Why a Frugal Fe$tival?

FrugalFestivalLogo PiggybankI get odd looks when I tell people about the Frugal Fe$tival. The usual response is, “A frugal what?”

“We’re celebrating being frugal,” I tell them. At that point they generally shut-up because they figure the less they say, the less I’ll say.

Frugality is a conversation stopper.

In a recession it is slightly more acceptable to clip coupons, shop at thrift stores, and talk about saving money. But there is still a stigma against making frugal choices, whether it is where you buy your clothes, the restaurants you eat at, or where you go on vacation. (Mainly people are just spending less and not talking about it.)

I hear the social pressure to spend in the voices of my friends and family. “You’ll understand why I don’t want to spend the money,” they confide in me. Or they’ll whisper to me, “I’m a bargain hunter, too,”  as if we’re part of a special club that no one else can know about.

Even the most frugal folks connect spending money with feeling important, including me.

The overused diagnosis that we live in a consumer culture is no joke. It’s accepted that we will throw money around to socialize with friends, enjoy our leisure time, and solve problems.

I’m tired of that. It’s time to come out of the closet and embrace frugality.

I clip coupons, gosh darn it!

I drive a used car! I check books out of the library! I wash plastic bags for re-use! I hang my clothes to dry! I max out my IRA before I max out my credit card!

I feel so much better having gotten that off my chest. I don’t have to be ashamed of my frugal choices and neither should you.

Being frugal is about making wise choices. It does NOT mean never spending. It means buying discounted clothes so you can save to buy your family a safe, reliable car. Or brown bagging your lunch so you have cash to donate to charity. Or it may mean getting rid of your car and relying on public transportation so have money to save.

These are the savvy-spending choices we are celebrating at the Frugal Fe$tival. I invite you to join us at this totally free, public event on Sunday, July 26, 2009 from 1-4 p.m. at Woodley Park in Van Nuys (southeast of Victory and Woodley). RSVP here.

Read more about the frugal activities we’ll have for you at the Fe$tival.

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4 responses to “Why a Frugal Fe$tival?

  1. Pingback: Bargain Babe » Why throw a Frugal Fe$tival?

  2. Pingback: Bargain Babe » Countdown to Frugal Fe$tival!

  3. Great post Julia! Amen to us frugalians/ frugalsters.. whatever you wanna call us!

    It bothers me when people spend excessive amounts of money on things they know they don’t need to, but then talk about not being able to have any other cash to spend. When you tell someone that you just bought the cutest used pair of shoes from your neighborhood consignment or thrift store, they give you the ‘head tilt’ and squint at you as if you just told them you got them from a landfill.

    Americans have it so easy compared to other parts of the world, yet many don’t know how to control our ways of spending. We donate necessities to people in need all the time, but when we need something, a lot of us tend to breakdown, and think ‘How the hell am I going to survive?’ It is unfortunate to see that many Americans are stuck on this notion that anything they buy has to be new.

    So AMEN to all of us frugalians who know how to spend our money wisely!

  4. Mary q Contrarie

    You are so right. Those who are frugal need to be the bellweathers for the next economic cycle. I proudly hang my clothes from clothes drying rack in my drive. I ride my bike to work and the grocery store. My car which I just use for family is 12 years old. I always pay my savings first before any thing frivolous.

    My favorite books on money are Money or your life and Die Broke.

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