It’s Hard to Be the Frugal One
Because most of the people reading this blog post are interested in a frugal lifestyle, it’s easy to hang out with you every Tuesday. Seriously, we can all wave our freak flags and talk about nerdy things like what type of IRA is better, and we all think we are very cool. Correction: We know we’re very cool.
But what about everyone else?
Friends. Family members. Colleagues.
What about the other people we have to interact with who aren’t frugal? Does anyone else get the feeling sometimes that it’s hard to be the frugal one?
1. People Equate “Penny Pinching” with Being Frugal
Maybe it’s my fault because I talk about saving money and budgeting a lot. For one, it’s my job to write about this stuff day in and day out, but it’s also how I live my life.
I always feel compelled to help others or give helpful hints if asked. I’ve answered questions from my friends about credit cards, budgeting, basic investing, etc. However, just because I talk and write about these topics every day doesn’t mean that I don’t have fun or don’t budget for big ticket items.
For example, I love to get my nails done. I love to eat out at nice restaurants. And, I often buy expensive things, like computers that cost a couple thousand dollars. Of course, I save and plan for these things, and they are all within a well thought out budget. But, from some of the comments I get sometimes, you’d think people assume I sit around clipping coupons all day just to get some free oreos (which isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard of by the way.)
2. People Get a Little Awkward Talking About Spending
Sometimes my friends will start off a conversation with, “I know this wasn’t very Budget Blonde of me, but I just bought X.” I always tell them they don’t have to worry about me judging them! What they do with their money is their business. I really don’t have a problem with splurges or nice things. If my friends want to go on a really nice vacation, more power to them. Just because I might choose to do something differently with my cash doesn’t mean I think any less of them.
Plus, I would never butt into a friend’s spending habits or give them unsolicited advice, because I’ve learned that the people who want help will reach out and ask for it. The people who like their swanky lifestyles don’t want to hear they’re doing something wrong. I’ve tried to help people really close to me get on track when I know they’re running into trouble, but those are typically the people who have every excuse in the book and won’t get help until they hit rock bottom.
It really isn’t easy being the frugal one. You sometimes feel almost guilty when buying something for yourself, as if you’re supposed to keep up the frugal-ness 24-7. Or at least, I do.
Still, I’d take being frugal over being maxed out and penniless, so despite the sometimes awkward conversations or other people’s assumptions, I’m still happy with my lifestyle choices.
Are you the frugal one in the bunch? If so, do find it hard to be frugal at times?