just cheaper most likely!

misconceptions about frugality pasta plate
Do l feel deprived with this home cooked meal of delicious pasta with shrimp and clams?..Mmmm.NO!

Frugality is for poor people:

Another one of the common misconceptions about frugality is that frugality is only for the poor people who can’t afford the finer things in life. What people forget is that everybody’s ambition and dreams differ. There are reasons why books like “The millionaire next door” are best sellers.

Great examples of frugal real-life billionaires include the “Oracle” himself, Warren Buffet, and a poor Bill Gates :-). They are extremely rich and also extremely frugal. Not everyone can and should be Larry Ellison, another billionaire, but one who loves to spend money. Good for him!. He made it and can dispose of it as he pleases.

Some people are frugal because they want to be comfortable in retirement. In these trying times, we are unsure of what resources will be available to us in the future. One way to make sure you’ll come out ahead is to save for retirement with plans such as 401k or investing in the stock market.

Giant buddha in Wat Pho temple Bangkok with couple kneeling at the foot.
You can definitely still be frugal and travel, so long as you plan right.

Frugality means you’re a “cheapskate”:

This l think has to be one of the most common misconceptions about frugality. I admit l was guilty of this one.  I often accused my husband of being a cheapskate, especially when he doesn’t buy something costly that l suggest. He finally had me look up the definition. The dictionary defines a cheapskate as:

a miserly or stingy person; especially :  one who tries to avoid paying a fair share of costs or expenses.

He is none of those things. He is frugal and doesn’t believe in wasting his hard earned money. He has $300 shoes that he’s had and worn for over 20 years with pride and which still look good. Quality over quantity he always says.

He always pays for his fair share, but if he believes he is being taken for a ride, he is quite vocal about it. We were in London a while back and forgot to bring our transformer so were not able to charge our phones. The department store had one for $22. I said he was a cheapskate for not buying it because l just wanted to charge my phone! :-). 

We then went to one of those stalls on Oxford Street, the guy sized us up and asked for $27!!!! My husband was obviously pissed off and accused the guy of being a thief, even more than the department store. The shopkeeper was taken aback but asked how much my hubby was willing to pay and he replied $7 and that’s how much we paid! :-). There is definitely a difference between frugality and throwing away money needlessly.

In this case, he was just trying to take advantage of the fact that we were tourists who wouldn’t ordinarily bat an eyelid. Pretty sure his profit on the $7 was significant, because we get those things at the bazaar here for less than 2 euros.

Should you embrace frugality?

Only you can decide.  I like to have a good time, travel and eat good food. I do my research though. I think most people should. Could you find a deal for that vacation on a travel site thereby saving money? Could you find an online discount for that restaurant? A little planning can help you achieve frugality. You just need to put your creative thinking cap on and ignore the masses. I consider myself frugal and proudly so!

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common misconceptions about frugality pinterest savvyproblogger

Have you been guilty of any of these common misconceptions about frugality? Do you consider yourself frugal? If not, is it something you would like to incorporate into your life?





8 thoughts on “4 Mainstream Common Misconceptions About Frugality Destroyed!”

  1. Very interesting points! I agree that frugality is not for everyone, but that there also should be no judgment. To each his own! Thanks for sharing.

    • I hate when people judge. It’s a huge thing in the financial blogging world, but it’s just silly l think. Everyone should do what is best for them :-).

  2. I’m frugal but I don’t deprive myself. I shop at Target all the time. I spend a ton of money at Target all the time. I also scan my items for sales and discounts with my Cartwheel app every time I’m in Target. If there is a discount to be had I want it. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to a dress because it isn’t on sale. If I want it I’m going to buy it.

    Target is my favorite store but I have several designer handbags that cost a ton of money. I believe in living and let live. If people want to buy something they can’t afford that is between them and the electric company. Just know that I’m not giving them any money. =)

    • I’m glad you don’t deprive yourself. Sounds like you have a good plan. The app sounds really good and useful for finding discounts and sales. I think live and let live should be the way. You should see how judgmental people get in the financial blogging world if everyone is not out there clipping coupons and saving the exact same way that they do..it’s comical almost. Everyone has different plans for their lives and so only they can decide what’s best for them :-).

  3. I so agree with this post! Honestly I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to be mindful of their purchases. In saying that a person who is frugal is someone who appreciates the value in something meanwhile a cheapskate is someone who will focus only price and doesn’t value much. Thank you for sharing!

    • Love the way you put this comment. :-). Nothing more to add to it. A lot of times, I find trying to be a cheapskate actually means you end up getting burned because you get what you pay for. Thanks for reading Brittany.


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