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Sometimes it dawns on my how frugal I am.  It’s almost like a compulsion.  I can’t help it.  It’s ingrained in me.  If I were to rate my frugalness from a scale of 0 to 10, I think I would be about a 7 or 8.  I don’t think I am that frugal that I would compromise my health by eating Kraft Dinner every day or anything, but I am pretty frugal and I don’t like paying full price for most things if I can help it.

I would put myself in the frugal camp rather than in the cheap camp.  Frugality is the tendency to acquire goods and services in a restrained manner to achieve a long-term outcome (e.g. more savings and more money put towards things that matter to you, like for me, travel!).  Remember, there is a clear line and distinction between being frugal and being cheap, they are not the same though most people assume they are, and frugality is a turn on whereas cheapness is not.  If you’re not sure which camp you fall under, here is an Investopedia post on how to tell if you’re frugal or if you’re cheap.

These are my confessions….that are indicators I can be quite frugal at times:

Some of these are borderline embarrassing to share haha!

My television was free.

  • The television set in my living room a small flat screen television that sits on top of my fireplace was free.  My dad has a rental property where the tenant was moving out and didn’t want it anymore… so now it’s mine!  It works great, it’s not a 60″ Sonia Bravia Smart 3D TV (is that even a thing? I just made it up) but it works for me!

My computer chair was $10.

  • It’s not the most comfortable chair but it gets the job done.  I didn’t want to pay $150+ to $250+ for a computer chair.  I went to at a moving sale and I got the chair for $10.  They even gave me an inkjet printer for free because they were having trouble getting rid of it.  Admittedly, I think I still have it lying around somewhere because I prefer my laser printer over an inkjet printer.

I found a vacuum in my back alley once and sold it on Craigslist

  • One time, I saw a “FREE” sign beside this Shark vacuum when I was driving home and I took it home.  I cleaned it up and it worked fine.  I had my eye on a Dyson vacuum instead and so sold the Shark vacuum on Craigslist for $60.  Hahah.. who would do such a thing?!  I would!

Most of my clothes are from warehouse sales or are bought at outlets

  • Or are from clothes swaps.  Actually some of my favourite and most worn pieces are clothing are from clothes swaps.  One area where I draw the line is shopping at Value Village or thrift stores for clothes.  I don’t know what it is, but I usually can’t find anything I like there.  My friends always find great deals and great finds when they go thrift store shopping but I don’t have such luck unfortunately.  I rarely shop in malls anymore… I mainly go to outlet malls or outlet stores.  Also, I don’t mind buying out of season.  For example, I bought a down jacket for $90 at a warehouse sale in the spring when the original price was $350.

I try to sell things on Craiglist

  • Before I throw something away, I try and sell it on Craigslist.  I’ve sold a lot of things on Craigslist, including my old hiking boots for $40, an old Sony alarm clock for $25, a pair of walkie talkies that I don’t use anymore for $25.  I consider this my “extra” money and try and use this money towards something that I want but don’t really truly need.  I think selling things on Craigslist is what most people try and do, so I don’t think it’s a big sign of frugality.  I like to spring clean my way to extra money if I can help it.

So…there you have it.  I think I am 7 or 8 out of 10 frugal.

Readers, do you have any frugal confessions?  What would you rate your frugality level?

Article comments

Cheryl says:

I agree with some of your spending/buying habits.

We don’t but anything that’s not on sale. For instance we recently reno’d our kitchen. No appliance match’s by brand, but they were all the best rated and on sale. Our fridge alone was $1000 off. We saved over $3000 on our appliances. Big ticket items are never a rushed purchase.

I love good quality designer clothes. In fact, I no longer own any cheap quality clothing. However I’ve never paid full price for anything. Like you mentioned, I too will avoid the malls now. Actually we avoid shopping in Canada as much as possible when the currency is better. When I go to the outlet malls, I always go to the clearance rack and tables first. I’ve found amazing deals shopping this way. 2 pairs of true religion jeans for $160 us.

There is always deals to be had, you just have to look for them.

Leigh says:

I got a modem from a friend of a coworker for free once lol! It stopped working very well eventually though and I replaced it with a really good one that should hopefully last for years.

I think that having a cheap computer chair is being cheap, not frugal. For the amount of time I spend at my desk (especially with grad school starting in the fall), a chair that fits well is crucial to the health of my back and my knees. I recently bought a really nice office chair for $650, but I plan to use it well for 10+ years and I should hopefully be able to sell my old one on Craigslist for ~$50.

I buy designer jeans from Nordstrom, but I only buy 1-2 pairs.

Now that we rearranged things so that my boyfriend is paying for date nights, my entertainment spending is ~$40/month lol! I usually spend only ~$30/year eating out by myself/grabbing takeout for myself.

I take transit a lot, especially to work. I would be spending ~$250/month commuting if I didn’t take transit. I own a subcompact car that is now almost 5 years old! My friends are getting new BMWs and Audis though to replace their existing cars that are as old as mine and I plan to drive mine for another 5-10 years. I only put about 2-4k miles on my car per year. Last year I think I spent about $200 on fuel for my car the whole year? But then I spent ~$7k on travel in both 2014 and 2015.