Becoming An Outstanding Person | Frugality – Week 5 of 12 |

This article is part of the How To Become An Outstanding Person In Twelve Weeks series. I strongly urge that you read the first article in order to get a sense of what is going on here.

Frugality (Week 5 of 12)

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. Benjamin Franklin was good at managing money. In fact, he was so good at it, he was trusted by all the people of Philadelphia (ok, not all , but many!).

The technique that I have been using in order to remain frugal this past week has been asking myself a series of simple question.

  1. Can I live without this purchase?
  2. Can I get a cheaper alternative without sacrificing quality?
  3. Can I use it and return it? (just kidding!)

Another thing that I factored into the equation was the cost of my purchase, if it became a habit. For example, buying a cup of coffee ($1), could turn into a daily habit, and in one year I would spend a considerable amount ($365).

You can also add the incentive of what kind of toll that cup of sugary, caffeinated beverage would reap on your body after a years worth of daily use (extra calories, high cholesterol, and yellow teeth). Need I say more?

I was not able to apply health risks to all of my purchases. I couldn’t justify how getting premium gasoline, versus regular would be more detrimental to my health. I went for the cheap stuff regardless.

I did manage to eat at home and cook myself healthy and simple meals throughout the week, with only one, less frugal dinner on the weekend. This certainly saved me a lot of money. Plus, I was able to cook enough to have left overs, thus saving cooking time and trips to the store.

I would insert a quote here about “a penny saved is a penny earned“, but than I would have to close the comments section in order to not be bomb barded for such a tacky clichĂ©. Even though it’s true!

Becoming Outstanding Series

Posted by in Money, Personal Development | March 27, 2007 | Digg | | Stumble | Print | 14 comments

  • Dave Olson

    Alex, another good post in the series. One thing I do wonder about is how to balance frugality with being generous? When you lose the generous spirit that all of us desire, you just end up being cheap!

  • Alex Shalman

    Good point Dave. There is a difference between buying a friend dinner and buying the bar a drink. It comes down to individual budget, and how you feel about certain situations.

    Consider that if a person is constantly trying to buy people things, he is more than generous, he is trying to buy friends. This is a self-esteem issue, more than it is a generosity or spending issue.

    As far as generosity and donating, just set a budget that you can stick with and make sure you give away all what you plan to.

  • Dave Olson

    Alex, I appreciate the point about buying friends. I see this more often than I would like. I suppose becoming an outstanding person means you deal with your self-esteem issues too. Thanks

  • Bradley Woods

    I think you need to consider what matters most. Its not that your spending less money, which is good. I think the point Franklin wanted to make was that we should focus to make sure that our monies are being used for constructive purposes. If your not saving, I would consider adding this to being frugal as well. Great post Alex! Sounds like your well on your way to becoming an outstanding person.

  • Kara-Leah Masina

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever read about frugality on a personal development site before, usually they tend to focus on creating wealth…
    But then who is wealthier? The person who earns $1000/wk and spends it all, or the person who earns $500/wk and saves $100…
    Frugality is a wonderful practive because it asks us to be mindful of the way we dispense our energy – for what is money but stored energy? It also reminds us that the world is groaning under the largesse of our materialistic consumer society, and that by buying less and using less, we move toward a more sustainable way of being.
    I have become a paragon of frugality in the last few years, partly from necessity, but also partly because I struggle to buy items made with slave labour (and it’s virtually impossible not to anymore…) and I am concerned about sustainability. But i still get pleasure from finding that perfect item… it’s just much more likely to come from the Salvation Army, a garage sale, or TradeMe (NZ’s version of eBay) than it is from Ikea or Walmart.
    Reduce, reuse, recycle, rejoice!
    Lovely to see this put forward as something to aspire to… and one doesn’t need to be cheap to be frugal. I delight in propogating my houseplants and giving them away to all and sundry. I also clear out my wardrobe every three months or so and pass along anything I haven’t worn to my friends first, and then to the Salvation Army. Giving and frugality are not mutually exclusive!
    Much joy,

  • Pingback: Becoming An Outstanding Person | Sincerity - Week 7 of 12 | | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: Becoming An Outstanding Person | Resolution - Week 4 of 12 | | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: How To Become An Outstanding Person In Twelve Weeks | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: Vane translate :: ?????????????? :: April :: 2007()

  • Pingback: Becoming An Outstanding Person | Cleanliness - Week 10 of 12 | | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: Becoming An Outstanding Person | Chastity - Week 12 of 12 | | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: Becoming An Outstanding Person | Moderation - Week 9 of 12 | | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: Becoming An Outstanding Person | Temperance - Week 1 of 12 | | Alex Shalman . com()

  • Pingback: 25 Timeless Stress Reduction Tricks | Alex Shalman . com()