Frugal as in necessary vs frugal millionaire because it’s hip.

This is my blog and my opinions. If you don’t want to read my rant about frugal necessity vs it being a luxury for millionaires( or asset millionaires) don’t read it then.

Recently, I followed a blog trail and ended up at someone’s site that was dedicated to being very frugal and ways to save a buck. Some of it was weird and using really cheap food stocks. ( think the blue box of mac and cheese and Krusteaz pancake mix). Ok, perhaps they’re not all bad but still.

Anyway, then this blogger is writing about being debt free and their monthly expenses. I was still on board here at this point. Then they go on to talk about net worth and assets. So she says, well our net worth went up $69,000 from the stock market taking  our net worth to over @ $2,000,000. I just about threw up.  Why are you even taking about trying so damn hard to be a cheapskate when you have that much money to draw from if you need it.

So then I started really thinking about this in relation to some other bloggers that do the same thing. The most famous is probably Frugalwoods. She wrote a book about  how being frugal lead them to be FIRE and independently wealthy.  What she doesn’t say is that her husband has continued to work from their home for an IT company whose salary is over $250,000 a year and benefits on top of that. Her salary comes from her blog, book and some independent consulting.

You know what? It’s easy to save 75% of your salary when it’s that big. Or even 50%. Honestly, it really seems to me pretentious and dishonest. Yes, it’s terrific you can grow kale on your 66 acre farm in Vermont to save money. And you eat the same thing for lunch every day. But it’s another thing is that YOU DON”T HAVE TOO> You have the savings to fall back on but what about the people that don’t.

How many low-income people eat beans/rice/pasta while struggling to pay the rent. They can hardly make ends meet and being frugal is a necessity.  They have no savings, retirement, etc. They live paycheck to paycheck.  We’ve been there.

Even now, we have Social Security and a small amount in retirement that we started way too late. Yes, that’s our fault but remember when you have no money to save because your bills/income are the same, ( actually bills out numbered income) so there is NO wiggle room.

PS. We still have a mortgage so that didn’t create the asset!

There are a few other bloggers like that, that I’ve just stopped reading because it’s ridiculous to read about trying to sell stuff on eBay to make a few bucks when you own multiple homes worth millions. Why not just donate that stuff to Cancer thrift or something?

Now they whole Frugal thing is so popular right now and I totally support it especially ones that really do give genuine advice because they are NEEDING to be frugal. I remember Frugal Queen in the UK. She had a terrific blog and had to be frugal.

I don’t know…  clearly this is a rant of mine which I take full responsibility for and that it clearly hits a nerve.

I think it is important to be frugal and careful with money and really everything including ones resources. But it’s another thing to have a blog about being frugal when all the while it is just white privileged rich people needing to pretend they need to save a buck because that’s how they got their money?? Not!

And BTW, it’s a great thing to pick up pennies or whatever change you find on the ground especially when your annuities and income are almost $6,000 a month. Whew, that must be tough.

And BTW, Thrifty Mom from Boise is really thrifty because that’s how she survives as a single mom with 2 adopted children. Now that’s real.

 

Okay, enough ranting. I’m going to go figure out my budget for our fixed income and see where I get too.

 

Please, do not respond in any nasty way. I won’t post those and it’s not worth it.

PS, I have huge respect for bloggers like The Prudent Homemaker, Thrifty mom in Boise, Where the journey takes me, Living Richly in Retirement,The Occasional Nomads, and lots others. It’s more the privledgedness( I don’t think that’s a word) in regards to frugalness that is my issue.

24 thoughts on “Frugal as in necessary vs frugal millionaire because it’s hip.

  1. Sorry it hit a nerve. Yes, all the tips and advice need to be taken in context. The thing that is missing from rich people being thrifty is STRESS. There is stress involved in making sure you spend your limited dollars perfectly. I do enjoy reading multiple perspectives though and appreciate the rich not buying a bunch of useless crap that will be in a landfill. Hope your monthly dollars match all your needs, and a few wants, Tahoe Girl.

    • Thanks, Kim, we are fine with our budget now. My reference was from a long time ago when it wasn’t. I agree, reading different perspectives is important.

  2. Arghh! I can see where you would find it frustrating. I don’t read those blogs, but I suspect it’s possible to have plenty of money and yet be authentic about being frugal. At least they aren’t blogging about all their excesses. Maybe younger folks who read those blogs will start saving earlier so they will have more options as they grow older.

    • I like to read lots of different blogs especially ones in the UK about life there. Most of them are very frugal and genuine. I think the it’s the disingenuous that gets me. Maybe they are genuine in saving a penny but when you have more than enough money it seems hyperbole.

  3. It is good to have a rant sometimes. I like to get a good bargain and never spend more than I have to but would not say I am a frugalist (is that a word?). I collect reward cards and use discounts and take advantage of 0% credit deals to keep my money in savings longer but where I won’t skimp is on buying good quality food and organic too where I can.
    I find that you can pick up ideas and tips from all kinds of blogs and not just the frugal ones and I agree there is a big difference between someone forced into being frugal and someone who chooses to make it a way of life. I have friends whose whole life has been based on frugality to the point of what I would call meaness and they have just had a huge £500,000 house built to retire into which is beautiful and have plenty of surplus money in the bank but then they have never travelled far or spent money on enjoying themselves.
    Each to their own ways I suppose. Good luck with the budgeting.

    • Remember Frugal queen? she had such great ideas and had a huge following. Well, everyone is different with finances so be it. I think you do a terrific job with your garden and food. Your blog is one of my favorites.

      • Thank you so much -I feel I just ramble on sometimes! I used to follow ‘No more spending’ she was saving money to fulfil a dream of living in Portugal and downsized into a flat to pay off the mortgage. She stopped blogging, sadly, I presume she finally reached her goal. And there is Sue who does all the challenges her blog is quite interesting too – I think she started with very little.

      • I remember her. Yes, Sue’s Blog is terrific. Her house is so nice and the improvements they’ve made are amazing. I hope it sells quickly so they can move on.

      • If you are on Facebook I think the person you are talking about has a group “Frugal Queen in France”.

      • Wow, you’re right. I just checked it out and sure enough, that’s her. I’ll have to go back and read some. It seemed like she says they live there now.

    • Thanks, Tom, I probably stepped over my line of comfort but I did feel the need to express my thoughts albeit, not that well. Sometimes, I know what I want to say but it comes across weirdly.

  4. I totally understand your rant. I don’t read many strictly frugal blogs. I’ve had to live somewhat frugally all my life. We lived paycheck to paycheck for quite a few years. We have never managed to have much in the way of emergency funds and we used credit cards too much. We are retired and still paying on a mortgage too. We try to pay off our credit cards every month now.
    Learned that lesson.
    But if you have more than enough to pay bills and sock away for retirement and emergencies the pennies you save by shopping with coupons or growing your own kale really don’t make much difference.
    Seems a bit disingenous.

    • I’m with ya. To be fair the Frugalwoods do have a very long post on privilege and understanding that other cannot do what they do. My two major are the FIRE folks and especially Mr Money mystach because he starts with basic premises like the assumptions of working in a high paying job for a few years. Great maybe for the tech folks. But as a government employee who is the parent of qualified professionals who dont make as y think ckise to that. Im like. What about everyone else. And if you are truly struggling you haven’t had a darned latte and may not even have a yard to grow anything. Low hanging fruit is too easy to write about, ya know? I should be back for at least a once a week post this week.

      • I’m glad she addressed that although there was a huge controversy with her book because she never really addressed her husband still working at such a high paying job etc. I think MM is a cool guy and does seem to acknowledge privilege. Good to hear you’ll be blogging soon.

  5. Wait – Krusteaz is considered a cheapie product? I seriously love Krusteaz! 🤣

    So I do admit I’m a wee bit perplexed by your post today. Is your frustration that some people are pretending to need to be frugal when they don’t have to be, or is it that they are even trying to be frugal at all? I can see the former as being perceived as disingenuous, but the later is something I think we should all strive for, even if Mr. Buffet and Mr. Gates.

    Personally, as someone with a pretty solid net worth (to be fully transparent), I view frugality as a way to minimize spend when there are other equally satisfying ways to get the job done for less cost. I hate wasting money! Of course, my version of wasting money is likely different from your’s. I hate spending/wasting money on bottled water, full portion lunches (my husband and I almost always share one to-go item), paying for parking when walking from a space just a wee bit farther is free, convenience grocery foods (flavorless generally), cable tv, gardener, dry cleaning, door delivery services, and Uber/Lyft rides when less expensive public transportation is available, to name just a few.

    I don’t utilize Craigs list or eBay to get rid of things because most of the stuff we donate is of negligible resale value, and it’s just not worth my time. I honestly admire those that have the tenacity to do so, though, and gosh, who are we to decide whether or not they are permitted to do so? If it works for them, great!

    Sometimes a good old fashioned rant is a way to relieve stress that may actually have nothing to do with what is being ranted about. Lots and lots of that going around in our very difficult COVID world, so you are in good company!

    • yes, completely the former. You are transparent in your blog and that is appreciated. I think what I am trying to say and maybe it didn’t sound right, is when you have a certain financial privilege and then your whole blog is about how I got there by saving 1/2 my income or eating beans and rice when in fact it’s because of high paying jobs, or perhaps inheritance or just whatever it seems to overlook the fact that many people and lots of people of color just can’t get ahead. They eat rice and beans because they have NO Choice. anyhoo…. you are an honest person and your blog always lets that shine thru!

  6. I get what you’re saying.

    do frugal stuff, but have a large income. I’m frugal mainly for the environmental benefit, but also so I can spend money on things that I want and that are important to me. I’m forever grateful that I am not stressed from poverty and low income. Had we been forced, through health or circumstance, such as unemployment, to be frugal, I know it would have been a very different life.

    I used to read frugal queen. She was pretty rough on people she thought disagreed with her – even if they didn’t. She wasn’t really poor. She admitted she got into debt through bad choices. Now she’s renovating her second house in France. Frugal living helped her get there, of course. I suppose it depends on what you consider a large income. She was an English teacher. As I teacher myself, it’s not bad money, but you do have to be frugal on some things, and careful on many things, to do things that aren’t frugal, like travel and own your own time, either as FIRE or even to just quit the rat race.

    • Well, said!!! Yes, I forgot that she ended up with a second house in France. I suppose that’s where they are now. And you’re right, she could be rough.

  7. I understand where you’re coming from. Years ago I HAD to scrimp, and the habits endure to this day. I wonder if the bloggers are like me and can’t turn the scrimping off?

  8. I have at least seven generations of Midwesterner and New England descendants in my genetics that always wants to go being frugal on the neurotic grounds one could lose all so easily; better to store not spend; better to buy the less expensive than splurge. It’s a hard one to let go of even when you know it is not needed.

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