Poll: How Frugal Are You?

By definition, frugal means:

Economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful.

In a basic sense, I think most people are frugal to some extent, but clearly there are varying degrees of frugal. Some people will go to great lengths to save as much as possible, while others may only practice frugality on accident. I don’t usually bring up frugality topics on this site since I’m not overly crazy about it, but I know that this is a hot trend right now. I fall somewhere in the middle of the road, and I make a very conscious effort to spend wisely whenever possible, but I certainly won’t go out of my way if the savings is minimal.

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Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

17 comments
War Gold
War Gold

I'd say around the middle, but I'm more aware of being frugal with time rather than money. Constant calculations of value, cost relative to time spent. Tim Ferriss has some good stuff regarding this decision making progress on his blog (www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/)

Millionaire Money Habits
Millionaire Money Habits

I try to avoid spending as much as possible, but when I do need to purchase something I don't waste too much time trying to find the best deal. I'll pay for the convenience.

Unless it is a big ticket item. Then I become a bit obsessive about the research.

MoneyNing
MoneyNing

I would say I have a very high income per spending ratio so even though I won't be extremely frugal in an absolute sense I consider myself pretty frugal.

domeinregistratie
domeinregistratie

I will buy anything I really need, but in the other hand, moderately I will try to save some money.

Play Computer Games
Play Computer Games

I think I am somewhere in the middle, so as most people are. It's always not a good idea to be extreme.

Frugal Dad
Frugal Dad

Enjoyed stumbling on your site. As the name implies, I consider myself very frugal. I've found the best way to remain frugal is not watch advertisements, stay away from catalogs and sales circulars, and only hit stores with a list.

Jason A
Jason A

I try to save money as much as possible, but I also value my time. Although I too use the same towel for a good 4-5 days. Maybe not as much frugal as it is lazy :D

payday
payday

Good poll. I think I'm in the middle myself.

Anitra
Anitra

I've always been at least somewhat frugal, but I'm at a stage in my life right now where I'm trying harder (while not going overboard).

Some frugal practices I grew up with, others would probably view as way overboard (use towels for a week before throwing into the wash, wash and save margarine tubs for food storage, save non-deposit cans to flatten and turn in for scrap metal, etc.) Some of them I still practice now that I am out of my parents' home, others I don't.

cytoman
cytoman

ChristianPF is absolutly right. My wife will spend hours on the internet to save $2 on a $15 item.

ChristianPF
ChristianPF

Considering the dollar value of your time can really change the way you look at frugality. I think it goes back to the whole concept of not being penny wise and pound foolish

cytoman
cytoman

Keep in mind that a carefully worded survey can give results of whatever the survey builder wishes. It may not truly reflect the feelings or actions of the person taking the survey. I'm not suggesting that in this case but wording can easily skew results.

Brooke (dollarfrugal.com)
Brooke (dollarfrugal.com)

I know that I'm the extreme, but I think George says it well. I would like to be able to pay for flying lessons for my son when he's in high school, but right now, I'm not buying anything extra to set myself up for that when he's actually high school age. Each person has to have their own give/take.

George
George

I think it really depends on what area of my life you're talking about. I'm extremely frugal in some areas, but not too frugal in others - it's all a question of where I want to prioritize my spending to get the biggest bang for my buck.

Lily
Lily

Wow, 98% of votes are for the middle two choices (as of this comment). I chose "not too concerned overall." I save money for my purchases (or at least have enough in the bank to cover it) so I don't carry a credit card balance. More often than not, I talk myself out of unnecessary purchases before I make them. But if it is something I truly want (like the DSLR camera that my boyfriend and I bought for ourselves before we left on vacation), I won't wait for sales.

I think I would feel entirely differently if I didn't make as much money or if I had a lot of debt to pay off. I hope I'd be responsible enough to be more frugal.

Frugal pursuit
Frugal pursuit

I chose I make an effort to save money almost any way possible, but some things aren’t worth the trouble., but disagree with the last part of the statement. Sometimes, I just come up against my comfort level, access to tools or lack of knowledge. For example, I am comfortable replacing a nonfunctional wall outlet but would not want to add a new outlet in a room. I lack the knowledge and comfort level for an electrical job like this.

Ron@TheWisdomJournal
Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Interesting poll. I guess I'm in the middle, with a slight tilt toward the frugal side. A lot depends on where someone is in their life right now.