Thursday, September 18, 2008

Forced Frugality and Simplicity

We are in a bit of a forced frugality season currently. With Clint being in school and the fact that we didn't make money this summer due to volunteering, this fall has been interesting. So, my confessions post back at the beginning in August has not been too hard to deal with really (as far as not spending money on coffee).

I've been sporadically pondering some of the benefits of forced frugality. Here's what I've come up with so far...

Forced frugality brings about forced simplicity. I say this because we have not eaten out at all since the first couple days we moved here when we were getting settled. We are at home more or with neighbors - eating together and hanging out. We do laundry less because we probably wear our clothes more. Since we weren't used to paying to do laundry, we've suddenly become more conscious about whether items are really dirty or not. In the end, it means less time doing laundry and, of course, less money spent on laundry.

Forced frugality brings more creativity. Instead of playing golf, Clint has been playing Frisbee golf on a course made up by him and a friend; cost = nothing. Instead of going out on dates, we put Evee to bed, open a $2.99 bottle of wine (see my Trader Joe's post) and sit outside having "wine chats" - talking about life and future or whatever.

Forced frugality means more exercise and planning (I see planning as a benefit :)). Clint takes a shuttle to school and back most days which takes looking at the schedule and finding the best times. It also means that he probably uses his time at school better because he's not traveling back and forth and wasting gas. Instead he's at the library or studying. We will have to plan who needs to go to work when. It means I looked for jobs within walking distance from our apartment. And, of course it means more meal planning, which I love. Sticking to our budget like never before, sharing meals with other people, etc.

Of course, it makes it a lot easier that most all our friends here (who are also in school) are, for the most part, also forced into frugality. I think it's easier when you're in it with others and not trying to keep up with everyone else as far as who has what and who's doing what. And, being in grad. school isn't completely "normal" life - although, I have to say that for others I know (not in school, but in forced frugality) they would also get the above benefits :). Anyway, just stuff I've been thinking about.

Next week I'll start with the interviews I talked about in my last post. Probably next week will be "Organizing Interview Week" and then maybe "Meal Planning Interview Week" and then we'll start with the "Mom Interviews" as they come in. Have a great weekend!


  1. Ohhh, forced frugality... like the phrase. Been there, done that. Since we did it for it seems like the first 10 years of our marriage, it's become a bit of a lifestyle (except for my coffee :)

  2. Hey Jamie!

    So, I tried to leave a post on your 'mom guilt' post, but my computer was doing wacky things, so I'm going to leave the comment now! :-)

    I love the idea about interviewing mom's and can't wait to read it! Do you want to interview an 'intense' mom?! HA!

    And, we had a similar experience with Cooper getting sick. Out to dinner, he was acting wierd, we kept encouraging him to eat, then it all came back up, at the table, at the restaurant. Nice. Now we don't force him to eat EVER!

    Oh, and last, Happy Heiny's says not to use Charlie's Soap... check out their website.


  3. Hey Stac! Good to know about HH - I'll check out the site. I LOVE Charlie's soap...weird.

    I did think about doing a cloth diaper interview (maybe with you and Natalie) to get different perspectives. I'll have to let you know :).

  4. Nice post. I like the idea about the simplicity that comes with planning. I completely agree.

  5. Great post. I love frugality and saving money. I watched Suze Orman on Oprah the other day and was so pleased for my frugality as she was telling everyone off for spending what they don't have.

  6. Good post! I somehow stumbled unto your blog today. My husband and I are into "forced frugality" also. He's half-way through his Master's degree. Yes, it's a learning experience, but a good one. =)