Is frugality the new black?

frugalityIs frugality the new black? I asked this same question back in 2014. Back then it felt we were still in a post recession hangover. Now, in the UK anyway, I think it is more to do with post-Brexit nervousness and our government’s insistence on pushing forwards with their austerity programme. Either way, whatever the cause, frugality seems to be in!

Frugality is in

Food and energy prices go up whilst wages largely stagnate. Benefits are being squeezed for those already on the lowest incomes. Public services are facing cutbacks just as people seem increasingly to need them.

No wonder the internet is packed with money saving and frugality blogs! Whether you want information on living a thriftier, more frugal lifestyle, need advice on budgeting or debt repayment, need better value recipes or want to know where the best discounts can be found, there is a blog for you.

You Tube also features these frugal bloggers and Pinterest is positively awash with them. New books like The No Spend Year: How you can spend less and live more (Michelle McGagh) echo those published at the time of the last recession such as Judith Levine’s Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping. There are TV programmes telling you how to spend less on food, how to get more for your money, how to live mortgage free and how to make something new from an item about to be sent to the rubbish dump. Buying second-hand is positively trendy (although not always super cheap if it carries a ‘vintage’ label), with a host of entrepreneurial folk making a living selling second-hand stuff on eBay and other online sites.

Taking care of the pennies

frugalityI guess I might have a different view of the situation if my colleagues were mostly investment bankers rather than local government employees. However, it appears that most people I know are watching the pennies. Those who once seemed embarrassed about shopping in the discount supermarkets now appear very happy to share how much money they saved.

Do people still feel the need to keep up with the Jones’s? I don’t see this so much. Many families are prepared to budget when they need to,  which doesn’t leave much scope for showing off. I am sure some parents continue to spoil their children by spending vast amounts on Christmas and birthdays. However, I have noticed that there are just as many keen to show their children they love them in more meaningful ways and to teach them the value of money.

It is no fun having no spare cash. It is even worse if you have debts because you don’t control your spending. There are plenty of folk out there with reasonable incomes who are in a sticky financial situation because they have been under the influence of the buy now pay later credit culture. I am happy to be part of the frugality trend if it in any way helps people to manage their money better, to appreciate the simple things in life and to save a bit of cash for a rainy day.  I hope it isn’t just a thrifty fad and that frugality really is the new black!

There are a couple of affiliate links in this post and if you purchase anything after linking through I will receive a small commission.

9 thoughts on “Is frugality the new black?

  1. Being frugal isn’t only about saving money to line our own pockets, as you elude to. It is about living simpler, enjoying what you have, and not having the stress that comes with trying to keep up with a lifestyle a person may not really want anyway. I also find it helps me be more generous with what I have. So many people I love and care about have been hit with unexpected and untimely illness and death, two leaving young children behind. Being able to support friends and family during really rough crisis is 1000 X more important to me than buying designer anything, or renovating my kitchen in state of the art appliances. Thrift helps get to multiple ends, including being generous with our time and money.

    • Absolutely. There are hidden benefits to a frugal lifestyle. When you cut back the excess consumption you see what really matters

  2. Not convinced yet!. My gang at work at midnight on payday are on the computer trying desperately to buy as much stuff as they can cause they deserve it!.☹️. Then they are skint again!.one week of living it up then overdraft, loans, noodles n scrounging!.

  3. Guess we all learn. At one time I was the taxi queen!. To and from work, cause yep i deserved it!. Ouch!.

  4. It’s become a way of life with me. Having debt was so stressful. The older I get, the more I like having a large cushion of savings. I don’t mind shopping for clothes at op shops or knitting my own. It’s worth the peace of mind.

Comments are closed.