Understanding Frugality

Frugality: the quality of being prudent, economical, as in the expenditure of money or the use of natural resources. Careful management of anything valuable which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose; thrift.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, ©1996, 1998 MICRA Inc.

Synonyms: thrift, stinginess, parsimony, prudence, economy, thriftiness, penny-pinching.
MSN Encarta

  • Frugality is providence — prudent, respectful management of resources.
  • Frugality is economical — avoiding waste or extravagance; thrifty.
  • Frugality is carefulness — taking pains in ones work, exact, thorough.
  • Frugality is conservation — careful utilization of resources in order to prevent depletion.
  • Frugality is moderation — restraint, avoidance of extremes or excess.

Benefits of Frugality

  • Frugality provides freedom — from a consumer-based culture.
  • Frugality provides gratitude — for all we are privileged to have now.
  • Frugality provides less clutter — simplicity in having less.
  • Frugality provides relief — from stress and pressures brought by excess.
  • Frugality provides contentment — satisfaction with our lit in life.

Acts of Frugality in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — After Jesus performed his miracle and fed thousands with only five loaves of bread and two small fishes, he instructed his disciples to gather up the leftovers.
  • Growing a Vegetable Garden — Providing your own fresh vegetables rather than remain dependent on supermarkets, especially during warmer months.
  • Recycling — Not just is it frugal, it is economically friendly and sound.
  • Do-It-Yourself Projects — Present opportunities to save money and also develop new skills and abilities.
  • Positive Parenting — Involving children in meal planning, grocery budgeting, and meal preparation. Responsibility in spending is a side benefit to the quality of time spent together.

Methods for Achieving Frugality

  • Practice Gratitude — Begin a gratitude journal and routinely record all the things you are grateful for and why.
  • Volunteer — When you give of yourself, you experience how much more you have than others.
  • Do it NOW — Time is not unending. Learn to value time.
  • Learn to Make Do — Understand the difference between want and need.
  • Respect Energy — Yours and the earth's. Neither is unlimited.

Golden Mean


Quotes for Frugality

There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.
- Andrew Carnegie -
Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character.
- S.W. Straus -
Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character.
- Calvin Coolidge -
Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty.
- Samuel Johnson -
Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship.
- Benjamin Franklin -
He who does not economize will have to agonize.
- Confucius -

Recommended Reading

The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less — by Jeff Yeager

Mr. Yeager speaks to readers in a non-preachy, "I've been there and live this" type of a tone as he provides examples, methods, and guidelines of how to do just what the title says. You'll find realistic, usable tips that can easily be applied to your own life.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette — by Amy Dacyczyn

Amy Dacyczyn's book cleverly covers basically everything you need to be able to help you and your family cut out spending that will utterly shock and amaze you. Not only will you find yourself sleeping better at night because you're no longer worried about not having money, you will find yourself enjoying the things you do more than before! Worth a read and a few re-reads for sure.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality. John Tyler