Is your frugal lifestyle permanent?

(85 Posts)
CatAndFiddle Sun 12-May-13 12:56:07

As the economic crisis/credit crunch enters it's 6th year, I've realised that all the frugal behaviours I've adopted thus far will be a permanent change for me.
As things gradually return to 'normal' over the next few years, credit becomes more readily available, consumer lending rules are relaxed (as they inevitably will be to stimulate 'growth')...do you think you will return to your previous spending habits?
My Nan never forgot the experience of rationing and the 'make do and mend' mentality of the war and the years that followed (though I don't think this was true of all her generation)and I can honestly say that the experience of the last few years has completely changed my attitude towards money.
Do you feel the same or are you just biding your time and riding out the storm?

Piemother Sun 12-May-13 18:58:32

We are vegetarian too now. That was easy since dd doesn't really like meat and I'm too lazy to do seperate meals. Also the waste with meat JD we didn't eat it in time vexed me.

It used to be that I'd buy food out and eat out as a treat - now it make me anxious and the forward planning makes me feel organised and safe.

I have lots of examples but I'd sum it up as being frugal makes me feel empowered grin

Thingymajigs Sun 12-May-13 19:00:00

I have learned so much that its unlikely I will forget all of it easily. I've learned how to cook from scratch, where to find the best food for the best price and how to keep tabs on my outgoings.
A lot of it is just common sense so I'm confused as to why I never considered some of them before.
Some frugal ideas are difficult to keep going so I can see a few things being dropped once they aren't needed anymore like selling everything on eBay (such a pain) and only buying things if they are on offer.
The skills I've acquired are invaluable so I'm hopeful it'll stay with me for life.

CatAndFiddle Sun 12-May-13 19:19:24

Totally agree about cooking from scratch thingymajigs. I really enjoy it. I think I am guilty of over analysing the household spreadsheet though!

ElizaDoLots Sun 12-May-13 19:33:51

Have always been quite frugal - no change here.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-May-13 19:40:11

I need to learn to cook from scratch.

Thingymajigs Sun 12-May-13 19:55:15

It's so easy once you get into it lizza, I'm glad I took the time to learn but it is just that- very time consuming at first.
Me too catandfiddle, there's a chance I've gone overboard on the household budget categories and I'm not sure that every penny needs to be accounted for but I'm worried I'll fall back into old habits if I slip even slightly.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 12-May-13 20:01:17

I was brought up frugal. Even when I had a large salary I drove a cheap 2nd hand car, shopped wisely for food/clothes etc. So when my salary decreased by about 60% in my first year of my new career, I was still able to live quite happily.
That was just before the hideous leccy/gas/petrol increases began though - it would be much harder to take that level of cut now as you can't save much on the absolute essentials of heating and travel.

unlucky83 Sun 12-May-13 20:08:14

I think once you have got used to it - as long as it isn't too painful -you never go back...
I used to be really really skint...then learnt how to live with it...(took 3 months to save up for a £12 kettle!). Then I started earning decent money and frittered it away ...
Then became a mature student -back to being skint and watching every penny -that went on for a while cos then DP started his own business and we had to be ready for it all to go wrong...everything DD1 had was secondhand/ given to us ...
Now DP & I don't earn a lot of money - but we have money in the bank (earning rubbish interest - 2% -so income has gone down), no mortgage, and have another house we are refurbishing...we don't have to 'worry' about money...
But I still think about what I spend - don't waste money - buy supermarket clothes, do my own hair etc etc - just booked a UK caravan holiday (probably why we do have money in the bank!)...although I do spend more than I did before (eg bought a £100 camera because it was the model I wanted when my old one died - but I could have got an ok one for £50...and when our old big tv dies we will get a flat screen...)
Yesterday I was having a panic attack about the amount of money I was spending - car repair bill, deposit for hol, car insurance, 2 lots of council tax, insulation for new house - I had to move money from my instant access savings account (in general we try and live on what we earn) - and had to keep telling myself it was ok but still I found it really really difficult...frightening....

Morris:
I'm self employed, just done tax return for 2012-13 and my self-employed income has gone down by £2000 compared to last year, mainly because of the crappy state of the Eurozone. Combine that with rising utilities, rising fuel, rising food prices, then throw having to replace all my windows into the mix dammit and think we'll be skint for ever some time to come.

apatchylass Sun 12-May-13 20:22:11

Really? I think I can't wait not to have to count every penny. Though I quite enjoy it, and am glad not to waste food, I'd just like to buy a few more expensive items each week - more lamb, loads more fish, loads more naice veg (pea shoots, sweetfire peppers, purple sprouting broccoli etc.) instead of endless carrots and greens.

And I long to go on a wilder holiday than camping in France, (appreciate that's a very first world problem). But I've never been high maintenance on style and beauty. Hair cut twice a year, do my own brows and nails, don't have facials or expensive products and prefer cheap clothes to designer stuff which looks the same to me, with a 0 or two on the price tag.

Anyway, no chance yet. DH down to last three in a job interview then didn't get it. Second near miss this year. But also only second job interview this year. And very very little contract work around for him either. So it's back to basics range and special offers for now. We are far better off than lots of people - our house is safe and so's my work.

wonderstuff Sun 12-May-13 20:28:38

Cooking from scratch is the best thing I've done and never want to change that. We have just taken on an allotment and I hope that will reduce our food bills a little over time.

lizzabadger my two top cook books are Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food is fantastic, loads of straight forward, inexpensive eats. How to feed your whole family is also good, has shopping lists and lots of basic recipes, but occasionally, misses a key instruction or amount of ingredient, you need a little common sense.

I'm crap at being frugal though, I always seem to live to my means, find saving so hard, my pay went up recently and I find myself frittering it when I should be saving. Fell in love with a painting last week, I really need to save rather than spend, but it's so lovely.

noisytoys Sun 12-May-13 20:34:09

I have learnt that I'm too poor to buy cheap clothes and shoes. A good outfit and shoes will last well, wear well and fit well and will be an investment rather than cheap fast fashion that falls apart and needs replacing over and over again. Pretty much everything I own is now Next because it is still high street, but far better quality smile

Amilliondifferentpeople Sun 12-May-13 20:40:15

Really noisytoys? I always loved next but my few extravagant purchases from there this ŷear have really let me down. Shit quality.

poachedeggs Sun 12-May-13 20:41:35

Well I've never had much cash to splash really, thanks to a huge student overdraft, then a mortgage, two maternity leaves and now part-time work. It's just normal.

I'm hoping to look forward to an increase in income in a couple of years, when our DC are both at school and, if all goes well, a business partnership.

Once the debts are cleared I'll prioritise savings, mortgage overpayment and sorting out maintenance/home stuff we've been unable to afford so far. So it'll be a long time until any cash will be mine to play with and I envisage the tight food budgets and small-ad scouring to be an ongoing part of life.

WaitingForMe Sun 12-May-13 20:58:34

No (just me then?).

DH and I got together in 2009. He had recently left his ex and I was a student so we were probably as poor as we were going to be. It never "hit" us in that sense. We moved in together and got richer (30% reduction in total household running costs). We had a frugal month when buying our house then reverted.

He just started working for me (I'm self-employed) and we're being super careful as we've only a few months living costs saved but I doubt we'll change. If our plans take off I'll still make falafel (30p per serving) but we wouldn't have just that and salad (home grown) for tea. There'd be less falafel and some lamb.

I'm brilliant at being careful and can have some fun with it but have no interest in scrimping when I don't need to. For the record, I've lived in a bedsit and sat with my tiny pile of £1 coins trying to work out when to use them for the heating that week and whether to buy milk or save the coin for the meter.

missorinoco Sun 12-May-13 21:20:37

We had our first take away in three years last night. It hit me how expensive it was, and we used to pay that amount weekly without blinking.

I would like to think my frugal habits will not change, but I expect I will gradually relax my tight fist on spending as our finances improve. I don't think I will go back to the state of casual spending I did have though; I am just so aware of what things cost now, and also so much more expensive they are than they were.

kikid Sun 12-May-13 21:31:48

I don't rate next either, last pair of boots I bought there were not even leather & did not last the winter. clarks generally last me 2-3 winters! I will not buy next again.

Mirage Sun 12-May-13 21:44:51

We have always been frugal.I was bought up like it and it is just a way of life.I'm self employed so income can be very variable,the bad winter meant 6 months with 2 days work a week if I was lucky and I ended up overdrawn for the 2nd time in my life.We are lucky that DH has a good income,but even so,we don't splash it about,the dds and I have nearly all 2nd hand clothes,I grow our veg and cook from scratch,don't buy coffees,magazines or papers,don't go to the hairdressers unless I have to.I think that even if our income dramatically increased,I'd still be the same.

Lizzabadger Sun 12-May-13 22:10:55

Thanks for the tips Wonderstuff and Thingymajigs.

Triumphoveradversity Sun 12-May-13 22:35:22

I have always been frugal but was bought up by a Mother who lived through WWII. She was almost as old as my friends Grandmothers.

It's just second nature so no hardship.

mathanxiety Sun 12-May-13 22:42:59

I've always been frugal and that won't change. Have always bought clothes second hand and am constantly coaxing life out of my really old car. One thing that has got me looking at even more frugality is joining Pinterest -- I no longer buy household cleaners (make my own and save a lot) and am looking afresh at items I had just lying around or being stored that could be repurposed. No need for 'retail therapy' when you can redo what you have and end up with new looking decor.

ChocChipCookieMuncher Sun 12-May-13 23:00:15

To make the most of food you buy and save a few £ try this
www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

runningforme Sun 12-May-13 23:12:40

I think I will always be aware of the price of things, and there are just some things that I will never pay above a certain price for, but like another poster said, I would buy more 'chef-fy' (is that even a word?) ingredients, like organic meat (only do free range, natural raised right now), more wild fish, fancy oils etc. I would also go out to eat a bit more and travel LOTS more. So I think that my spending would (and has) increase(d) in line with our income.

BoffinMum Mon 13-May-13 10:42:34

Well, I set up my Austerity blog and wrote my ebook on it, and I suppose that must mean that it's pretty embedded now. TBH I was always a bit that way inclined though.

Waitingforme, I have known people take a little milk from the help yourself bit of Starbucks in extremis. wink

flanbase Mon 13-May-13 11:03:08

Have always used things until they fell to bits and couldn't be repaired.

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