We are frugal, NOT stingy.
I think frugality is often given a bad rap and mistaken with being stingy.
Frugality is “being thrifty, efficient, and managing your resources.*”
If you are stingy you are “being scant in your using, giving, and spending.*”
We are frugal. We look at the money and resources that we have and try to use them to the best of our ability. We try to spend our money wisely. We take time to think before we spend. We try to use things we have before buying something new. We often buy used, but not poor quality. We are a single income, home school family and are thriving, with more than we need, due to managing things wisely.
We DO eat out, but its once every week or two instead of every night. We DO wear nice clothes, but many of them are purchased second hand. Why pay full price when I can buy a nice American Eagle shirt in great shape for $2.50 at a resale shop? We DO live in a nice 4 bed, 2 bath house in a nice neighborhood but have a small mortgage due to buying below our means and having a big down payment. We DO give and can give quite a bit because we have extra from living below our means. We are frugal but we are by no means suffering.
We may not have a fancy new car in our driveway, but we also don’t have any car payments. Our kids are happy, healthy, and have plenty of toys to play with. We are updating our house, one room at a time, and it is all payed for with cash.
The only downside to our lifestyle is that we have to be grown-ups and delay some of our gratification. We can’t rush out and buy something the minute we want it because we need to have the cash in hand. I wouldn’t trade having money left at the end of the month for that shiny new toy though.
*Definitions paraphrased from dictionary.com