The power of frugality

I would like to know nthcircle's opinions on this video. I thought it was rather interesting.

I enjoyed the part about the person cutting their own hair, for I have been doing the same for about 50 years, and have never been to a barbershop during that period. Yet I do not have even close to a billion dollars.

But the serious question the video doesn't address is why these people are the way they are, and why anyone is the way they are. The assumption is that being frugal is an oddity for some wealthy people and possibly a virtue. Yet many people are, rich or poor, not frugal. Like all questions about human behavior, comprehending the nature of what determines how we became who we are is still unfinished business. Is one born frugal, or is it a learned trait, or some combination of the two? Would the world be a better or worse place if everyone somehow was frugal? That said, I'm fond of frugal.

@sovashadow, Thanks for your OP. Interesting indeed!

I know only two really financially well endowed men presently - both are successful lawyers - and are very, very visibly cheap (frugal and then some...) about everything EXCEPT for their own very spendy recreational activities.

I see those two as compared with our present neighbors - who are all struggling along - and who are NOT frugal at all.

Have look if you wish...
Our upstairs neighbor blasts her a/c units - while leaving windows open during days of 80-90F, leaes all her lights on & TV blasting at volume loud enough to listen to down here when working 12 hour shifts & then complains to us about her electric bill being too high;

Next door we have a couple of chain smokers with a wreck of a car that they have no money to replace (not smoking = instant raise in the thousands per year...);

And the others over there are a disabled couple that have 4 children ranging from infants to toddlers in a too-small apartment that they'll be thrown out of by their lawyer landlord ASAP - with 2 cars that do not pass state inspection.
That last bit doesn't sound too far-fetched most likely - except that those folks are vocal about not having enough to properly feed their kids while wasting loads of $$ on stuff they could avoid - like loads of poor quality bottled water instead of using the R.O. filtration system they already bought - but refuse to pay to have installed.
Can't feed their kids well - yet have a huge, wall-sized TV that is visible from the street ??
Very odd IMO.

Sure - not everyone is able to deal with their addictions, or budgets or even their overwhelming 'need' to reproduce again & again, BUT:
In this current world, just being able to do the simple math & choose accordingly could help all the folks that I mentioned, massively IMO.

As one who has lived on next to nothing - and still lived pretty well - since around the age of 15 1/2 in my 1st independent living situation - I know it is possible, but it is also what folks actually very seldom do for themselves, for their own benefits.

@E_Z, I agree that many folks would probably do well to have a think about which items and experiences in their lives are wants versus needs, but with the unrelenting onslaught of advertising designed to make us realize how much we "need" things, it's not surprising that many among us do not always make the wisest financial decisions. Of course, if everyone suddenly reconsidered their spending habits and actually spent only on needs, our 70%-consumer-driven economy would quickly grind to a halt, which would likely unleash a whole new, much worse set of problems.

That said, increasing frugality would probably be a good goal for most people, and their finances would thank them.

Decades ago I made an important discovery - then another followed it...
The 1st was that stress was doing me in slowly & inexorably - so I took up stress management, and=>
Its 1st suggestion was no news of ANY SORT.
Easy enough to do I thought, so I did it - and very soon quit all TV, radio & newspapers.
Wow. I never looked back - what a great way to ease one's life.
Commercials ?!?
I don' see anee stinkin' commercials !!

At the market I visit maybe 3 aisles, total; at the box stores I go in - get what is needed - pay & exit.

I actually bought some shirts this summer for the 1st time in most of a decade - on sale for $2 each.

The doggone gas stations now have TVs in their pumps - which sucks IMO - but gladly, they have mute buttons too...phew.

Do I care if my lack of rampant consumerisms takes away from this badly broken world's eek-oh-no-my ??
Nope, not so much as a whisker's twitch.
I am certain there's endless loads of well indoctrinated zombies to waste enough for a million or so just like me - if such folks still even exist !!!

I keep hoping that my (now) 24 year old car will outlast me in this life & that our 'new' 20 year old car will last lots of years as well.

A big excitement for me - ready for some silliness ??
I picked up what I needed to add a valve to my air compressor so the pump will need to run less after the times it sits idle for weeks with a tank full of air - yippee !!!

Silliness or not, IMHO you should be considered for the Lifetime Achievement Award For Frugality! Congratulations on your ability to eschew rampant consumerism.

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”
― Elise Boulding

All very good thoughts, frugality, is not a four letter word for what seems to be a disappearing mentality these days. More, however is.
I suspect that the 'advertising age' and TV, which have in large part allowed for an unprecedented homogenization worldwide of peoples conception of success, coupled with the large amount of student debt necessary to obtain the education to be 'successful' is creating a new feudalistic society which is having major impacts our grand-children's world.
I notice that nowhere did I say, 'happy, healthy, wealthy and wise'. I'm sorry to note that those concepts have fallen out of favor.these days.

Too many are just oblivious to the obvious & so do not ask the important questions at

  • Know anybody actually CURED by doctors or the drugs they peddle ??
  • What do any of us truly KNOW of the world we inhabit ??
  • What has gotten seriously BETTER in the recent 50-60 years ??
  • Why have our means of transportation stayed basically the same rather than evolving, for a very long time ??
  • Is it really true that we MUST burn everything to just get around, have power & be comfortable ??
  • Why & how is it that so many folks are content to just stare at screens endlessly ??

I agree with Als 100% the 'MORE' is a truly dirty word.
I too remember when the phrase 'happy. healthy & wise' was very commonly used.

There are so many really simple solutions that could exist allowing us to be better off...

Sadly, most folks resist fundamental changes - often with anger & violence.
Thus we keep using up & ruining the only planet we've got while some very few live in extreme excess & extravagance whilst laughing at 'the rest of us' as we struggle to just get by.

There's a wonderful MP3 (made by a guy who sort of vanished after making it) which describes things as they are - very directly & clearly - but it is NOT family friendly at all, so I cannot share it here.

All the above makes me happy to be content with simple stuff...
I'm one of those odd folks who can be quite satisfied to just sit quietly & read a book;
Add in a freshly brewed cup of flavoured coffee & that is really enough for me.

Frugal But Not Cheap

He may have not had a house with a view, but he had a vision. I don't know how much money he inherited from his parents, but the fact that he held on to it to benefit others is thoughtful. Duct tape is one of the best inventions since sliced bread.

Always great to hear such acts of generosity. I remember one a while back about an old lady making a living mending people's clothes... she left a million or so for charity.

Indeed. I guess this gentleman realized you can't take it with you, so he decided to do something good (or in his case, great) that would make a difference in many people's lives.

Agreed, and how ironic it is, that in a way it was his sole source of support. :slight_smile:

I found it interesting this man donated to programs that he had first hand memorable good experiences with in the past, which makes good sense and was important to him.

"Naiman then wrote a letter to staff that explained why: One frantic night in the early days of his career at the Department of Social and Health Services, he was trying to find a home for a fragile baby. The center's ( Pediatric Interim Care Center ) founder came to his office to take the child."

Departed--But Not So Dearly

The frugal millionaire Mr. Brown may have made a fine priest had his life taken that path, but that would have entailed being around people, which would have seemingly gone against his nature. He was a strange bird who loved to have birds around. Yet in the end, it was all about his very distant family.