Is your frugal lifestyle permanent?(85 Posts)
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?
I've always been frugal but really only saw it as sensible til I saw how many folk live.
I look for good value rather than cheap and do tend to spend to get quality items ( ideally from a charity shop, but sometimes new) rather than replace cheap items regularly.
I could be more frugal but it would compromise too much on comfort level and is, at the moment, unnecessary. ( we already usually spend below what is considered to be the poverty line, the rest of income is saved)
I've become incredibly anxious about money and I can't imagine that I would ever go back to how I was before the recession. Times have changed and everyone has had to reassess how they manage their finances.
Some will, some I was doing before the crisis, but others I will let slide.
I had an allotment for 5 years that I let go in January, as I was too stressed not getting to it (20 min drive and then 15 min walk carrying all my tools) and not getting enough time meant it was getting overgrown too easily. But having HAD the allotment means I am a lot better at growing veg and have learned a lot more about how to squeeze more into my pocket hankerchief garden. So I will be continuing growing at least some veg myself. (But I do miss the loads of fresh raspberries and making my own blackcurrant jam).
I am also really lucky that I am not in the depths, there are many people a lot worse off than me - but we've recently had another round of paycuts so I am having to remember some of the lessons I learned before and put them back into practise.
We have freesat on the tv rather than a satellite package, so it only costs us the tv licence yearly (and even if I gave that up, there are plans to make all households pay regardless of tv in the next couple of years here).
I still buy quality clothes as I need to be well dressed, but I tend to buy fewer of them and make sure they are really perfect now, and look at the end of the sales in the high end stores (70% off a really good classic suit like Jaegar means it's the same price as a regular Next or M&S suit and I'll get WAY more wear out of it). I get my old shoes re-heeled and re-soled as needed, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new pair. And I also tend to look for new shoes in the high end sales again as much as possible as the quality of those lasts better.
I am getting back to more cooking from scratch (I like it and used to do a lot more but longer working hours and dealing with DD SN's and DH working overseas 50% of the time, meant I had dropped back). I always did double batches of dinners to freeze 1 (better than takeaway on frantic nights - microwave defrost and oven heating is as fast as takeaway, cheaper and better nutrition). I've changed a lot of food shopping habits, doing a lot more shopping around and getting some things in 1 store and others elsewhere - using our F&V shop, butcher, fishmonger etc more too. And I get all my spices and lots of ingredients (tins coconut milk, rice, noodles etc) in the Asian supermarket too. And I am more rigid again about menu-planning and making a list before I go shopping. So while it can change if the offers are good, I am buying to a plan rather than at random and throwing out loads at the end of the week.
We sometimes get 1 takeaway per week - but it wouldn't be 4 per month. Often Fridays, but I have more fast and easy options for Friday dinners now that I've learned.
We are frugal by nature, me more than DP, but are about to return to the UK and will need to step it up.
I am going to try growing some of of my own veg/fruit next year, I think things like salad leaves that are pricy to buy and will look nice in the garden, tomatoes and courgettes to begin with. I already grow herbs.
In the UK I do a twice-yearly trip to Costco and Wing Yip in Croydon & really fill freezers and store cupboards. We eat a lot of Asian/Oriental food so save a lot going there and it's better quality too.
I love reading other people's tips and ideas. Always something new to try!
I've always been frugal - if I hadn't saved right from childhood, I wouldn't have had the deposit for my first flat , & therefore wouldn't have a house now! I had a couple of splash-outs before having kids - 2 x £1k holidays, which I don't regret at all
I don't think it would be sustainable to be permanent for us tbh, there is only so little money you can clothe and feed a growing family for. But we have reasonable hope of our income going up over the next five years or so, thankfully.
I don't think we've often 'wasted' money but we are more cautious and inclined to overbudget to cover contingencies which I expect we will hold onto.
If we get to the point of being debt free and able to afford a holiday, we absolutely will go, for example. Although we can't afford that now.
our frugal lifestyle has def changed us for the better we will be keeping it even if we came into money i cant say id go mad or anything we try keep the cost of everything to a min we dont have luxurys but we def make our money go a bit further because we have to allways shopping around also allways try buy in sales for xmas birthdays our food is budget branded i think our shopping would def be alot cheaper if it wasent for us buying meat but saying that we only really meat once or twice a week for like a roast on sundays and chicken and dumplings or something similar during the week the cost of things have def got high and they are climbing higher as we know it
I will not change either, it's scary how quickly life can change. I am another one who could kick herself for getting suckered in to buying so many things I did not need.
I have down graded on lots of things and to be honest I haven't noticed the difference.
I agree, Chottie. I do feel like an idiot for being suckered into the whole 'must have' culture for most of my life. It's nonsense.
I love lentils! I buy bags of red, green, and split yellow peas, use third of a bag of each and soak over night and rinse, - cheap piece of gammon, throw in a chopped onion, spud, carrot simmer away, makes pea and ham soup for my work lunch for a fortnight. Sorry to throw in a quick recipe!
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