Off the deep end

I’m sure many of you are wondering, after reading my last post, what the hell that had to do with being cheap or saving money. My philosophy for the past few years has been to enjoy every day as if it was your last, but make sure you have a plan, just in case it’s not.

It saddens me to see so many people who hate their jobs or their careers, but do nothing about it. They haven’t updated their resume since they got the last job (sometimes five or ten years ago), let alone have it circulating in cyberspace. They are secure in their complacency, even if they are miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say you should quit your job tomorrow. I’m encouraging you to explore your options. Open your mind to new possibilities. What would you do if you weren’t working the job you hate? What skills do you have that could lead to a new career? Maybe it’s time to dust off that old resume.

How does frugality work into this? Well, in our circumstances, being frugal has allowed Jeff and I to live without two full-time incomes. Sometimes I miss having my full-time income, but I sure don’t miss my full-time job. I love working with my clients. I love teaching part-time. I love being able to take a day off just because. Being frugal has allowed us to live comfortably and pay down our debt, while still enjoying our lives. Are there things we would like to do that we don’t have the money for? Of course, but as Dave Ramsey says “If you can live like no one else, someday you can live like no one else.”

Have you made the leap into another profession? Has being frugal helped you enjoy life more? Are you looking to make that leap? Are you working on that list I discussed in the last post?

If you haven’t started your list of possibilities, do it now. If you have already lived that dream, share your story.


Can you learn frugality?

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This morning I was reading Frugal Girl, which is a great blog. Her post started to make me wonder if frugality can be learned later in life or if it’s just genetically existing in some people. I was thinking about this as I drove to my mother’s house this morning. She wanted to go look at digital cameras and go to a local meat place.

Grocery shopping of any sort is always a good reminder for me that I learned a lot of my frugality later in life. I remember my mom sometimes using coupons when I was a kid. I do notice that when we go shopping now, she doesn’t look at prices. She was picking up a package of bacon to put into the cart and I asked her how much it was. She said she didn’t know. I ran across the store and got her a package of bacon that was on sale. I’m freakish about price checking. I check the unit price of everything I buy. I know the lowest price for more items I buy regularly, in my head. She is good at finding deals on clothing and other items, but she is a shopper. She regularly goes into stores to hunt for deals. I hate shopping and therefore save up my coupons and look for deals in the paper. I don’t want to go into the stores. Plus, if I don’t go into the store looking for deals, I can’t spend money I don’t want to spend.

I really hope that frugality is a learned behavior. Being an accountant, people tell you about their financial position, even when they aren’t your client sometimes. People need to vent about what stresses them out and money stresses a lot of people out right now. I listen. Sometimes when listening, you just want to shake them and say “Wake up! Stop Spending! Cut up those cards!” You hope someday, there is some way to help them see the light.

Frugality is a learned behavior. Sometimes you learn it from family or friends. Sometimes a book catches your eye and you realized you need to make a change. Sometimes necessity bites you on the butt and frugality is the band-aid.

Are you frugal minded? How did you stumble upon it or were you always this way? Have you ever helped a friend or family member become more frugal?