I thought this was an excellent article (on cheap vs. frugal). An old article, but got directed to this website by househopeful's blog yesterday, and enjoyed.
Anyway, part of the distinction between cheap and frugal, in this article, is that cheap people will screw people over for a few bucks and frugal people in general are a little more generous, and have more to give. I thought it was a very interesting addition to the cheap vs. frugal list. I was also thinking about it in terms of us. We used to be very generous with our money. We used to donate all of our used stuff, and be generous with gifts, etc. Anyway, in recent months we have moved to the opposite end of the spectrum. I honestly can not say this has made me very happy. & reading this article kind of nailed it on the head for me. You know, maybe we were stupid with our money before, but I have been thinking of those studies where they show money makes people more mean. LOL. I have been really grumpy lately, thinking about money too much, etc. I think middle ground is probably good. So thinking through all this, I just agree. For the most part the frugal definitions in this article describe us to a tee and I think is something more to strive towards. Anyway, I also looked at this extreme penny pinching as pretty temporary to get back on track. & as we near our goal, we'll probably do what we can to get there. But once we get there I think we really just need to chill out. I find us spending an inordinate amount of time to save a few dollars, in a few cases, which just does not make any sense to me. When we made minimum wage it made sense. It no longer makes sense. Not worth the time and stress I guess, we have the luxury to let it go. I can't say we are any happier becoming extreme penny pinchers, actually, quite the opposite.
Anyway, just kind of my thoughts of late that I haven't really formulated into a blog yet. But reading this made me ponder it a little deeper, and find the words to what I had been feeling on some level.
Oh yeah, and I am enjoying this guy's blog too:
I really enjoyed the comments on this post, because the guy started getting reamed for not having the "10
% tithe" category which I moan and groan about lately myself. I have argued that for myself, giving to my friends and community and such is so much more rewarding than setting aside a cash percentage for charity. But anyway, someone really echoed my thoughts here - they thanked the guy for his blog and what a great public service it is. I guess to me it just angers me that such contributions are written off as not important. Just giving of yourself in any way, shape or form is just very important. It does not have to be with cash. I guess for me putting a percentage to tithe just, I don't know, it doesn't jive with me. & it is amazing to me to see so many in the personal finance community make such a large commitment with their income. Anyway, I don't want to start a debate or seem judgemental. If you are happy with your tithing situation so be it. I almost don't even want to go there. A very personal/touchy thing I guess. But I think it is important for people on the fence, or are unhappy with giving so much cash, well, to know that there are so many other ways to give. & in the great debate if a blog is a charitable cause, I would argue it is. But seriously, try it, help a neighbor, a friend, acquaintance, and see how enjoyable that is. It does not take a pile of cash to be a giving person. Ah, quite the contrary. I guess too I like the flexibility of giving when it feels right, rather than some sort of obligation. If I had given the token 10% I could not have helped a dear friend financially last year. But when the time arose I was able to help. & I know the money went to a wonderful cause, whereas with charity it often gets fuzzy. I know devoting my time to certain charities I can see the difference it is making, where it is harder to see with the cash contributions. & so it goes, I guess my attempt to reinforce the value of giving in any way, shape or form. If you don't have the cash to give, there are other ways to be a giving person.
I guess it is all a big balancing act. When you get too extreme, it just gets ugly. I think we will work on some middle ground between frugal and giving, and not cheap - LOL - in the times ahead. Still working on that right balance I guess.
Some Thoughts & links...