Things We Don't Apologize For: Being Frugal

Yesterday:Never apologize for ten pounds you need to lose. People who truly care about you will accept you as you are.
Today:Never apologize for being frugal. Just because you save your money instead of blowing it on the latest fashion emergency doesn't mean you're cheap.

This one is easier to take heed of because of our economy's current state. Though most economists agree that at least, right now, we seem to be on the way back up -- most individuals haven't felt that impact. The President just signed an unemployment extension package and people are still losing their jobs. Frugality is the name of the game.

Just this evening, a friend came to me with a dilemma: Recently she reconnected with a former professor. They've been spending a lot of time hanging out (completely innocent, trust me) and it frequently involves spending a little bit of money. Money is tight for everyone, of course, and especially younger people who are in their first jobs. Anywho, she's mentioned to him before when money has been tight for her and he's been gracious -- too gracious she felt. He even seemed to take it personally, as if she felt like he only wanted to do things that cost money. He's stopping by her apartment tomorrow to check out a dining room table she wants to sell and he's suggested they go to the grocery store and pick up some food to cook. Problem? It's the time of the month right before a check, we're super broke. She'll be good on Friday but not right now. "How do I tell him no, without it being awkward", she asked me.

"You can't", I told her.

Sometimes we have to have those awkward moments with our loved ones, but our loved ones will understand that being frugal, saving money and just plain being responsible is an important thing.

Makes me think of a recent trip to NYC. You can get to NYC from DC for as little as $1 (I kid you not). When I spoke to a friend about my travel plans, she wondered why I didn't take the train. "$120 or $50. Which one would you spend?" I asked. "You right, you right" she responded. I ended by saying, "I love ya'll but not like that..." And nothing more was said about it. No judging me for taking the bus and no need to justify it any further than simple math.

Where I get caught up, though, is with certain people. My mom and I are going to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. This includes money spent on gas, the hotel and food, at least once. Now, the plan is for mom and I to split the bill but... there was also a plan for her to pay me back for paying her phone bill. She's my mom, I give her money with no questions asked and half the time forget all about it... that is until she starts asking me about how much money I'm saving. I know that if she asked for money (which, she almost never does, usually I just offer it because I know she's struggling) and I said I didn't have it, that'd be the end of that, no hard feelings, but it's my MOMMY!

One of my close friends from college has a young son. I call him my nephew and I love that little munchkin to meeses pieces, so when she calls cause she's short on cash, my first thought is always him and I usually will send her what I have. I have a weak spot. I'm working on it though -- I need to address my hero complex, but that's another blog for another day.

We don't apologize for being frugal not only because we're in a recession, but fiscal responsibility is an important "adult skill" and anyone who doesn't support that in you isn't looking at what's best for you. We all deserve to and should splurge from time to time but nobody should make you feel bad for saving money and making good decisions.

Tomorrow: Don't apologize for being a single Mom. Babies are a blessing.


Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

What was hardest for me last Christmas was explaining to my kids that gifts would be sparse. They took it a lot better than I ever imagined, and a year of frugality has made them both better at disciplining their own spending.

As for apologizing to others for frugality: nah. Seems like nearly everyone I know is tightening up. They'd better - pffft to the economist who say otherwise - harder times are ahead for this country.

A.Smith said...


I think kids take stuff better than we think. I may repost something I wrote years ago about a conversation my mom and I had where she explained things from my teen years. She didn't need to explain anything to me before, but I think I would've taken it better than she thought (hence not explaining it to me at the time) and I think it would've changed the way we interacted for a few years.

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