Does Being Frugal Alienate Relationships?


I’ve always been frugal, cheap, call it what you want but I hate wasting money. This isn’t to say I don’t spend money in what I would consider a wasteful manner from time-to-time, but I don’t like doing it. Sometimes though, it’s necessary to maintain relationships.

When I went back to university for dental hygiene, a few of us quickly became friends. I was one of the older ones in the group and in a much different spot in my life. I was, on average 3 years older (than some) and engaged to be married. More so though, I was much more mature than pretty much all of them so needless to say, our ideas of ”fun” were a little different. I would not be downtown every weekend blowing money on bars and a new outfit every weekend. I did this occasionally but usually if it was a fundraising pub-crawl or something alike. I chose my battles.

They realized pretty quickly on that they didn’t need to ask every weekend if I wanted to go out with them or spend oodles of money on a shopping spree. My frugality never interfered in our friendships. As you all know, I graduated with a boatload of debt– 4 of the 7 of these girls have zero debt, 1 had daddy pay most of it off and the last girl had a little to pay off but had no other responsibility. Needless to say we view money very differently.

After graduation we all spread out and started our lives. They all attended my wedding the same year we graduated and we would make an effort to see each other occasionally but I quickly started feeling like the odd man out. Not only could I not afford their restaurant choices I had no desire to go to said places. The occasional restaurant meet up quickly turned into everyone meeting at someone’s house for the weekend eating, shopping and usually going out to drink…not my idea of fun, ever. Not to mention after a week of working I want to spend time with my husband and family. I went once though so I could see everyone, when I realized what the weekend was actually going to entail I went home before the partying started. I don’t drink (other than the occasional cheap bottle glass of red wine), don’t shop, and really don’t want to get hammered drunk and sleep on my friends floor like I did when I was 19. Some of the girls still continue on like this…well into their late 20’s early 30’s.

One of the girls recently got married and I wasn’t invited. I’d like to think it’s because I have a baby now but I don’t think it was. This weekend they’re all getting together to party it up and I wasn’t invited. This doesn’t bother me, since I probably wouldn’t go but I wish they’d consider everyone in the group and maybe extend and invitation for a normal dinner out when they’re in town (and by normal I mean somewhere I don’t have to spend $40.00-$50.00 just for myself). I genuinely like these girls and would like to keep them in my life to some regard but I don’t see how it’s possible.

I don’t know if it’s me being cheap or us not being on the same ”life page” but I can’t help but think if money wasn’t an issue I might see them more often. Or maybe my frugality is a way to streamline and filter the relationships I actually value in life, only the ones who really care about me are in it?

Has your own frugality every changed one of your relationships?

The Last Bobby Pin Effect

Although women will probably understand this analogy slightly better, men will appreciate it none-the-less.

Anytime I get a new package of bobby pins (hair clips for you men), without a doubt, one-by-one, they always manage to disappear into the abyss. How I lose them is beyond me. I put them in my hair and take them out before bed in the same location, but somehow my brand new stash slowly dwindles away and I have no idea where they end up. My once lofty collection of bobby pins is down to one lonely clip. Every time I get down to that one clip I somehow manage to hang onto it; always knowing its exact location, because, you see, it is my last hair pin and I may need it. This happens, without a doubt, every time I buy these pesky little things.

Why Does This Continue To Happen?

Is it because I don’t value them enough? They’re less than $3.00 for about 50 of them and I rarely lose my more expensive hair clips. Do I subconsciously lose them because I know I will always have more? It takes time to slowly lose them.

If I applied this analogy to my money we’d have a pretty similar story. Or so that’s how it once was. I’d get paid (brand new pack of bobby pins) pay the bills (putting them in and taking them out as per usual) yet somehow I only really started to pay attention to the money when there’s almost nothing left (last, lone bobby pin).

Where did my money go? I wasn’t really paying attention. Truthfully it use to be that didn’t care that I just wasted $10.00 at the store on something I didn’t really need/want/use because it was only $10.00, and I just got paid over 15x that amount. I didn’t care. That was the problem. Not that I was always frivolous, but my thought process about money has changed substantially in the last 6 months.

Treat Money With Respect!

If I treated every single dollar like I do my last bobby pin, I’d probably be in an entirely different financial situation right now. Especially since switching to cash, I really give every purchase a good thought before forking over our hard-earned money. Not saying we now hoard cash and don’t spend anything but we now apply value to that lunch date together, the food we’re eating for supper or shirts we are wearing.

I truly believe I have lived my life the way I have to learn lessons just like this one. Although it sucks to learn anything the hard way, I’m a better person for it.

Lesson Learned.

Treat every dollar like your last bobby pin, even when you have a brand new pack, because each dollar deserves the last-pin-respect.

How Selling Lemonade Changed How I View Money

I think most people have some ”a-ha” moment about money while in their transition from childhood/student life to adulthood. For me it was a story I read in Reader’s Digest last year (although I have no idea how old the copy was). We have copious amounts of copies of Readers Digest in our waiting room at work. I don’t often read them but when patients don’t show up or cancel last-minute sometimes there isn’t much else to do.

I am very much paraphrasing the ideas of the article and will probably not get all the details right, so I apologise in advance, the main point of the story remains intact though.

It was a story about a young boy, who at a young age (something like 6 years old), decided he wanted to make some of his own money while his parents hosted a yard sale one summer morning. With the ”initial investment” from his parents of about $5.00, he set up a lemonade stand selling glasses at 0.50/cup. He ended up making something like $20.00 that day alone. He explains that he re-paid his parents and put his $15.00 profit in his piggy bank.

Over the next few summers he continued selling lemonade at every opportunity, always saving his profits. It wasn’t until he was something like 9 years old that he told his dad that he wanted to get out of the ‘lemonade business’ and buy a lawnmower. His parents had no idea that in the past few summers their son had made, and saved, hundreds of dollars selling lemonade. Enough to buy a nice self-propelled gas lawnmower which will help him on his next entrepreneurial endeavor.

Let me explain how smart and business savvy this child was. He took his lemonade profits, bought the lawn mower but had no intention of wasting his childhood away mowing lawns, instead he would hire someone older, stronger, and more experienced to do the work for him all while making a profit himself.

He reached out to some older kids he knew and offered them a summer job mowing lawns. He would provide the lawnmower, gas and nail down a few regular clients in the neighborhood (ensuring job security) but the older boy would do the work. He charged $25.00-$40.00/lawn depending on size and paid the older boy $15.00-$25.00/each lawn. Between the regular clients and the occasional cuts for people who were on vacation etc, they young boy profited something like $3000 for basically doing nothing (other than being the mastermind behind the operation) and the older boy made even more. Win-win situation. He was 9 years old!

He did this for the next few summers and eventually bought a few lawnmowers, hiring someone to man it each time, and carved out quite a name for himself in the lawn care industry in his community.

I don’t remember the story-ending details, and I don’t want to make something up, but I feel like this kid went on to university (totally paid for between his savings and scholarships to a business school). At the time the article was written, he was something like 20 years old and on his way to being a millionaire by the time he was in his late 30’s due to smart investments.

I was flabbergasted when I read this story about the sheer intelligence and savvy mind of this kid. How does a young 6-year-old even think about such a business model? Most kids are playing with toys and concerned about what their friends are doing for the summer, not how to start-up and maintain a business.

And this is how selling lemonade changed how I view my money and forced me to look at what I’ve accomplished financially in my 28 years on this earth (which, sadly is basically nothing).

Has a story every changed how you view money? What do you think about this story?


Lemonade Photo Source

Lawnmower Photo Source

How to Save Money Grocery Shopping $100.00 Giveaway!

I’m super excited to be partaking in this great Giveaway of $100.00 Paypal cash or a $100.00 Amazon Gift card!

Saving money grocery shopping is something most families struggle with. I’ve already done posts about how hubby and I manage to eat on a $300.00/month budget through meal planning and partaking in Big Cooks but today I will share some other ways to help cuts food costs for your budget.

This is a little non-traditional, but partaking in Canadian Budget Binder’s Grocery Store Challenge is a sure way to keep you on track with your spending. You are encouraged to set a budget and post your shopping trip for everyone to read…having Mr CBB in the back of your head is sure to help you keep on track!

Shop later in the day. I know a lot of grocery stores around here anyway will mark down some food (meats particularly  later at night because it is packaged already and they need to move inventory for fresh stuff in the morning. I’ve purchased perfectly good meat at an average of 30% off simply by going when kiddo is in bed.

The number one for me, and I’ve already written about it, is MEAL PLANNING!

If a store has a Buy One-Get One Free (BOGO) sales and it’s on items you may not need two of, or may spoil before you use, see if a friend needs the same item and split the cost.

I’ve already said this but shop weekly and shop the sales. If ground beef is on sale this week, get creative and cook a few different things with it rather than paying premium price for chicken when it’s not on sale.

If you do partake in a Big Cook to help lower costs, see if the local butcher will offer you a discount for a large order placement.

Shop from your restaurant…what did I say? Yup, some restaurants will add items for people who may need a restaurant sized order and it’s usually much cheaper. I know my brother-in-law works in a restaurant and he says they have a large family (like 8 people) who often will ask if he can order an extra box of chicken breast/whatever and they pay for it. Worth asking about.

Good luck!! Contest ends December 15th…Just in time for Christmas grocery shopping trip!


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