Learning to be Frugal

I am, in my ripe age, learning to be (deep breath)…frugal. It’s about time, you might think. And I couldn’t agree with you more.

But I never have been too fond of people who rub the dollar bills together between their thumb and index finger to make sure they don’t give one too many in tips, or who don’t give their cleaning help a generous holiday bonus, should they be so lucky to have one.

On the other hand, I have been known to be a little too loose-fingered, and lately, my cash reserves reached an all-time low. Which sort of shocked me into the frugal-mind-mode. Or at least, to begin taking the idea more seriously.

Which also means I have to get rid of this divine magnet on my fridge:

Frugal II

Because if it’s a mind-set thing, then I have to live it up and rid myself of all the negative associations. Frugal CAN BE beautiful (repeat, repeat, repeat).

As an example of my new-found attitude toward spending unnecessary moolah, I’ll have you know how clever I can be: My middle son is about to graduate from high school and the requisite cap and gown (including sash and tassel) order-date was fast approaching. Instead of mindlessly sending him to school with the $50-something check, I dug out his older brother’s cap and gown from two years ago, assessed it, washed it (gotta love polyester) and zap, all he had to order was the cap and tassel for $16. It helps, of course that all three sons are between 6’4″ and 6’5″, the size of said gown.

I have recently listed my condo on AirBnB and happily hosted my first guests last weekend. The extra income will help matters a tad in this financial slump, which is likely to be a deep and wide valley, since starting this fall, two out of three will be in college (ka-ching, ka-ching). But more money will NOT mean more mindless spending: Keeping in mind the matras of a guy I once shared a life with, “To spend one dollar I have to earn two…” or even better, desired object in hand (or flashing before me on Amazon) ask myself “But do you need it?” before hitting the “Buy in One Click” button. It takes practice, but I’m motivated.

It may still be a while before I install the Groupon App, or the SavenowCT App, or, argh, the AARP Savings App (concepts I learned of only yesterday from a beautifully frugal and sexy friend).

And just for the record, buying books doesn’t count.

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