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Do people make fun of your frugality?

So what! We're saving money and they aren't.

By Karen Datko Oct 16, 2009 5:15PM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy.


There's been many a time I've been picked on for being frugal. Mostly during my prepubescent years, but even now I've been known to give a few of my friends a good laugh. I'm sure they were all just jealous (at least that's what our mothers always say, right?) but either way I say, "Who cares."


Who cares if our frugality and craftiness distract people? Are they the ones saving a few dollars? Nope -- we are. And because of that I say keep on doing your thang! As long as you're happy and not breaking any rules (*ahem* Phil Villarreal) who cares about these boring people and their spend-crazy lives. We like saving money and we're not afraid to admit it.

In fact, I'll even admit to some thriftiness right now: I used to sneak cheeseburgers into the movie theaters. I'd swing by McDonald's 10 minutes before start time and pick up some double cheeseburgers right off the dollar menu and put them in my pockets. Not only was it cheap, but it was craaaazy filling. And when that didn't work out, I'd just raid the nearest 7-Eleven instead and grab myself three assorted candies back when they were three for $1. (Remember those days?)

And after thinking about this for a bit, I wondered how many others are made fun of for similar things? There's gotta be a lot of us, right? Oh yeah, DEFINITELY right. Check out all the responses I got back after dropping the following note around the Web:


Anyone ever make fun of you for being frugal/crafty?


Via Twitter (these have been edited slightly):

  • SpendOnLife: "Allowing myself time to 'sleep on it' when making large purchases has been a source of laughter for my friends."
  • BudgetPulse: "Every now and then stay in on a weekend night to save money and get laughed at for it."
  • ThomasJFox: "All the time. Some mock my frugality; however, I am able to save 32% of my income because of my choices while they save 0."
  • MoneyManagement: "My daughter recently took a doll (Janet) she hand made to a tea party. All of the other girls had American Girl dolls."
  • CreditGoddess: "Got teased once for pulling out a calculator at the grocery store to figure out savings on buying single vs. four-pack."
  • Littlespace: "Heh. Yes, I get teased. Especially about how I tie environmentalism into it -- e.g., no paper plates because bad for earth and waste of money!"
  • Luciagia: "I just IMed my boyfriend to remind him to bring home the Ziplock bag his lunch was in. Perhaps I'm a little too frugal."
  • Mycesi: "Friends laughed at a co-worker of mine for only having basic cable. He used that extra money to invest in a rental property. All my friends make fun of my use of coupons at restaurants!"
  • CanadianFinance: "I always hear about it at work: 'Why do you always bring your lunch?' 'Do you ever buy anything at regular price?,' etc."
  • ModernTightwad: "Most embarrassing to me ever, some of my husband's family joke (hopefully) that I'm a lush because we go out to happy hour specials. The food specials are cheaper than I can cook, and I don't have to clean so it makes good sense (although they do look at me oddly when I order a Coke). Probably doesn't help that when I do cook, I make a lot of beer roasts (cheap tenderizer)."
  • MrsMicah: "Your mom got teased for being frugaltastic last night, but they shut up when I told 'em she was with me." (Hey now, how'd this one sneak in?)

Via Facebook:

  • Nicole Canfora Lupo: "My friends rag on me because I patch my clothes, darn my socks, sew my own purses and make my own curtains."
  • Nicole Ouellette: "The newish boyfriend seems amused at my frugality; (the man 'woots' daily) but boy, did he like my homemade enchiladas the other night! Frugality = tasty and clever. Yup, one person at a time, I'm trying to change people's minds about being financially responsible but cool."
  • Jesse Michelsen: "Yeah, I've been called super cheap, etc. I just take it with a smile and shoot 'em a grin followed by a wink when they say, 'I have to wait till payday to buy laundry detergent.'"
  • Shelley Harrison: "This is the first year that I will be buying a tree in a loong time for the holidays. We will be making ornaments since it is not in the budget this year."

Via the Money Blog Network Forums:

  • "PT" at PT Money: "Did your friends call you the Hamburglar? (Hah!) I was made fun of for going without cable TV for the last year. I had friends and family members who would focus on that like it was the end of the world. They seemed to believe I was trying to get rich by going without cable TV alone, when it was just more practical for me to use and over-the-air HD channels. Frugality is about spending smarter, not just spending less, I think. And spending smarter is just one piece of my overall plan for financial freedom."
  • Stephanie at Poorer Than You: "... a friend seriously told me to 'grow up and stop getting free furniture off of Craigslist -- you're not in college anymore.' I mean, come on, how is 22 (almost 23) and just out of college too old for free furniture that's in good shape? Actually, why is there an age on that at all?"
  • Financia of Financial Freak Show: "My friend always gave me crap about not going on vacation with them last year ... until I pulled up at his house several weeks ago after just paying cash for a sweet used Lexus SUV and parked next to his $588 a month new truck. He said he liked mine more. I told him he couldn't ride in mine since he stunk like a filthy payment book."
  • "Mr. ToughMoneyLove": "I have lots of liberals in my family. I wouldn't say I am frugal as much as I am fiscally conservative and strategic with money and, of course, write about it regularly. My liberal family members extrapolate my fiscal conservatism into a full-blown political label and then mock me as an alleged Bush/Cheney/Palin/etc. lover. Generally, it's those who don't have much money who mock the most. It's all in good fun but it is further proof that how you treat money in your own life can provoke interesting reactions from others."
  • Roger at The Amateur Financier: "Not really. My girlfriend has teased me a bit, particularly about starting up a blog about money (for some reason, it seems to amuse her), but I haven't really taken any flak for saving/investing. Although, on the subject of sneaking food into movie theaters, I do that as well; sneaking candy bars into the theater to avoid paying $3 to $5 for a box of Junior Mints. But, everyone does that, right? Right? RIGHT?"
  • Kevin at No Debt Plan: "My friends do take little jabs at me for being frugal, but they also know it is paying off. I'll top both of you -- we don't go to the movies. Ever. Too expensive and I used to work at one in high school. No desire to go back, which is good -- saves us $20 to $30 on tickets and food."
  • Wife of My Journey To Millions: "Hello, this is My Journey's wife. He sent me over to this forum when he saw this because he knows I am constantly getting picked on for being frugal. Here is my outlook on why it's good to be frugal: The importance of things. It's funny because I almost got chosen to be on the Rachel Ray show for my frugality. I guess others were worse than me because I didn't get picked. But I certainly think you get farther in life being frugal than you do being a spender, and I also believe rich people stay rich by being frugal (in their own way, of course).
  • "FFB" from Free From Broke: "I've been called cheap from time to time but that was from people who spend freely. I've had lots of 'come on, it's only 20 bucks' type of replies from friends. Interestingly, when I respond that since it's only $20, why don't they pay, they never take me up on it."

So there you have it. We all get made fun of for saving money. And if you're reading this, chances are you TOO have been the source of these chuckles. But, as always, just brush that dirt off your shoulders and keep on pocketing those dollars. Life's hard enough to be worrying about these jokers. Stand up and be proud.


Related reading at Budget are Sexy:



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