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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Four Stages of Being Frugal

Stage One: You go shopping for fun and buy everything that you like. You say things like "There's a reason those things are on clearance." And you don't shop in that section because you worry about what people think of you, and you don't want to buy things that other people didn't buy.

Stage Two: Regret. You realize that you have a lot of stuff. You feel like you need to buy a new organizing system to store all of the stuff. You realize that you no longer use much of this stuff. You run out of places to put new stuff. You have a yard sale.

Stage Three: You go on a budget and only buy cheap stuff. You go shopping only when you need something instead of going shopping for fun. You don't have a clutter problem. You start to pay off debt and grow your savings account. You shop at yard sales.

Stage Four: The cheap stuff you bought has broken and you have a crisis of identity. You resolve to only buy stuff that will last. You save up in order to pay more for something of higher quality. You read reviews and make careful purchases. You do without rather than buy something that will only last a year or less. No more plastic spatulas for you. No more pressed wood furniture. You embrace stainless steel, solid wood, leather, and wool. And you still shop at yard sales. Because if something is used and it's still in good shape, then it is probably built to last. And you get it at a 90% discount when you buy used at a yard sale instead of new.

When buying more expensive things, ask yourself this question: If it costs twice as much, is it in some way twice as good? Does it last twice as long or function two times better? Don't assume that a higher price means better quality.

Can you arrive at stage four without ever experiencing at least some of the first three stages? I'm not sure. It might be that you need to experience all the stages before you can arrive at stage four. And there's probably other stages I haven't experienced yet because I'm so incredibly youthful.

I think that if you come back tomorrow, you will probably see a post about buying things that last. But I can't predict the future. You never know what is going to happen.


  1. it's like you are talking about my life. :) good things to realize!