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Are you falling down the frugality rabbit-hole?

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are you falling down the frugality rabbit hole?

She is going to mess up her nice clean dress.

Are you falling down the frugality rabbit-hole?

This is a guest post written by Forest Parks who writes on frugal living, minimalism, lifestyle, finance and more over at FrugalZeitgeist.com.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

-Alice in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll.

In the first page of Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s curiosity sweeps her into a strange new world. She goes in without hesitation because of a curiosity to follow a rabbit holding a clock watch. The imagery can be read a million ways and the book is full of interesting things like this but the phrase itself “fallen down the rabbit-hole” has come to signify a few things in everyday speech.

Some people interpret it as getting yourself into a mess you can’t get out of, others getting obsessive and involved in an ever more complex but detached reality. I find pretty much all interpretations lend themselves to the ‘very deep well’ of frugality and minimalism that I tend to find myself slowly falling down.

In this post I wanted to talk about my journey into the rabbit-hole and then open the floor to you to ask the crucial question. Have you fallen down the frugality rabbit-hole?

Like most people, my early twenties were full of bad money-management. I had a good job but made darn well sure that no matter what pay-raise I gained it sure as hell wasn’t going to cover my expenses. I purchased DVDs and CDs like pic’n’mix, and consumed beer like, well like a 20-something  consumes beer. I drank a lot! Don’t worry this isn’t a story of reaching alcohol rock bottom and then seeing the light, luckily my drinking never went so far out of control that it became a ‘problem’ but my personal debt did.

I could go on about how the debt wasn’t all my fault (see my post Me, My Debt and I if you are interested). The fact remains that I had the means to not get into debt and I didn’t use them…..

…. Skip forward a few more years. I ended up in Quebec, Canada (moved from the UK). I was broke and working in a kitchen on minimum wage. If anyone had to embrace frugality quickly it was little old me.

I embraced it quickly and found out that I could in-fact do just fine on minimum wage. It wasn’t very long before I was actually finding pleasure in cutting back and being frugal. Of course with the frugality and living in a small space came the inevitable trap of minimalism. When the frug-min hybrid started to breed that was probably the point that my slow decent down the well really began.

After a while you find yourself nickel-and-diming every purchase, picking up each and every object and finding an excuse why you don’t need it anymore. Before long you have almost nothing to your name and spend almost nothing either. Oddly that feels rather good!

I have gotten to the point that I have one large suit-case and one backpack. Most of my life lives in the digital-world and my bag houses clothing and a few small items. I find myself agonizing over which of the minuscule amount of items I own I can get rid of. I’m getting more and more sucked into making my own everything! Washing my hair in baking powder and vinegar and next planning to make my own under-arm deodorant. My cargo-pants have literally become a practice sewing kit with the amount of tears I have sewed up!

When I get to the bottom of the well I have no-idea what world will show itself to me but for now I am content. Am I crazy already?

So, now, what about you?

I knew I had probably lost some touch with the average persons’ reality when a close family friend told my partner that I was “extreme” in my ways. Something I never considered before. It took a small comment from the outside world to realize that I was different now.

Us frugal types relish the idea of cutting back one more expense, having one less thing to pay out. We like the effort of making do and using our brain to do things without extra consumption. Is this you?

Are you finding that the grip of frugality and its inevitable minimalism is capturing you and what is the world around you saying about it? Also, what do you think about it? Are you going too far?

Please share your thoughts and thanks a million for reading.

retirebyforty> Personally, I haven’t gone down the frug-min hybrid rabbit-hole yet. I like to have fun on the frugal as much as anyone, but I think splurging once in a while is ok if you can afford it. Once I leave my full time job, I might have to follow Forest and embrace extreme frugality. 😉

photo from the movie – Alice in Wonderland

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{ 86 comments… add one }

  • Moneycone January 18, 2012, 4:28 am

    What is the world saying about my frugality? Let the world keep guessing!

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 10:51 am

      Ha ha, it is cool not to care what people think. That’s how I try to be.

    • Jon -- Free Money Wisdom January 19, 2012, 3:29 pm

      I’m a minimalist too. However, I guess I use this term liberally. I definitely don’t make my own deoderant or shampoo. Perhaps I am just frugal to the max….I don’t care to reach the “frug-min” hybrid. As long as I’m not in debt and I’m investing/budgeting well, then I plan on enjoying life and what it has to offer. Plus, I don’t think my frugal fiancee would want to take finances to that extreme.

      • Forest January 19, 2012, 3:33 pm

        Hey Jon, it’s exactly about finding what makes you happy and it sounds like you know what you want.

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 18, 2012, 5:40 am

    I don’t have any real urge to become a minimalist. I’m frugal, but that doesn’t make me feel that I own too much. I think minimalists are great, but I don’t believe their lifestyle is congruent with how we like to live.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 10:53 am

      Hey Roshawn, I wonder if it is just a part of the way some people are. I guess maybe minimalism was something innate to me.

      • retirebyforty January 18, 2012, 12:14 pm

        We are not minimalist either, but are somewhat forced to be because we live in a small 2 bedroom condo. We can’t buy any more junk, the place is full! :)
        I would never pay a monthly fee to store my junks.

        • Forest January 18, 2012, 12:18 pm

          If you ever move up in size it’ll feel liberating to not have so much stuff so the space will feel awesome! Storage is such a silly cost many spend on! Sadly people can’t disconnect with some junk (I know a few people who spend thousands on storing junk every year).

  • Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents January 18, 2012, 6:45 am

    I wouldn’t say I’m extreme at all, but definitely more extreme than my friends. I could be more frugal.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 10:53 am

      Hey Michelle, do you feel you influence your friends or do they just think you are odd?

  • YFS January 18, 2012, 6:47 am

    I’m not frugal at all but I do buy on value and quality. I rather make big wins than small wins. You won’t catch me making my own soap or buying something because of cost without factoring in opportunity cost and time spent. As for what people think. Opinions do not pay my bills, make me happy or help me achieve my goals so, I can care less what the next person feels :-)

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 10:56 am

      Hey YFS, I think assessing quality and value is a frugal trait and really stops you from impulse spending, which in some ways goes along with minimalism too!

      The making my own thing for me, I guess, is more a moral and environmental choice that has some relations to frugality and minimalism but also a want to know the source of what I am putting on (and in) my body.

    • retirebyforty January 18, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Do you lean more toward value or quality? I usually lean toward value and I think that’s the definition of frugal. Sometime I go for quality and pay more, but most of the time value is key for me.

      • Forest January 18, 2012, 12:17 pm

        Definitely quality, it makes frugal sense as it lasts longer in general. Although these days I ask more, can I make that myself and get the same of higher quality.

  • Jeffrey January 18, 2012, 6:54 am

    I’m much more interested in becoming a minimalist-type than being frugal, and they’re not necessarily related (not that you claimed they are). Like RB40, I also like to splurge, and I do like to own nice things – an iPhone, Macbook, etc. I think being a minimalist allows you to spend money on a few well-made things instead of lots of cheap stuff that just clutters up your life. I’m not sure if everyone looks at it that way, but that’s just me.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 10:56 am

      Hey Jeffrey, don’t get me wrong, I think I am off to get an iPhone today…. However it has taken me 2 years to make this decision!

    • retirebyforty January 18, 2012, 12:17 pm

      How about a few cheap things? :) I have only a few quality expensive items and a lot of my things are cheap stuffs.

      • Forest January 18, 2012, 12:19 pm

        I buy cheap things if they will last. The perception of quality is based on its use. For example I have never found expensive ceramic plates to last longer than Ikea’s cheapest ceramic plates.

  • frugalportland January 18, 2012, 10:35 am

    I think you’re right — just like spending, frugality can be a slippery slope. It’s really easy to overdo it but it is important to stay conscious. Skip your brother’s wedding? You’re too frugal. Buy your rugs used? Just frugal enough!

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 10:57 am

      Ha ha, yeah skipping a wedding if you can afford it would be a step too far!

  • Corey - Freelance Writer January 18, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I’ve been striving to live the frug-min life for quite some time. Everyday I find an excuse to rid myself of another ‘useless’ possession. I try to spend little, save some, and pay down the debt. However, this may all come to a sudden halt in the next few weeks. I’m moving into a bigger place, a place that will need furniture to fill it. Will I soon wake, realizing my frug-min life was only a dream after all?

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:42 pm

      You don’t need to fill with furniture, nice clean sparse spaces can feel really nice.

      • Corey - Freelance Writer January 19, 2012, 7:11 am

        Well not so much fill, but a couch might be nice. A kitchen table too. For the last 5 years I have pretty much survived with a bed and a desk.

        • Forest January 19, 2012, 7:14 am

          Ha ha ha, yes a couch is a good thing to have! A kitchen table too….

        • retirebyforty January 19, 2012, 9:42 am

          That’s pretty good, you must be single. :)
          The Mrs. loath to get rid of her childhood stuffs. It took me 10 years to convinced her to sell her old coffee table.

  • Lindy Mint January 18, 2012, 2:06 pm

    The frug-min hybrid sounds very familiar. I’ve gotten to that place a few times with various ventures. If it works for you and makes you happy, that’s all that matters. For me, I slowly abandon a frugal habit if I realize it’s taking too much of my time and/or I don’t enjoy the effort anymore. It’s all a balancing game.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:43 pm

      Hey Lindy, absolutely, you have to follow what makes you happy.

  • MLISunderstanding January 18, 2012, 2:41 pm

    I find that others comment on my frugal choices when they are inconvenienced, or when they feel like I am judging their (less-frugal) choices. They can become defensive and may be more inclined to ridicule my preferences. I try to keep in mind that for lots of people, money/budget/frugality talk is uncomfortable in the same way that being subjected to diet talk is uncomfortable for me. When I see posts in my feed talking about losing weight in order to be healthier, or about “bad food” they ate, or about restricting calories and feeling deprived, I get ticked off! I don’t want to hear about it!! But they want to talk about it, because it’s an important part of their life right now. In that way, frugality is a personal choice, and I should discuss it with the people who are interested (like on my blog), and not insist on making it a big deal for other people.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:44 pm

      Hey MLISunderstanding, interesting way to look at it all and very true.

    • retirebyforty January 19, 2012, 9:43 am

      That’s true. People don’t like to be pushed. Everyone will have to make their own choices.

  • Juan January 18, 2012, 3:08 pm

    I personally can’t say that I’m much a fan of ultra frugality, but I definitely don’t enjoy over consumption. Living in America it can definitely be a challenge to not go out and buy that latest hot item but in the long term it is defiantly worth it.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:44 pm

      Hey Juan, there is always a middle ground.

  • Juan January 18, 2012, 3:08 pm

    I personally can’t say that I’m much a fan of ultra frugality, but I definitely don’t enjoy over consumption. Living in America it can definitely be a challenge to not go out and buy that latest hot item but in the long term it is defiantly worth it.

    • retirebyforty January 19, 2012, 9:45 am

      We try to balance frugality with over consumption, but it’s tough in the US. Everything is too accessible here and it’s easy to just go out and buy stuffs.

      • Forest January 19, 2012, 10:28 am

        Absolutely, convenience is a big thing to deal with!

  • Dan January 18, 2012, 3:12 pm

    It certainly is a balancing act! Often staying connected with friends requires spending some money – beers after work, entertainment events, hosting dinners etc. I’ve found I lost touch with a few of my extremely frugal friends because of their spending (or lack of) habits. Want to drive a beater, no problem I do, want to own a minimal amount of furniture, clothes etc. great! I love having friends over for dinner to catch up, and while I certainly do it with no strings attached, the friend that brings beer or a bottle of wine is likely going to be higher on my list. To me this is where frugality crosses the line of being cheap.
    D

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:46 pm

      Hey Dan, having friends over and enjoying time with them is something I love to do and generally I do find to be a frugal choice.

  • lifeoverwork January 18, 2012, 3:21 pm

    The frustrating part for me is that I don’t believe I ever go too far to the point where my frugality deprives me of happiness. (In fact, I explored this in one of my very first posts: http://lifeoverwork.net/but-what-if-youre-wrong-about-all-of-this/)

    However, what tends to get me stuck in a loop is questioning whether I should be having “more fun” with my money like “everyone else” (even though blogs like this prove that there are others out there like me).

    • MLISunderstanding January 18, 2012, 4:47 pm

      I like that attitude! Like you, I “don’t understand the need” people seem to have for lots of expensive stuff. Sure, I could be spending instead of saving, but I have different priorities than most Americans my age. I know that even living on only half of my income, I have enough. And it’s not all that dreadful, either!

    • Forest Parks January 19, 2012, 5:11 am

      I am the same at times. I spend so much time working out what is good to do with money. However i am getting a lot better.

  • krantcents January 18, 2012, 5:29 pm

    As I get close to retirement, one of my fears is turning a lifetime of saving to spending. How do I change my habits. I do not think I can change significantly, but I will try to cope with it.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:46 pm

      I’m sure you would be fine Krant.

    • retirebyforty January 18, 2012, 9:39 pm

      I think you will loosen the purse string when you go travel. It will be fun. :)

  • My University Money January 18, 2012, 7:34 pm

    As a fellow Canadian, I can’t believe someone moved to Quebec and got MORE frugal?! That province is basically known for throwing financial caution to the wind. I always feel fortunate when I read a “testimonial” like this that I got into reading PF blogs in my twenties. It will be difficult to quantify the compounding effect this will have going forward… but it will be fun to examine nonetheless.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:47 pm

      Hey My University Money, I actually found Montreal a very frugal city to live in, it just took some digging under the money-fuelled surface.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time January 18, 2012, 8:12 pm

    This might not be my choice of living a life. But we all have our personal choices. The bottom line is our souls should be happy. My soul usually gets happy when I am able to do what my mind wants. Sometimes it does want materials!

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:48 pm

      Hey SB, of course we all want some materials… After 2 years of considering I finally picked up an iPhone, not normally a very frugal choice but I think I made a sensible decision.

    • retirebyforty January 19, 2012, 9:47 am

      The mind plays tricks on us though. It wants new shiny things and it is only happy for a few minutes after we buy those things.

      • Forest January 19, 2012, 5:18 pm

        That is precisely why I take so long deciding where to spend my cash!

  • Robert @ The College Investor January 18, 2012, 8:38 pm

    I consider myself conscious of my spending but not frugal. I don’t want to be minimal but I also don’t want excess.

    • Forest January 18, 2012, 8:48 pm

      Hey Robert, it’s great if you can find a balance you are happy with.

  • Shaun @ Smart Family Finance January 18, 2012, 9:12 pm

    I feel like I’m somewhere in-between. I take advantage of simple frugal options, because they make sense. However, my goal isn’t minimization, but simple money efficiency.

    • Forest Parks January 19, 2012, 5:14 am

      Hey Shaun. I started this way but I think I have a slightly obsessive personality and enjoy the challenge of being very minimal.

  • youngandthrifty January 18, 2012, 9:38 pm

    Hey nice to see you here, Forest!

    Is being minimalist the new black?

    For me, I usually get “one” of something that is needed (like a snow shovel for the snow I had to shovel today) and I don’t usually have the urge to upgrade.

    I’m not sure if that would be considered minimalist or frugal or not..? :)

    • Forest Parks January 19, 2012, 5:16 am

      Ha ha. Thanks Young and Thrifty. I would say that was minimalist.

  • First Gen AMerican January 19, 2012, 3:42 am

    I definitely went way too frugal and am searching for what the middle ground is. I’m starting to buy stuff again, read books, buy music. I definitely missed some of that stuff and didn’t realize how much until I put it back in my life again.

    I’ll never live out of a suitcase, but I’m always trying to edit my belongings. It’s so easy to get buried in stuff and managing all that stuff is more stressful than not having it.

    • retirebyforty January 19, 2012, 9:48 am

      I used to buy books and music too, but haven’t purchased anything for years now. The library is such a great resource for that and I drop by at least once a week.

      • Forest January 19, 2012, 10:29 am

        Of course, the library options (especially digitally) are awesome these days. They really did well at saving themselves (although I know that is an ongoing battle).

  • Forest Parks January 19, 2012, 5:18 am

    Hey First Gen. Yeah it’s good to have entertainment. I do find pandora radio and Netflix normally covers me just fine.

  • Monica January 19, 2012, 6:10 am

    My husband’s long term dream is to become a “homesteader” and go “off grid.” He informed me of this last month, and although I scoffed at the idea, I have to say that I am intrigued. There is something very appealing about being self sufficient, living off the land, and getting away from mass consumerism and big brother interfering in your life. I don’t know if I’ll be ready to do it anytime soon, but I no longer dismiss the idea. So yes, I could see myself being more frugal in the future.

    • Forest January 28, 2012, 4:20 pm

      Hey Monica, it’s admirable and can certainly be done step by step rather than in one big bang.

  • PKamp3 January 19, 2012, 7:31 am

    Frug-min sounds impressive – to be honest, it would be tough to deflate my life to fit minimum wage, even discounting the mortgage payment. I can say that I’ve never gone down the hole, however. Maybe I’m not going far enough?

    • Forest January 19, 2012, 9:05 am

      Hey PKamp3, if you think you may enjoy a reduced spending and object life you should give it a shot…. Don’t go and sell everything but take your time.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter January 19, 2012, 8:35 am

    I try to keep a balance by saving and being minimalist on the things that don’t matter and spending on the things that do. To me this is how I am most happy. I do try not be wasteful though but this has more to do with my passion to be green.

    • Forest January 19, 2012, 9:06 am

      Hey Miss T, that sounds like what it should be like, no serious extremes but a very mindful approach.

  • TheDailyThinker January 19, 2012, 10:34 am

    I like this post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
    I’ve been frugal for as long as I can remember. Maybe not the extreme as your description in this post. I’m even frugal with other people’s money. I remember as a kid when the summer break was coming to an end my mom wanted to buy my sister and I new clothes for the new school year. Of course, my sister was all over that idea. But I remember my response on than one occasion being, “that’s alright Mom, I don’t need new clothes.” I rarely buy something on the “want” list and often have a hard time buying something on the “need”. I actually have a hard time making a “want” list because I’m so used to thinking in terms of “need”. I also have to tendency to spend WAY to much time trying to save a dollar, or get the best deal, or find discounts, etc. Now that I’m trying to make smarter product choices, be it for food or other items, I have to relax a little, otherwise, I’ll continue to buy the cheapest product, not necessarily the best product for me and my family. I believe that living by set a principles can help narrow down choices.

    I discuss this a little on my blog post here: http://thedailythinker.ca/?cat=16
    Sorry for the self promotion, but I figured this comment was getting a little long.

  • TheDailyThinker January 19, 2012, 10:36 am

    Another thought on the trend of being frugal. It seems concerning that as a society more and more people are having to take on frugal habits. I think it really says something about the availability of decent paying jobs.

    • Forest January 19, 2012, 2:49 pm

      Hey Daily Thinker, I think from a society perspective it will benefit, less use of resources and less money required by everyone makes living in a space for everyone a little easier. Of course it could mean a reduction in jobs if people stopped spending so it is a tough one!

      As for the way you are, I think it is mostly positive but no point going overboard as you said. It sounds like you are making positive steps.

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving January 19, 2012, 5:03 pm

    I haven’t gone down the rabbit-hole…yet. I try to keep a nice balance (which can be really hard sometimes) with our spending and frugality.

    • Forest January 19, 2012, 5:18 pm

      Balance is always best and yes it can be extremely hard!

  • Lisa @ Cents To Save January 19, 2012, 8:06 pm

    You will love the iPhone! I know that I could be a minimalist… but I tend to want to conform to what others think. This motivates me to conform to what I think others are thinking I should have or should be. I realize that this is not the right thing to do… but I just keep doing it :)

  • Forest January 20, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Hey Lisa, you do what makes you happy and that is important. I do love the iPhone so far, feeling a bit guilty for spending the cash but I will get over that!

  • Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living January 21, 2012, 8:12 am

    I took on the decent to the rabbit hole about two years ago. I had the consumption life, HD cable, new toys, high bills, a new car and when I figured out how many broke years I may have ahead of me, I turned from it. Ive been living without cable TV for two years now and cut my bills big time. I haven’t purchased anything really in those two years besides some new clothes. My little apartment is very empty and minimalistic. It looks exactly like it did when I first moved in, 4 1/2 years ago. I lost the need for new things. I guess you could say I’m content with what I have. The only thing I’m not content with is my bank account and net worth. I’m not a minimalist on that, haha. Great post. I think I’ll love this blog! I think we’re on similar paths. Check out mine if you have time, http://www.youngcheapliving.com.

    • Forest January 21, 2012, 9:35 am

      Hey Kraig, I share some similarities with you, I broke down and went down the hole! I’m much happier for being minimal.

  • 101 Centavos January 21, 2012, 1:00 pm

    We have some extremes that average out into the merely boring. Our TV is an eleven-year-old relic, but we just bought a new macbook and iPad. Our vehicles are approaching beater status, but last year we bought another house in the country. I have slacks that are older than my children, but Mrs. 101 has 14 purses (different colors, of course). I don’t we’ll be getting fitted for an extreme frugality hair-shirt anytime soon.

    • Forest January 21, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Hey 101, sounds like you are balancing what you see as priorities and important to each one of you. I think that is admirable.

  • Buck Inspire January 22, 2012, 11:06 am

    I’m frugal, but like to splurge once in awhile too. I’ve never been handy so making my own shampoo and deodorant is outside of my skillset. Sounds like you’re happy Forest so who cares what others think, right? More power to you!

    • Forest January 28, 2012, 4:21 pm

      Thanks Buck, yeah I would say I am very happy :).

  • Vicky January 23, 2012, 10:42 am

    I’m definitely striving towards minimalism as I do find a lot of peace in empty space. One of the toughest things I’m trying to figure out is how to deal with the present giving that is ‘required’ at every occasion. Even if I highlight that no presents are required, there will always be a few that feel obligated to do so. It is definitely improving, but I am hoping with a consistent message every Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary etc. that the best present I can get from anyone is to spend some time with me and not something material that I may or may not use.

    • Forest January 28, 2012, 4:23 pm

      Hey Vicky, the holidays certainly are tough. I do wish people would respect when you say why. I find it helps to explain why you don’t want anything. When people understand they are a little better about it.

  • Stephanie Taylor Christensen January 27, 2012, 10:34 am

    I think frugality is in the eye of the beholder. I actually do consider myself frugal–in the sense that a major life of goal of mine is to be the “millionaire next door,” while none are the wiser. That said, I realize that pointless $100+ trips to Target and the like don’t contribute to my end objective and I’m very mindful of not wasting in that regard. Conversely, I buy quality items that provide the ROI I can justify. (For example, I am a runner and a yoga teacher, so as “unfrugal” as it may sound, I’ll happily pay $100+ on running shoes, a quality mat or pants from Lululemmon. Yes, I can find all of those items for much cheaper, but when I value them more and know they’ll be used almost every day, that’s frugal thinking for the long-term.

    • Forest January 28, 2012, 4:25 pm

      Hey Stephanie, I think it is totally frugal to go after quality for the long term. I’m a runner too and I just picked up some Five Fingers not knowing if they would be good for me or not. Luckily after a few runs I can say I love them but I am hurting a lot from the new muscle usage! It was possibly an unfrugal decision but I mulled over it for well over a year and finally picked them up with a 30% discount.

  • anexactinglife January 28, 2012, 6:38 am

    I’d say a person is going too far if:
    – you stand back and allow other people to pick up the tab as much as possible
    – you partake in group “benefits” such as office coffee but don’t contribute your expected share
    – you begrudge paying for home and car repairs, leading to greater expenses in the future
    – you choose not to attend any events where a gift or more formal clothing is expected (everyone needs to be selective, but maintaining ties with family & friends is important too!)

    • Forest January 28, 2012, 4:26 pm

      Get AnExactingLife, people often think these traits are “frugal” but I would just call them stingy! Frugal people shouldn’t be acting like that :).

  • Melissa February 1, 2013, 11:45 am

    It’s hard for me to feel like I’ve gone to the extreme when I have quite a few friends I perceive as being much more extreme than myself. They are probably a good influence on me. For months I found myself doing a ‘seven things’ challenge every day before I went to bed. I would walk around my house and find seven things I felt I no longer needed and would put them in a box to donate when it got full. It felt great to free my home from all of that extra stuff. I haven’t done it in a month or two and I think it might be time again! I do have a dear friend though that might have fallen in the rabbit hole. A few months ago he gave away his kitchen table and chairs because he didn’t see having one as necessary any longer. But he is happy and that’s cool, it’s just a little extreme to me. I like eating at my table and I don’t think it’ll ever be one of my 7 items to get rid of! :)

    • retirebyforty February 3, 2013, 8:42 am

      Giving away your table is a little extreme. :) We should probably do that challenge too. Our place is quite cluttered with stuff we don’t use anymore. Thanks for the idea.

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