When are you not frugal?

Canabiz had a great idea for a topic, for you frugal people out there which aspects of your life do you refuse to be frugal with?  

As you all know, I'm a fairly frugal person, but there are definitely aspects of my life that I refuse to skimp on.  I think really it comes back again to the topic of Needs and Wants and my personal take on what I think are needs.  Here are some examples:

  • We're fairly frugal when buying food, but we won't hesitate to buy more expensive healthier choice foods.  For example, whole wheat/multi-grain bread and pasta are more expensive than their white flour counter parts.  But we always go brown.  Fresh fruit and veggies can be expensive but we load up on them every week.  I guess this really depends on the person, but to us, our health is our top priority.  Without good health, money doesn't mean a thing.
  • Keeping with the health topic, My wife and I both have gym memberships that we use often but they don't come cheap (although we did get a discount).  We keep these memberships because we place a high value on exercise.  Yes, you can exercise outside, but not easily around here in the winter times.  I think that eventually I will look into building a quality home gym.
  • When we have kids, I have a feeling that I may splurge a little and take them on vacations to Disney world etc.  If your parents took you to Disney when you were younger, have you forgotten about it?  I know I haven't.  To me, isn't that another benefit of having money, to make the ones that you love happy?
  • I'm willing to spend a bit of extra money to create a safe and comfortable environment for my family.  When we purchase a new house in the future, what's best for the family will be the top priority.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm super frugal with myself.  Heck, I still wear a pair of jeans that I bought back in 1999, but that topic is for another post.

So, the question still remains, for you super savers out there, which aspects of your life do you refuse to be frugal with? 

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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10 years ago

I was going to say I’m not frugal with food — it’s gotta be parmesan reggiano, fresh whole spices, etc.

But as I do most of my own cooking, and don’t use too much of those things at once, it’s not that un-frugal, I guess.

Good rice is cheaper than bad meat!

Richby30Retireby40 BLOG
11 years ago

I’m not frugal when it comes to spending money on my wife :)




11 years ago

We try not to be frugal when it comes to food as well. We buy organic dairy, organic meat and organic fruit and veggies but only those fruit and veggies that use extensive pesticides – there is a list of the top 10 that we try to always buy organic no matter what the cost. The others we tend to buy non-organic.

12 years ago

good shoes are not a waste of money; it’s good for your body & your health…. Crummy shoes can really cause pain & problems for the feet and other parts of the body….

Term Insurance Pro
12 years ago

I’m pretty much frugal with most things except food. I spend a lot on food for many of the reasons you just said. Unfortunately I tend to eat out a lot, but I always try to find healthy options, which means I end up spending more (since healthy restaurant food is normally more expensive than fast food).

12 years ago

For me there’s nothing wrong with spending especially for the family as long as we bite only what we can chew.

13 years ago

I am frugal on myself, but i tend to splurge on loved ones. I am a human being, so being in society is important for me :-(

Advanced Personal Finance » Blog Archive » Carnival of Personal Finance #116 - NSA Edition
13 years ago

[…] FrugalTrader from Million Dollar Journey talks about needs and wants in ‘When are you NOT frugal?‘ […]

13 years ago

Like many others, I consider health over wealth.
I also consider the importance of community.

I buy Girl Guide cookies, sponsor charity runs etc… Over the years many people have supported me in such endeavors and I really appreciate it.

I am happy to spend money on local produce, and handmade goods. It’s important to support people who realise the importance of craftsmanship. That’s how you promote the existance of good products… the ones that save you money because they last longer and you actually adore them. I definitely shop for clothing that way… everyone has enough clothing, it’s just that they don’t actually want to wear half the stuff they own.

I buy paint from my local hardware store and carry it home. It makes me feel good and strong. The amount I would have saved by buying at Home Depot would probably have been spent on gas.

If you like having the convenience of small neighbourhood stores you need to support them year round. Also it seems that once you become a kind and curtious regular you start to score sweet free stuff anyhow.

Buy less, buy smarter. As the saying goes, “To buy is to vote.”

Ed Rempel
13 years ago

For me its books, especially financial books. I love reading and keep buying more and more books. I guess everyone, no matter how frugal, has one thing they waste money on.

This is an interesting thread. I have a question though – When can you no longer be considered frugal?

For example, if you buy cars brand new, can you still be considered frugal? Buying new cars is one of the biggest wastes of money. It is easy to save thousands or tens or thousands on cars by buying slightly used.

What do you guys think? When can you no longer be considered frugal?