After a half century i have finally arrived. I am now hip. I’m happening. I’m with it. In the game. En Vogue. On the cutting edge. I am the talk of the Nightly News with Brian Williams, MSN, CNN and countless websites. I am…. a frugalist!
A frugalist is one who lives below ones means and is not a slave to the shakey economic wheel of unpredictable industry. Before this year, we were frowned upon and shunned and called penny pinchers, cheapskates, tightwads, misers. We read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin and understood intimately that MONEY IS SOMETHING WE CHOOSE TO TRADE OUR LIFE ENERGY FOR. We did not whittle away our “life energy” on retail riff raff. That silk shirt was not worth five hours of precious,irreplaceable life energy (work). We kept underground. We sought refuge with our like kind, standing bleary-eyed at the market at 7am waiting for grocery markdowns, shopping thrift stores and growing and canning our own produce. We baked our own cookies. We packed our own lunches. The masses thought we were poor. We were not. And are not.
Now we are supreme super beings, able to manage just fine in a world of $3 loaves of bread and $5 a gallon gasoline. For the first time, I feel like I can come out of the Goodwill closet and into the sweet light of un-retail redemption. Wow- it’s very bright out here in the world of respectability and recognition. Friends ask for my budgeting advice. Message boards think I’m interesting. I am sought after as an “expert” in my frugal field. I am elevated to Master Miser extraordinaire. I am cleverly stylish. I am chic.
What was old is now iconic, antique and cool. It is fashionable to serve from retro plates and bake ware. “I got it for nothing on the side of the road!” is now spoken in frivolity and confidence where before it was whispered in shamed embarrassment. Who could have predicted penny pinching would be elevated to art form? Who knew coupon clipping would be chic and smart? Make ends meet when costs are rising literally second by second on the same salary you had two years ago and people think you’re a genius. Dumpster diving is in. Paying retail is out.
No more do we hang about on the fringes of civility and decency. We know the best things in life really are free. We are The Frugalist. Hear us roar.