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Be Poor and Flaunt It!

Updated on December 18, 2012
"I got it at Ross"
"I got it at Ross"

I'm here to let you know it's okay to not have a lot of money and be proud of it!

I am very fortunate to have a good job. The work environment is very professional. At my workplace, my coworkers are generally well-to-do, come from good backgrounds, dress very well, and are very proper.

Me, on the other hand... Not so much.

Maybe it's because I'm a little younger than some of my co-workers and I just don't know any better, but I'm not ashamed to function outside the norms to be myself - frugal!

The office knows me as the deal-saver and thrift shopper. I get pretty much all of my clothes at Goodwill, and some from Kohls. At Goodwill, I can find my favorite name brands, including Banana Republic and Ann Klein, for much much less. When I started at the office, people would compliment my clothes and shoes, and I would tell them "$5 at the Goodwill!" for instance. I wear suits for important meetings, but none of them cost more than $10. After a while, one of my co-workers who is like me and doesn't have a lot of money told me that she thought it was great that I will share my shopping habits with others because most people wouldn't be so open about it at our workplace. I'm proud of it!

We will have office lunches from time to time, and when I first started attending them, I learned that these lunches would add up. Sometimes I would order something less expensive but we would end up splitting the bill and I would pay more. From that point on, I started eating beforehand and would join the meal just to be social. I'm the only one who does it, but some of my co-workers told me that they think they need to start doing the same thing - I think so too!

This is definitely an issue as I am a member of Kiwanis, where many of the members are older, retired, and comfortable in their finances. A lot of our meetings and events are held at restaurants, and to attend you need to buy tickets for $20-$40. As a girl who is trying to buy a house, these prices seem steep when I can buy a burrito for $5, so I usually don't end up going. Sometimes I'll go to a meeting where I don't need a ticket but where there's still food, and I'll eat beforehand. I get a few looks, but it's worth it to me to save a little money.

I will also take the bus to work. Most of my co-workers don't, but it's a great way to save money (and also enjoy reading a book on the way to the office).

I do need to maintain a balance between frugality and being unprofessional. I still make sure my clothes are in good condition, and that I'm not being tacky or cheap with my habits. I won't bring my own food to the restaurant, for instance. If the food sale proceeds go to charity, I'll try not to avoid them if I can to support the cause. I think I've found that balance and I'm happy to work where I do!


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    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I think you are pretty awesome. You know what you're saving for and are disciplined enough to go for it. You'll go far in life and you'll never starve. Oh, and you're a good writer, too.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 3 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for your comments! I agree - live simply :)

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 3 years ago

      This is great stuff! That dress you're wearing is amazing and you look so cute in it. You look a little but like one of my nieces, except she is only 13. The Goodwill idea is excellent! I haven't tried it, but I've heard a few people say what you just said about designer labels. I've had to spend most of my life being frugal and there is no shame in it. Sometimes it's like a challenge in that it helps one to prioritize well and not become greedy, which is a very good thing. Awesome hub!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Live simple and still enjoy life the best to live and you have said it all here thanks

    • Kenja profile image

      Ken Taub 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      You're such a sensible, upbeat (and cute) person. Thanks for the tips and larger perspective on frugality. Ken

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for your comments and for coming by!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very well said. Love your humble attitude there - very admirable. I was just commenting on the other hub and I'll say it again here, arrogant and show off people get into my nerve.

      I always tell my daughter, it's not the label but it's how you carry yourself and thank heaven, she's not like the rest of the kids her age...she knows better. I can see she's smart and getting smarter on her finances. I will be passing along your hub specially for my daughter to read.

      Keep up the good work.

    • aethelthryth profile image

      aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

      I am no kind of fashion person, but when I have gotten compliments on my clothing, it's almost always been the clothing I got from thrift stores! Makes me wonder what I am paying for, at expensive clothes stores....

    • Ov Strickland profile image

      Ov Strickland 5 years ago from El Segundo, CA

      Well done glassvisage. I like your attitude. I learned a lot.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for sharing your comments and experiences! I think it's great how people are able to live within their means and even thrive on less.

    • FL2BoysMom profile image

      FL2BoysMom 5 years ago

      Great article. I used to make a lot of money, and though I spent what I thought of as 'freely,' I still bought my furniture, housewares, and other 'stuff' from thrift stores all the time. After the 'SHTF,' and I didn't have a lot of money anymore, I was forced to become even more frugal, but boy, have I learned so much. I grow a lot of my own food now, have chickens for eggs, cook more, and even without a garden, can still buy food for my family of 4 for about $25.00 per week per person just because I've learned how to use the stores websites to comparison shop and find the best deals. I've started to make more money again, but the bad economy was good for me in that now, I have more to save and invest.

    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S. 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Excellent, funny, and true! Why spend more when you can look the part for a lot less? And I wonder if people ever look at how much they spend on a week's worth of fast food of all kinds? Frugality pays--pardon the pun--but in more ways than money. Simplicity is a discipline so needed in our lives today. Society is only preaching MORE-BIGGER-BETTER. We need to gain more internally and return to the virtues that makes our lives content.

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm so glad someone came forward and told you they appreciate your honesty! My girls tell me they would prefer a man that is frugal over a man who tried to impress them by spending too much money. Maybe with the economy people have started to value the idea of frugality..or maybe I just taught my kids well:) I understand your frustration with costly meetings at restaurants. I think many groups like to support the local economy by meeting at restaurants..but I would prefer a good pot luck instead! I envy your ability to take the bus...not only frugal but green. When I was a night student, I rode the train to work and studied on the helped budget my time And money!

      I'm glad to have discovered your hub and look forward to reading more.

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      I am so with you GV. Our family's idea of a good time is hunting for treasures at a thrift store and we focus on experience rather then things. There is a frugal revolution going on, your just ahead of the curve.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Your frugality is very appealing to me and others who realize it is great to make do on less. I know a lot of stylish women like you who shop for beautiful outfits at vintage and second hand stores, and some have even made a living out of it. Actually, I think you could be a fashion consultant to professionals who would like to stress stylish on a budget since you have a passion for it. Keep being you because this is best :).

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for your comments! Becca, I LOVE Plato's Closet! They have a couple near my place and it's awesome. Congrats on your upcoming graduation!

    • profile image

      becca0991 5 years ago

      Story of my life!

      I am in my final semester of school and finding it difficult to obtain professional attire without a professional paycheck! I was introduced this summer to a place called Platos Closet. It is a shop where you can sell your name brand clothing and buy name brand clothing cheaply!

    • StayPos profile image

      StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA


      Great hub! In particular how you expose the creative and practical side of savings. The best part is doing it without trying to keeping up with the " neighbor's"

      It's a simple yet powerful concept that we all could take advantage of in some form or fashion!

      All the Best

    • Ciel Clark profile image

      Ciel Clark 5 years ago from USA

      Yes! I was raised to prefer home-made presents and to be proud of a good bargain so it was (still is) interesting to interact with other branches of the family (or friends) who prefer expensive and think home-made presents are somehow of lesser value! I truly do not understand the power of the fancy shopping bag. (Or spending a few house payments on a wedding dress??) I don't understand why people are against thrift stores -- clothes in all stores have been handled by and tried on by many people. Your hub also reminded me of a large group outing I went on as a student in France -- I drank water and ordered the smallest amount possible... and then had to borrow money when the bill was divided equally. It is good to know the plan before you eat out in a group :) Also good to be frugal in general so you can splurge on whatever it is for you that is actually worth it. (For me, chocolate and tequila, but not candy or wine, underwear and sheets, but not sunglasses or gloves-- to mention a few. Maybe off topic, but your hub brought a lot of different ideas to mind. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your attitude; I have written quite a bit about frugal living so obviously I am on your side on this issue. Well done!