Hiding behind frugality

December 8, 2010

I am the master of the “good deal”. It’s an obsession. Once I decide I want something I spend hours (and sometimes hours and hours and hours) researching and looking for the best possible deal.

I don’t like to spend money.

I don’t like to shop.

I re-use, re-purpose and make do.

That’s the right thing for me to do, right? How very green and responsible of me, right?

I am beginning to wonder…

It’s not like I have a lot of cheap, crappy stuff. I keep paring down, to the point of it becoming another obsession. I get such a high seeing donation bags piled up by the door, clearing space in my closet, eliminating clutter, stream-lining.

Occasionally I stop and wonder why I don’t make small investments in beautiful things that make me happy.





etc …

When I have something in my hand, admiring it I quickly put it down and rationalize that it’s not a necessary expense.





Those are necessary. Earrings and hand-bound journals are not.

(Notice how the first list is in lower case, but I capitalized the second – as if it really were more important and required emphasis? I totally did not intend that and just noticed after re-reading.)

But sometimes I wonder if I am hiding behind the cloak of frugality, disguising my real motivations. Thoughtfully purchasing things just for the beauty they bring to your life is an investment in yourself.

The thought makes me uncomfortable. I need to get over that.

I set some personal goals and I will be rewarding myself with unnecessary things. I’m not waiting until New Years Day to get going on my resolutions.

The time is now, right?



  1. I’m intrigued. I’ve been mulling over this question myself. The other day I bought the first bottle of perfume in five years. I find it difficult to validate my own pleasure in clothing, in artwork, in stationery, in good chocolate and liquor. It doesn’t help that I’m a very poor student. But sometimes I worry I am dulling my sensibilities. Suppressing a gentle and easily-delighted part of myself.

    • That is my fear exactly. Some of these frivolities add more value to your life than functional objects… if you allow yourself the personal investment.

      I was a poor, single mother for years – but I’m not now. I wonder if it’s more out of martyrdom than habit. Hmmmm

  2. I think its great to occasionally get something beautiful and fun for yourself that you will really really love. For me improving quality of life like that is totally worth it… (as long as it doesnt get out of hand)

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