A Different Outlook on Frugality

Have you ever had a moment when a simple conversation changed the way you thought? A conversation about a bottle of lotion gave meΒ a different outlook on frugality.

Growing up I would give 10%, save about 40% and spend the rest because I really enjoyed shopping. I even went through this phase around 14 where I only wanted to wear “name brand” clothes, I remember buying a pair of $36 jeans that I only wore 3-4 times! I loved buying purses, shoes, expensive lotions and lip glosses! Once I was out of that phase, I started shopping clearance racks and being “smart” with my money!

When I moved to college, I was taking care of my finances. I had a full scholarship that paid for tuition, housing and had a little money left to live on. My parents purchased my vehicle but I had to pay for insurance, gas, oil changes and other maintenance. I realized that I had to live within my means but I still was shopping for fun because I had money in my checking account. I wasn’t buying $36 dollar jeans, instead I was shopping at thrift stores and clearance racks but I was buying things that I didn’t truly need.

I started dating my husband right before beginning my freshman year of college. A few months later we were seriously talking about marriage. I remember very vividly a conversation we had one night that really changed my perspective of money and gave me a different outlook on frugality.

It was late November and my roommate and I had been Christmas shopping. One of our stops was Bath & Body Works and I purchased a bottle of Pearberry lotion because it was my “favorite” scent, I believe it was even “on sale” for $8 or so!

Later that night I was talking to my then boyfriend {now husband!} and he asked about my evening. I told him I had been shopping and then proceeded to share about my purchases I’d made thus far. I mentioned the $8 lotion and he told me something along the lines of “if you want us to be married soon, you can’t waste your money on stuff like that.”

Wow! At first I was a little offended, it was my money after all. The more I thought about it, I realized he was right, if we didn’t spend $8 on a bottle of lotion or $2 on a drink or $10 going out to eat we could save more and be married sooner. Were the small sacrifices worth it? Certainly!

By committing to give up the little things and save more we were able to be married just 6 months later. Sure we lived {and still do} on a tight budget but it’s amazing how much you can save when you stop shopping for fun and purchasing things you don’t truly need!

And that bottle of lotion, I didn’t even use half of it and it’s long gone!

8 Replies to “A Different Outlook on Frugality”

  1. What a great post! I admit – I was a little offended FOR you when I read what John David said! But I'm finding that when something offends me, it is sometimes because it has some truth to it that I just don't want to hear. πŸ™‚ I used to be a Bath and Body Works Junkie too (Freesia was my favorite!) Now it blows me away that people willingly spend $8 on just one bottle of lotion!

    1. Believe me, it bothered me when I was told that but you are so right, if something has truth that is what bothers you the most!! And I can't imagine spending $8 on lotion anymore too!!

  2. Well that's sort of a swift kick in the pants after grabbing a soda and snack while I was at Walgreen's this morning! You're absolutely right: foregoing the little things now makes the big things possible sooner–thanks for the reminder! πŸ˜€

  3. I couldnt agree more.
    I have a problem with "Sale Items." It's not a good deal if you buy a trillion of them!
    My new way of thinking now is that if I like something alot, I try to think of someone I could gift it to as a gift. For instance, there were adorable apple knick-knacks that were covered in autumn leaves on clearance in Amish Country. I really liked them. Instead of bringing them home for me, I bought them as a gift for my MIL. She will get them for her birthday in the next couple of months. I do this all year long with Christmas items too. Yes, I am getting the "good deal," but for someone else! I am killing two birds with one stone.

  4. This is a really great post, especially in these economic times. You should send this to Women's Day or Family Circle. It would make a great "last page" article. πŸ™‚

Comments are closed.