The Frugal Dilemma: Balancing Personal Savings and Community Support

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  • #96909 Reply

      Some days I feel guilty for being frugal. I’m happy the frugal lifestyle has made my older years comfortable and a bit less of a struggle financially. Yet, I have to be honest. I’m bad for business. Never supporting local hair salons, Mom and Pop cafe’s, crafters at markets, hiring someone to mow the lawn or clean gutters once in a while. Same with home repairs, painting and landscaping.

      Learned to do it myself. It was beyond me to work for X/hr and have to pay double or more per hour for many jobs I could do myself if I was willing to put in the effort. Sure, there are times a professional is needed with the right knowledge, tools and equipment.

      Electrical, plumbing and certain vehicle repairs are examples.

      It’s true that volunteering and helping others can help mitigate their costs… so that’s something.

      Anyway, just thought I’d share my thoughts on how being very good at being frugal is also not very supportive to my local community.

      #96910 Reply

        Don’t worry, there are plenty of mindless spenders out there. Keep doing what makes sense for you!

        #96911 Reply

          As a mental health professional, I would encourage you to reframe your feelings of guilt and instead see your resourcefulness as a gift!

          Although you may not support your local economy monetarily very often, I’m certain you give back in ways big and small, and that makes a big difference. Just being a kind, good person is SO valuable. Smiling at someone you walk by and saying hello, helping someone get something off a high shelf at the store, helping a neighbor, stranger or friend. It all causes ripple effects 🤍🫶🏻✨ I for one am proud of you for taking the initiative and being resourceful, it truly is a talent and gift!

          #96912 Reply

            While it’s nice to support local businesses when possible, in the end it boils down to supporting you and your family. The bottom line for that local business is to support their families too and it should be no different for any of us. Count how many times that business has shown up at your house to support your family.

            Now count how many times you have shown up at their business to support their family.

            Hopefully you get my point.

            #96913 Reply

              Shop local would be great if the local shops didn’t charge more for what I can purchase for half the price at Walmart.

              #96914 Reply

                I don’t feel like I’m ripping people off if I do things myself at all!!

                It makes me happy. I take a look at my lawn and I see I spent six dollars on a bag of grass seed and my lawn looks better than the lawn across the street that spend money on those companies that come and spray all kinds of pesticides on there and I have a sprinkler That was my mothers. It’s metal I haven’t bought a new sprinkler in 25 years.! Lol

                I would estimate my sprinkler to be at least 40 years old if not older.

                #96915 Reply

                  I have a lot of friends who are small business owners and I’d love to support them with my business but it’s not financially smart for “my business” Instead I use their services when necessary and spread their ads on social media, recommendations and review pages.

                  #96916 Reply

                    I feel bad (not very often though) because there’s a small ice cream shop in my community and while the ice cream is good, it’s so expensive!! It’s crazy.

                    I can go buy a carton of ice cream for about what they’re asking for two scoops and this was a long time ago.

                    I can’t imagine how much they charge now. Same thing with a coffee shop in my town.

                    It’s okay coffee when I get it, but again it’s too dang expensive.

                    I just make my coffee at home.

                    #96917 Reply

                      I just pray for everyone business to do well, and keep living my frugal life, I need to take care of my family.

                      #96918 Reply

                        I’ve always been frugal from childhood, it’s just in my blood. I’ve never been poor or gone without. I was a single teenage mom who was able to purchase 2 homes. I’m now retired. I retired early at 51 when I married my husband. He is also very frugal and just retired at 61.

                        We live in an older home. Our home is nothing like his peers or even his old employees. They have newer, big beautiful homes.

                        Ours is older, one story and simple. He does all the maintenance at both houses, we both do all we can to not waste money and I’ve never ever felt bad for not giving it away, especially now with ridiculous prices on everything.

                        I use to order desserts from a girl online who was starting her business and her prices were reasonable.

                        I had recently told her I was going to order a cake for my husband’s retirement, but when she told me the price of a quarter sheet cake, I about had a heart attack. She was going to charge over $200.00! I’m sorry but that’s insane for that size.

                        My family has owned 4 bakeries, I’ll make my own cake thank you. Long story but, enjoy your financial freedom and never feel bad for making sure you are financially set in your retirement years.

                        We will be leaving on a 3 month trip soon, and next year we are going to Europe for about 6 weeks, maybe more.

                        I’m happy with my home and all I’ve/we’ve accomplished.

                        #96919 Reply

                          I feel being able to do things yourself is an amazing quality and blessing. There will always be times for professionals. But for everything else, no harm in fixing ourselves.

                          As far as supporting local, I pick and choose. Everyone will be different and that’s ok. For example, I learned to cut my own hair. There will be no payment or tips for hair salons from me. I also know many who do patronize so they aren’t hurting by me not contributing. Hair is not as important to me, and I feel comfortable this way.

                          Yet I do visit the farmers market from time to time. I bring an allotted amount to spend. Every dollar counts, right? So, if I purchase some fresh berries for jam, it’s a win-win for them and for my family who will now have homemade jam. I get local honey from a family. Syrup from another. And soap from another. I’m mindful of my use of these products, yet still make purchases to help support. I definitely don’t support everything local. I’m fine with that. There’s many ppl out there and we all do different things to contribute to overall support. That’s what’s great about communities. Someone will want those designer pants and baked goods. Someone will go each week for a hair do. Someone is out there tipping servers. We don’t have to be a part of everything.

                          There’s also the aspect of giving. We can give our time. Volunteer! It’s awesome! We can help a neighbor with a home project so they too can save. Hand out extra garden produce. Knit a few hats and mittens to hand out to children. Donate materials to a local shelter. Visit a shut in. Help a neighbor mow their lawn. It’s not always about spending money when it comes to community support. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We each help make our areas a little better none of us are super heroes. We each do small things in our own areas of interest or expertise. Together, as a whole, we make a community flourish.

                          #96920 Reply

                            The mindless spending is what has helped keep inflation stubbornly high. Being frugal is a good thing, buying only what you need.

                            #96921 Reply

                              You can still support local businesses by making recommendations. If you have seen the work of someone and you see or hear of another person asking, recommendations go a long ways.

                              As a hairdresser, when I get recommended by several people on a community page, I will get business off that post.

                              It’s usually never the original poster but other people see that and make appointments.

                              #96922 Reply

                                I do most things myself. I’ll order some “wants” not “needs” on etsy. You can actually find some very reasonable stuff on there, and it supports the little guys.

                                #96923 Reply

                                  We still support businesses. Cash flow. Not all the time..and we travel.. Cash flow. I have a career and side hustles 0 credit card debt and we like to cook and create meals. And because hustle hard.. I do love my hair stylist and go 3x year and do not feel guilty.

                                  #96924 Reply

                                    I’ve thought of this myself. We almost never eat out, and when we do, it’s usually the same restaurant. When they see us there, they probably think we only choose them occasionally. In truth, we go there every time, just don’t eat out much. They couldn’t make a living on people like us. Our son and family just visited. We were going through money like crazy from groceries, fancy ingredients, recreation, etc. It’s good to be back to frugal.

                                    But I miss them!

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