The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com

Frugal Café Philosophy
Save more.
Spend wisely.
Use resources responsibly.
Laugh often.
Kindle passion in life.
Give back.


 

 

 

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Live Frugally... and Prosper

By Vicki McClure Davidson

Remember the original TV series Star Trek? First Officer Spock was my favorite character. I was fascinated by his unwavering Vulcan logic. One of his catch lines was, "Live long and prosper," which now seems like a loftier version of the overused "Have a nice day." But back then, Mr. Spock was the epitome of cool, so his monotoned "Live long and prosper" was, by sheer association, also cool. No one else on television was like him.

Not spending is key to being frugal

So, now we fast-forward to this year, where it's become increasingly more difficult to prosper, especially if you're long-lived... or if you're of the formerly comfortable middle-class. Modest lifestyles are no longer secure, and the vast majority of average folks are battling financial hardships not before suffered first-hand.

But we're not alone. It's no longer embarrasing to pinch pennies. Or, nickels. Or, quarters. It's bewildering and foreign. And, scary, and HARD.

Everyone is looking to save money... even some millionaires, according to recent newspaper articles. Some people are frantic about the losses experienced with their stock portfolios. Retirement preparation has been knocked out cold. Gas and food prices are unpredictable, homes have lost their value, and the future for so many of us is looking flat-out bleak. You dread going to the mailbox, knowing it could hold bills that you don't know how you're going to pay. Where is all your hard-earned money going? When will this break-neck downward spiral end?

You can take charge. Starting now.

Like our parents and grandparents before us, we must take action and be frugal to survive, plan for tomorrow, and enjoy life today. Savvy saving is not just for those down on their luck... singles and families of all shapes and income brackets across the country are feeling the financial pinch (or squeeze, or pounding—take your pick) of rising costs. Overindulgence has never been cool, despite what spoiled socialites or advertisers or politicians want us to think.

At The Frugal Café, it's chic to be cheap.

Frugality is the hottest of topics these days. Being frugal is not only prudent and smart, but once you get more comfortable with it, fun and actually liberating. It's beating the system... the system that relentlessly seduces, entices, or shames us to buy more and more of what we don't need so that we can be better than we are. But what's wrong with how and who we are, I mean, really? We've been brainwashed and bombarded by the media and ad execs, pure and simple. Just so that we'll add our dollars to their coffers.

With a little imagination, gumption, and forethought, being frugal can be no more complicated than riding a scooter. We need to re-connect with our principles. To embrace the people we value in our lives. To eschew the abundance of "dumb stuff" we simply DON'T need in our earthly pursuit of happiness.

THINGS WILL GET BETTER. THEY REALLY WILL.

So, settle back with a steaming cup of bold java or sip some Earl Grey tea while you explore the café to discover hundreds of easy, cost-slashing ideas and game plans for living a happier, more frugal, less wasteful lifestyle.

Think of it this way: Spending less is much like getting a raise from your boss, but better. If you received a raise, it would be taxed—quite possibly, you would pay a higher percentage in taxes than you had prior to the raise. So your raise would shrink, and your buying power along with it.

When you spend less, however, you have more money each month, but NO taxes are applied to your unspent cash. The government taxes income, but doesn't tax you for not spending. Such a simple concept, but it took me ages to fully grasp.

So, live frugally, and you will prosper.


 

Related Reading:
The Frugal Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin: Insightful Quotations on Thrift, Hard Work, and Money
Artists, Sports Figures, Writers, Entertainers, & Celebrities: 115 Quotations on Money, Success, Frugality, & Life
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Best Frugal Story of the Week: Ohio Teen Lindsay Binegar Saves for Years, Pays Cash for Home with Her 4-H Club Prize Hog Winnings (video)