Are You A Scrimper or an Earner?

I’m a fan of a website called Get Rich Slowly:  Personal Finance That Makes Cents.  It’s full of good tips about managing money wisely, and the tips are refreshingly down to earth.  No extreme couponing (woe!), and no crazy money making schemes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’m already implementing some of the tips recommended on the website.  Go me!  I already:

1.  Don’t own a car.  Save paying for insurance, registration, repairs, gas, etc. 

2.  Learn to cook.  Chee-yeck!  Although I still need to learn how to stop buying $4 gluten free cookies.  Hmm.

I was also reminded of some money-saving strategies I am not using, like:

1.  Don’t have recurring expenses.  This includes cable, Netflix, cell phones (get a landline or pay-as-you-go-phone), gym membership and more. 

Case in point –>Over the weekend I got a call from Comcast, offering me a promotional rate for better cable.  It ends up being $5 more than we’re paying currently, so we went for it.  I guess that decision doesn’t really make Cents, but it sure is nice to have some decent channels again!

2.  Get a second job, or start a business.  When I work part-time, I tend to glory in my time off, rather than look for more work.  I don’t really like this tip too much!

I also read a very telling article by Rya Hristova titled: “ Are You Afraid to Earn More?”  The author proposes the idea that people raised in a very frugal environment tend to be frugal themselves.  These frugal people prefer to stop spending when they want to save money, rather than get a job that pays more.  I thought that was so fascinating, because I definitely fall into the save rather than earn category.  The article also suggests that very frugal people won’t choose expensive items, even if they are free.  For example, present a frugal person with a coupon for a free item from the department store, and they will probably choose something inexpensive.  This rings true for me, too, since I do that very thing.  When I lived in Boston I used to go to my favorite coffee place, Espresso Royale, with work friends during breaks.  I would always get a small coffee with cream, and every ten drinks would earn a free drink.  My friend Megan would laugh at me when I would get a small coffee with cream as my free drink, since I could have ordered any fancy, expensive drink as a treat. 

How about you?  Is frugality engrained in your system, or is it a challenge to “just say no” to fancy lattes?


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