This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Power Of Proclaiming Your Frugality

Then, I once invited someone to go play laser tag, and they told me, “I can't afford that right now, sorry.” And I didn't think it was rude, I thought it was refreshingly honest.

Giving someone a legitimate reason why you can't do something is actually quite considerate.

I thought my social life would suffer

Actually, I've found the opposite. If you're constantly making excuses for not going to costly events with your friends, they might think you just don't want to hang out with them. If you're honest about your budget, they'll know it's not them - it's your frugality. If you're meant to be closer friends, you'll find something more budget-friendly to do together. Actually, being honest about my finances has brought me closer to friends that I initially didn't know very well.

I was embarrassed

We all care what people think to some extent. We all have our Jonseses. Sometimes I still find it difficult to murmur the words, “Sorry, but I can't afford that.” But what's the worst that happens? Your friends think you're broke? Big deal. We're not working toward financial independence to show off; we're doing it for ourselves. Also, everyone else is usually broke, too. Whether it's getting out of debt or saving money to buy a home - most of us are on a budget.

The benefits of proclaiming my frugality

Support from friends

When I started proclaiming my frugality to friends, I was surprised at how many of them were frugal, too. In the past, we might have complained about money, but we never actually discussed frugality. But being honest about my budgeted lifestyle opened up a new bond with many of my friends. They started giving me personal finance advice, they started sending me great shopping deals, etc.

Also, they started reading my blog posts on Get Rich Slowly and giving me feedback. That was an added bonus.

Swapping frugality tips

Another benefit to being open and honest about my frugality is that I've been learning a lot. My friends and I swap frugal living hacks and tips, and it's always interesting to learn how other people work with their budget.

I stopped doing things I didn't really want to do

I've never particularly enjoyed going to the movies with friends, unless it's a movie I've been waiting to see. That's just my personal preference - I don't like spending 20 bucks to sit there quietly with a friend for two hours. I'd rather engage in a conversation, and, usually, it's a movie I'd rather wait to watch on Netflix (or not watch at all). Of course I realize that lots of people feel differently, and many of my friends love going to the movies. I just don't; I never have. Yet I've seen Horrible Bosses and Transformers in the theater just because that's what my friends wanted to do.

So now, when I'm asked to go see movies I'm not thrilled about, I tell friends I'm saving my entertainment budget for something else - maybe another movie, maybe a concert. And it's not an excuse; it's true! I save myself from doing something I don't particularly want to do, and most importantly, I'm not blowing my budget just to be affable.

Staying within my budget

Obviously, the biggest benefit to proclaiming my frugality is that it's been good for my budget. Friends are not only respectful about my financial goals, they're helpful and supportive, too. It's easy to keep a budget when you fully make your budget part of your life.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,055.87 -116.81 -0.68%
S&P 500 1,982.77 -11.52 -0.58%
NASDAQ 4,508.6880 -19.0010 -0.42%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs