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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Frugal or Mean?

Welcome to my new followers; Trudie & Blondie.  Lovely to have you aboard.

I have been asked the difference between being frugal and being mean.  Yes, there is a difference in my opinion and it is just that...my opinion.

I think frugality is in living within your means, shopping carefully and buying what you need, not necessarily what you want. It is in living life to the full but enjoying the little things, the Small Treasures that are there in everyday life.  It's not about denying yourself everything pleasurable but in budgeting for those things.  If you enjoy a takeaway or a night out on a Friday, for example, you allow a certain amount in your budget to cover the cost.  If money is tight right now, you don't do it.  I don't see the point in paying thousands of pounds on a credit card for a 2 week family holiday only to have sleepless nights worrying how to pay it back and the same goes for Christmas.  Just in case you think that is mean you should ask my grown up children if they have had happy holidays and Christmases.  We still talk and laugh about the fun we had as a family (elderly parents were catered for too!) My Grandchildren are no happier than when we spend the day crafting together (their electronic gadgets are put aside) and they are so proud of what they have made (costing literally pennies to make).

Meanness is in holding on to every penny you own, not giving, not sharing, not chipping in.  I know people who will go to a function only if it is free and someone else has done all the work.  They will fill their plates until they overflow and wrap half of it up to take home.  And, no, it's not because they are needy, they are mean. 

Worse still is meanness of spirit.  Some will not donate to foodbanks because, and I quote " they will only drink and smoke it all away ".  Huh?  Programmes like Benefits Britain make it look as if all people on benefits are scroungers, not so.  I know of a case where a small child needed an organ transplant to save it's life but this could only be done at a hospital miles from home.  The child's father had to give up his temporary job in order to take and be with his child during that time.  He was not entitled to benefits as he had 'voluntarily' given up his job.  He had no money coming in whatsoever.  His wonderful workmates held a fundraiser to help him out in the short term.  Foodbanks are a lifeline for so many people right now.  It shouldn't be so in a relatively wealthy country like the UK but it is.  I donate on a weekly basis and wish I could do more.

How do you feel about it? Is there a difference between frugality and meanness?

My Small Treasure for today is that the sun is shining brightly, there is a brisk breeze scudding the clouds across the sky and the day is mine.  Off to put the kettle on and do a bit of crafting...  ;)

Have a wonderful Sunday and
Thanks for popping in x


8 comments:

  1. I retire from work next Friday and my income will be cut by 2/3rd so frugality will be the order of the day for us then - but where I shall be cash poor I will also be time rich and after 25 years of working full time and 10 hours commuting each week I know that I'm going to enjoy having all that time to enjoy xx

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    1. Retirement is always a bit of a shock at first but you are right in that you will be time rich. You have earned it and deserve this time of leisure. Good luck and enjoy it :-)

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  2. Popping over from Chickpea's blog.... this is thoughtful writing. I am quite careful with money because we only have one income at the moment (and 4 children) but with a bit of planning, there is always some to spare for giving to others. Sometimes, it is time we give to help others, sometimes it is money for charities, sometimes it is food for the local food bank. Enjoy your crafting. x

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    1. Hi Christina, it must be quite difficult for you at the moment, especially having 4 children to take care of. I only had two and remember the cost of shoes alone took a lot of finding. Enjoy your children now as they grow so fast :-) Thank you for commenting, much appreciated.

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  3. I agree, meanness is a whole different thing, Scooge being the poster boy for meanness! Being Frugal is about being careful with your resources, not wasting money but still helping others when you can.

    The demonisation of people on benefits by these terrible t.v. programmes makes it easier for people to distance themselves from the shameful fact that so many people in this country today rely on Food Banks. People who use Food Banks are no different from the rest of us, anyone of us could find ourselves in that position.

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    1. That is so true, Chickpea, it could happen to any one of us.

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