Creative Living: Home & Lifestyle

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

On The Edge of Frugality

Having had a love for art and anything having to do with creating “stuff” has been a passion of mine from an early age, through art school, a career in teaching art, and continuing into the present as I gracefully mature into the golden years.  Today the passion is no different, if not stronger. I thirst to learn more, continue exploring new concepts and techniques, and yearn to share my experiences, knowledge and passion with others. I’m also a firm believer that the camaraderie of creativity and frugality walk hand-in-hand, feeding each other’s purpose and needs.

It’s always been a secret thrill for me to find a bargain at Worn Again and a personal satisfaction to re-purpose something that would normally be thrown away. I guess you could say that I’ve always been on the edge of frugality.  The truth is, for many years I really didn’t want anyone to know about this secret passion of mine.  First of all it wasn’t considered cool to be frugal, not to mention the confusion between being frugal and being cheap.  I’ll never forget my mother telling me that it was “cheap” to use the word cheap, use inexpensive or thrifty, but never cheap! 

To put the difference between FRUGAL and CHEAP into perspective, basically frugal actions are those that save money or are being resourceful in doing so, without harming anyone else.  Cheap actions on the other hand usually occur at the expense of others, oftentimes damaging relationships in the process. To put it in simple terms, it’s like the difference between saving extra napkins given to you to use later, instead of throwing them in the garbage (being frugal), compared to stuffing a handful in your purse at a restaurant so that you don’t have to buy them (being cheap).  You get the picture.

Today, frugality is not only in vogue, it’s becoming the necessary path to take in making smart and resourceful choices within every facet of our lifestyles. Having hugged the closet on this issue in years past, it felt good to finally emerge, knowing that it’s okay and highly acceptable to carry on with my best-kept secret.

When you get a chance, take a peek at an excellent article by Nancy Twigg, an expert on the subject.  Nancy’s post details the issue of “Being Frugal without Being Cheap”.   

If you’ve ever wondered whether you are frugal or cheap, click on the link for a quiz to find out. Answer the 10 questions, writing down your answers on a sheet of paper, then discover your results on the graph provided.  I scored a 24, placing me just on the edge of frugality.  Go figure!  Are You Frugal or Cheap? 

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