Frugality is a privilege

I took a little bit of a blogging break to benefit my health. I needed a break from some things. I needed a chance to grieve. But I’m starting to break out of my funk, and blogging really is something I enjoy.

So today I want to talk about frugality as a privilege versus out of necessity. What’s the difference and why does it matter? I’m getting there!

There is a difference between clipping coupons because you want to save a few dollars here and there to add to your vacation fun, and using coupons because you only have $18 to your name and you need to feed your family. It’s glaringly different. I don’t point this out to make anyone feel bad about being frugal, but I think people need to recognize that they experience some amount of privilege if they are being frugal by choice.

I am incredibly lucky in that I was raised in a comfortable home, physically and financially. My family always had enough money, and never wanted for anything. That meant my mom never had to clip coupons, and could pick up whatever she wanted at the store. There was no worry that she couldn’t afford the items in her cart. This allows me to recognize that when I choose to be frugal, it’s not born out of necessity. If I am ever really truly struggling financially, I always have the option of reaching out to family for support. Do I want to do this? Of course not! But they will never let me fall all the way down.

There are many people however, who are not nearly as lucky. Many people really only have $30 in their bank account, and so they are frugal because they have no choice. Why do I point this out? Not to judge or shame anyone. But to bring it to light that we shouldn’t judge anyone for being frugal or not. Each person has the right to choose how they want to spend or save their money. We can be helpful and offer advice, but it’s really not our place to judge.

I think we need to be a more inclusive community. No one is perfect, so let’s not judge others for not doing something “right”. What’s right for you might not be right for me. I try to be frugal with my money because I have 3 rather expensive pets, that require frequent expensive vet visits. So I clip coupons and try to buy the brand name products whenever possible. I don’t eat out often. I don’t buy things I don’t need. I use the library. But all of this, is also born from privilege. It’s a privilege to have these three animals in my life. Not everyone would be able to afford them on a regular basis.

I recognize this is a sensitive subject for many people. So let’s just be kind to one another. Let’s just listen and help one another. You never know what someone is going through.

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