What Does “Being Frugal” Mean to Me?

The dictionary definition of frugal is “characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources”. How does a person reflect economy in the use of resources? This is what it means to me.

First, being frugal means prioritizing. I make wise decisions for my time and money. My priorities are reflected in my decisions about time and money. Food and housing are more important than a brand new car. My long term future is more important than the latest tech-no gadget on the market. If I can afford both, great. If I can’t, the car and the tech-no gadget don’t come home with me. The same is true for my time. My family time is more important to me than having the latest and greatest stuff, so I’m a stay-at-home mom. It means paying off our debt takes a little longer, and we can’t afford to buy a house in our expensive area of the Pacific Northwest, but that’s OK.

Second, being frugal means living within my means. If I don’t have the money, I don’t buy it. Paying extra in credit card interest isn’t a frugal use of money. This means I have to learn to be content with what I have. They say money doesn’t buy happiness, and it’s true. Sometimes that’s hard to remember when you’re admiring your friend’s new house, but learning to be content is key to living a life of frugality.

Third, being frugal means not wasting. If I can’t use something, I find out if I can recycle it or give it away before I resort to throwing it away. I take care of my things. It’s not frugal to break something and have to buy a new one, because I didn’t take care of it in the first place.

I desire to live a simple life that reflects good stewardship of the resources God has given me. Do I always succeed? Not by a long shot. After all, I am paying off some stupid credit card debt that reflects poor decisions I’ve made in the past. I keep in mind, however, that nobody is perfect, and there is always room for growth. It’s important to make a goal. You’ll never achieve your goals if you don’t define them in the first place. My goal is to get out of debt and live a simple, frugal rest-of-my-life


By , on Jul 18, 2007
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Lynnae:

    Thank you. It’s always nice to find like minded people. :)

  2. I so love and respect this type of thinking. I am a mormon woman living in CA and lately I find out church leaders beginning to talk about money from a spiritual perspective–stewardship–what are you doing with the talents you have been given. Instead of being cheap, the concept is Provident Living. This site might be interesting to you as it underscores your message. http://www.providentliving.org/?lang=eng
    Thank you for the ideas.

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