Frugality vs. Budgeting

Occasionally we get comments from people who are surprised we don't use cloth diapers or clip coupons.

Do we live on a budget?  Yes.

Are we frugal?  Not entirely.

We have never claimed to be frugal, but because we enjoy budgeting, I think that people misunderstand that about us.

frugal (adj.) : sparing or economical with regard to money or food; living without waste

Ways We Are Frugal

  • We often share meals at restaurants
  • We eat at restaurants we have coupons for
  • We rarely buy anything online without a coupon code
  • Eric likes to make things and do home projects
  • Eric changes the oil in our vehicles and also does most repairs
  • We buy and drive used vehicles
  • We pack our lunches four days a week
  • We get free Redbox movies
  • We don't have cable

Ways We Are Not Frugal

  • We both have iPhones and MacBooks (and an iMac that rarely gets used)
  • We rarely use coupons at the grocery store
  • We buy organic produce and grass-fed beef
  • We eat out multiple times each week
  • We use disposable diapers
  • I'd rather buy something than make it
  • We each spend more than $500 on clothes each year
  • We don't scour thrift stores or Craigslist for furniture or other home decor items before looking at IKEA, West Elm or Anthropologie

We're not extravagant, but our first thought often isn't to be thrifty. We don't spend more than we make, and we have savings, but we enjoy spending our money, and not every decision we make is based on money.

Are you frugal or thrifty?