Be Poor and Flaunt It!
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!
- Being Frugal in a Rich World | Gomestic
Learn to ignore society's pull on your pocketbook.
- Is Being Frugal Frowned Upon by Western Society? - Thicken My Wallet
- Being Frugal & Handling Social Taboo at Home or Outside | One Cent At A Time
It is often considered taboo to be frugal in nature, especially since everyone is more interested in trying to keep up with the Joneses down the street. Keep it in mind that those who still maintain an attitude of being cost conscious are far better
- Being frugal does not mean being cheap. - Democratic Underground
- Endurance Frugality: Staying The Course And Being A Winner | Wise Bread
- Proof that Frugal People DO Have a Life
This is a guest post from MD of Studenomics-- a blog for normal 20-somethings that want to save money and enjoy life. You know the deal. If you enjoy this