When I first started The Frugal Cottage, I chose the word “Frugal” on purpose. I wanted something that emphasised a mindset. Something that immediately gave some information about the site away. I like the word “Frugal”. I think it shows determination, grit and resourcefulness. Qualities that are important, especially when thinking about finances.
But, I often wonder whether the word frugal has negative connotations. Whether it gives the impression of something completely different when you stumble across my site for the first time. The tag line for here is “Living the good life on a budget” and I feel like my site shows that, the majority of the time.
But, are there misconceptions about being frugal?
We have certainly come across some things when we mention about our money saving ways.
I have written a whole blog post about this, but one of the biggest misconceptions is that we deprive ourself on the way. That we must give up so many things in the present so that we can save for our future. But, as the post is titled, deprivation is not part of the journey. This has been one of the most popular posts on the blog since it went live, and for good reason. How on earth could you do this if you did without every day? You couldn’t.
If I put myself on such a struck budget that I could never treat myself to anything, ever, I would fail. Almost immediately. It’s a bit like being on a diet I suppose. The moment you say you’re on a diet, trying to lose weight, you crave every single thing you’re denying yourself of. It’s the same with a budget. Treats are a necessity, every now and again.
Another thing that I think some people assume is that we must live on a diet of rice and beans. I would be the first one to abandon this journey if we were. I love my food. LOVE IT. And I couldn’t think of anything worse than living off a very mundane diet in order to save some money. I used to do meal plan posts on here, which shows our planning week to week. I think that eating well and enjoying food is very important and a factor in everyday life.
The way round this, for us, is meal planning. I’m a very big advocate of meal planning to stick to a budget and minimise food waste. In fact, I’m launching my very first mini course next Monday around the subject! By planning your meals and writing a shopping list means you can eat well on a budget.
Thirdly, I think that some people would think that we buy the cheapest items, whenever we do buy something. I’m going to use the example of clothing for this. I used to buy quite cheap items, especially from a shop in the UK called Primark. T-shirts that were £3 for example. But, after a couple of washes they were misshapen and ready to fall apart. So now I tend to buy more expensive items that last longer, and actually work out better cost wise in the long run. I do still buy cheap slippers 🙂 but everything else tends to be from other high street stores.
The same goes for household items. I recently tried a supermarket brand of dishwasher tablets as they were over half the price of the branded ones I was buying. But, they don’t wash the dishes as well, far from it. I’m using them up as I don’t want to throw them away, but I will be definitely going back to the branded ones once the box has run out. In fact, I’ve had to wash things more than once with the supermarket own brand, which defeats the point!
In the end, I’m glad I went with the name The Frugal Cottage. It took me a while to come up with a blog name that would fit what I wanted to write about; living the life you want on a budget. Making your money work for you. Creating passive income through being frugal and saving. I think it does that!
What do you think about the word frugal? What does it mean to you?
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