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?

Quenelle Mon 13-May-13 11:12:19

We have more money to spend since we moved DS from the childminder to preschool so I have let go of the purse strings a bit.

I bought a magazine subscription for the first time in ten years (but I doubt if I will renew it after the six months are up), and we have splashed out on some good camping equipment.

We will mostly keep to our frugal spending habits though. There are things I prefer to buy: rather than clothes or 'Stuff' I would rather spend money on making the most of our hobbies and leisure time. And our retirement, of course, which isn't that far away in the scheme of things.

ShadeofViolet Mon 13-May-13 11:46:07

I wont go back to buying the kids clothes from Next etc. I still use H&M but its mainly ASDA or ebay.
I will food plan, and continue baking twice a week. I enjoy it and it saves money on biscuits and cakes.
I am obsessed with how much water and electric we use and that probably wont change either.

It would be nice to have some extra cash though. I am going to be 30 soon and I wanted to book theatre tickets. Have done the sums and realised its impossible, because it would mean we wouldnt have any holiday spending money. But we are going away so thats a massive bonus (with the help of a big savings tin)

missedmebythatmuch Mon 13-May-13 13:03:41

Yes, I can't see myself ever going back to spunking money about. I will spend selectively on things like brilliant holidays, but there are a lot of things (toys, children's clothing, furniture) I'd never buy retail ever again, even though I earn good money.

I have also got into selling things I no longer need, and am surprised at how much money I've been making.

These are practices I'm teaching my DC too. I want them to be financially smart from the first pound they earn.

boxershorts Mon 13-May-13 13:04:07

I have always been fairly frugal even when I have the dosh. But I dont have young children so frugality is easy; but you do have to pay the bills

LaQueen Mon 13-May-13 13:45:38

Hmmm...we used to let money run through our hands like water.

I will carry on buying my cleaning products from Home Bargins, it's all branded stuff and it's impossible to spend more than £10 in there.

I won't go back to blowing £16 per month on glossy magazines, only to briefly flick through and bin them.

I will continue to really shop around for DDs school shoes - used to blow £45-£50...now, I always wait for the sales, and buy ahead (have just bought DD2 a pair of Startrite's at half price, but they won't fit her probably until Sept/Oct time).

I will continue to buy our fruit and veg from our village grocer - half the price of Sainsburys, and better quality.

Thinkingof4 Mon 13-May-13 14:37:31

Interesting thread. I'm frugal in some ways eg cook for scratch, no beauty treatments, don't drink alcohol, meal plan, uk only holidays. In other ways though I think it's better to spend a little more for something that lasts eg shoes and clothes. I have 3 ds and dc4 on the way so I tend to buy better quality clothes for ds1 (and sometimes ds 2) as I know they will last better and can be worn by 3 or 4 children. Maybe more expensive up front but seems to work so far. I also find if I buy cheap shoes they just fall apart and I end up replacing them, so I go for better quality stuff. I don't mean designer btw but things like el naturalista. I always shop around and research carefully before buying more expensive stuff though, there are so many bargains out there if you look for them. The boots I'm wearing today cost me about £40 3 or 4 years ago and are still going strong (on sale when I bought them and I've worn them loads)

I might change a bit if we had more money eg buy all meat from butcher, eat more fish, nicer veg etc. But I really enjoy cooking from scratch so that wouldn't stop, and I like our uk holidays too.
I really recommend Hugh fearnley wittingstal's Veg cookbook btw. We are not veggie but eat quite a lot of vegetarian meals now and even my carnivorous dh enjoys his stuff

ChocolateCakePlease Mon 13-May-13 15:55:20

I grew up having to be frugal and i am not sure if it something that will ever leave me.

I don't know if food is really more expensive nowadays in real terms. I mean the percentage is much smaller from a weekly wage now then it was 30/40 years spent on food. Alot of things are the same price or even cheaper now then they were 20 years ago thanks to supermarket influence.

We have always been a bit slipshod with money. It tended to disappear alarmingly quickly so one good thing about the recent economic crisis is that we have taken a good look at our money.

We have stopped the drip drip drip of ready meals, treat foods, magazines, dvds... And abracadabra, we have savings grin

I like it. We eat better and use what we have already got, more. I don't shop for fun anymore and when I do go, I take a list.

DH is finding it harder, tbh, so I am budgeting for him. I even give him pocket money now grin

AlvinHallsGroupie Mon 13-May-13 18:39:17

Its a way of life for me but not in a "superscrimper" silly tips way ie lets make a necklace out of paperclips hmm
I save money by not wasting money on utilities,ready meals,impulse buys,takeaway coffee but always buy good quality clothes and food .
Im always ready to renegotiate on insurance,utilities etc because they rely on you not getting round to it.
I read the crap glossy mags at work paid for by someone else grin

LaQueen Mon 13-May-13 21:02:43

It's really not in either mine, or DH's nature, to be frugal. We're very open-handed, and in years gone past were used to living the high-life.

But, 5 years of a recession...when you run your own company...eventhough DH has successfully steered his way through these last few years, we've had to tighten our belts and learn to be frugal.

And, it was a good, and very valuable lesson to learn, and one that needed learning. When I look back now, at how we used to squander money...stupid amounts, on pretty pointless stuff blush

So, I'm not intending changing my ageing, little VW Polo anytime soon - why would I? I only do about 50 miles per week, so don't need a new, flash car to do that. And, DD2 is perfectly used to wearing lots of DD1's hand-me-downs.

We do still eat out a lot, though. It's what we like to do - and as neither of us smoke, do drugs, or even drink at home...we reckon it's okay.

And, I have to confess - after a year or two, of trying to be frugal, and using little, cheap local salons and average stylists...with the end result that my hair just looked crap all the time, and was a peculiar shade of rusty yellow...I have returned, whole heartedly, to an expensive, city salon with excellent stylists and proper colour technicians - and I have good hair, again [cries a little bit with joy]

ElizaDoLots Mon 13-May-13 22:36:24

grin

God, no, you can't go through life being miserable about your hair shock

Life is truly too short to have crap hair.

MERLYPUSS Tue 14-May-13 08:44:35

I've always been frugal (tight as banjo strings). My maternal GMum was widowed during WW2 with 7 kids. She was Jewish and disowned by her family for marrying out so had no fall back. She worked full time in Woolwich Barracks in the kitchen feeding the 'lads' so the head chef would let her take the scraps home 'for the kids Winny'. She could make a 1lb of mince last a week!
Dad served in WW2 and has to have a food stock as a fall back, I'm sure in case rationing comes back! He is always trying to feed my 2 up when we are there.
Mum, in turn, learnt GM's ways, and when dad was on limited income she would often not eat so the older 2 girls and dad could. (she would wash up and have a piece of toast instead of a meal). When I came along some 8 years later it was a way of life by then. I had hand me downs, hand made clothes and market stuff. No Primark then.
My OH was born in Sri Lanka. His family were not on the poverty line but often did not know when they would next eat meat so lived on a lot of lentil/bread and rice combos. Very healthy but he is a meat freak now. Comodoties like plastic stuff were non existant so never a marg box was thrown away in MIL's house when they came here. Everything was used until it wore out. And they saw no point in having 'stuff' for the sake of it.
I scratch cook 90% of the time. Bulk buy and would rather shop around and save 50p than pay M&S prices. It is just ingrained. I get all my clothes form Primark, Asda or bootsales. Same for the kids.
We now have quite a healthy income but I cant justify not having savings or spending £30 on a pair of kids shoes when Sainsburys do them for £15. I do treat them on extortionately expensive things like a tree house that cost nearly £800 because I know they will get play value from it for years to come. I can rationalise that.
I don't think Iwill ever change. It is just how I am

AdoraBell Chile Tue 14-May-13 18:55:28

I was brought up to be frugal, my parents were born between WW1 and WW2 and had 6 kids. Now I need my kitchen cupboards to be full but don't need to go to a hairdresser - not judging anyone who does- but where I live it's not easy to be frugal in everything.

We're in South America and I can get fresh veg etc really cheap locally but if I want meat or fish, or even dairy, that is actually fresh and has been kept refrigerated I have to do an 80 km round trip. There are butchers, you find them by sense of smell, and fish isn't kept on ice other than in the supermarket.

I can't get DDs shoes from supermarkets as they both have inherent problems that make fecking expensive well structured shoes, a la Clarks, a necessity.

We also spend an absolute fecking fortune on health insurance which is a constant source of stress. We pay to see a Dr, DDs pay (or we do) for dentist and prescriptions. If we can sell the house before we lose it we'll be lucky. A part of me yearns to move back and stop spending all this money.

So yes, I will continue being frugal if I can actually get back to being frugal.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 14-May-13 18:59:11

Over the last five years I've adopted as many frugal habits as I can. I won't be stopping if I ever become rich! Some are great, like meal
?planning to avoid food wastage, but some depress me. For instance, I don't think I will ever be able to go on a warm summer's drive without worrying about the wasted petrol again. sad

I've got a lodger moving in next month and am doing as much private tuition as I can, so hopefully thing should be less tight soon.

BackforGood Tue 14-May-13 19:14:50

I've always been tight frugal. My 'skint' days were 18 - 25 yrs ago, not in the last 5 or 6 years. I can't bring myself to "waste money" on things I know I can get off Freegle or from charity shops, or paying for a brand name at the supermarket when I know I can get far cheaper without, even though we are considerably more 'comfortable' than we were when we first got together.

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 19:29:23

How do those glossy mags stay in business? I picked up one the other day and it was £4! WTAF? I can get a good book for that and/or share a book on Kindle for that.

AdoraBell Chile Wed 15-May-13 04:00:04

It's all the advertising revenue that keeps the magazines afloat. The big fashion houses spend obscene amounts of money on pushing their products. Doesn't work on me thoughgrin

spidersandslugs Sat 18-May-13 15:41:26

I borrow glossy mags from my local library. They loan them out for a week at a time & you can't renew. It's free as long as you remember to return on time.
& yes, I think I'll stick with the frugal lifestyle, I can't bear wasting money.

Soditall Wed 12-Jun-13 20:34:10

The stress that has gone since we have become more frugal there is no way I'll ever go back to the way we were.

I enjoy making meal planners,I love baking and making everything from scratch.

I Love using my creative side to create the things I want and need for my home and I get so much more enjoyment making and up cycling things than I ever did just buying them ready made from a shop.

And I love that are money now feels like it's working for us rather than us just always working for the money.

Iwantmybed Wed 12-Jun-13 20:38:38

Hmm good question. We've been fairly frugal since 2006 so its second nature not to waste money. However we are now pretty liquid and built up a small pot of savings we are now investing in the house but will happily scrimp elsewhere.

Jellybeanz1 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:14:18

I tried growing our own food in the garden but with the rubbish summer last year I honestly think I wasted a lot of money for almost no return. I hate slugs sad

Lovetoknit Wed 17-Jul-13 17:19:04

I usually try to save where I can so we can afford occasional treat for our 3 kids e.g local vintage rally and steam fair.
I love cooking from scratch and baking, I shop around for best offers and often by in bulk and then separate meat into portions. I always use up any leftovers and with 2 cats, dog and chickens (they not only provide us with eggs but also lots of entertainment for all the family) there is always somebody to finish any meals off.
Our vegetable garden seems to be doing great and since it's next to the house now it's lot easier then the allotment we had with our previous house. We are planning to make more room to grow even more next year. Kids love to help and definitely know where our food comes from.
It was kind of funny when even my Mum noticed when she came to visit that my youngest daughter was wearing a coat both her older brother and sister used to wear. I make, mend, upcycle and recycle things and even kids are learning along the way.
I just wish I could lower the cost of the fuel, energy and water.

Abra1d Wed 17-Jul-13 17:21:04

Into our third year of my husband's unemployment and I think frugality now seems natural to us. We have managed to draw down some pension money, though, which is helping fund our two teenagers.

nkf Wed 17-Jul-13 17:30:00

The credit crunch has taught me to recognise what I really value. I will be better off when my childcare costs end. I will out money aside to help my children through university and go to the theatre more often. U will still buy reduced croissants and cheap clothes (apart from coats.)

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