Motivations Behind Money Choices
Most of the choices I make that could be deemed as frugal have little or nothing to do with money for me. Saving money is just a (very nice) side benefit.
For example, we don’t have cable or get network TV. And it’s not because I think TV is evil, because I want to pursue more “intellectual” pursuits, or because we’re cutting cable to save money or pay down debt. We do have a big screen TV, and there are several shows I like that we get from instant streaming. (Grey’s, Lost, and Medium, for example.)
We don’t have cable or network TV because I hate having TV on in the background. If I’m going to watch a show, I’m going to watch it. If I’m going to read or aimlessly surf the internet or spend time talking to people, then I’ll do that.
But if the TV is on at all in the house (or a restaurant) it is so incredibly distracting to me that I literally have no choice but to pay attention to it to the exclusion of the things I’d rather be doing. And I hate that. I’m grateful that my husband is supportive of my problem.
This just happens to save us a lot of money over the course of a year. Same goes for other so-called frugal things I do: I rarely drink alcohol, because I don’t like the taste of most of it (the same way I don’t like the taste of mussels, for example.) I know other people enjoy things like that, and that’s nice. I just don’t.
I get water 95% of the time in restaurants because that’s the drink on their menu that I like. (I wish more places had fresh-squeezed lemonade.) I don’t let my son get pop all the time because I don’t think he needs the extra sugar or caffeine.
Yeah, our meals out are a lot cheaper because of this. If I were really being frugal though, I guarantee you I would not eat out multiple times each week.
It doesn’t mean that I try to force my so-called frugal choices on others. They’re not frugal at all, really, and even if they were I don’t think they’re any better or worse than my very non-frugal choices (like the last trip we took to an all-inclusive resort). They’re not really even moral choices. They’re just preferences.
Money is a tool, so I use to achieve the things I want to achieve and to get the things that I prefer, in a way that fits my life.