Sunday, 14 October 2007



Being frugal does not mean that you are stingy, cheap or a miser. It is sometimes known as thriftiness. It is a practice that one believes in acquiring what is needed to achieve a lasting and more fulfilling goals. In short, it is a way of getting what is needed and keep the rest for the rainy days. In fact, it is a good discipline in reducing wastage and cutting down on the unnecessary “wants” habits.

Humans are born to have the strong desire to be greedy, mentally as well as physically. When a person walks by a shopping complex, s/he will eventually be drawn by those materialistic displays shown on the window. “Hey, that looks nice. I want to buy it now!” Without hesitating, most of us will just walk into the shop and purchase the item(s) without having any second thoughts. Does s/he really need it when the whole wardrobe has already being filled up to the brim with unworn clothing? Does s/he really need to purchase another set of kitchen/garage gadgets when the whole storage room has so many that s/he could have pass down to God knows how many generations?

It is the greed factor that brings out the devil in us. “Drool over what we want and buy what we do not need” has often overwhelmed us in our daily lives. I have seen in many shopping complexes that due to some offers, some would purchase so much of sundries that it would take many battalion of armies to consume them. Even if they have the intention of doing that, would the expiry dates permit them to do so? I have known a family of a working couple with two children. I have seen them throwing away bags of fruits and vegetables, not once but many times because they could not finish consuming the quantity that they have purchased. Don’t you think that is a waste when they could have purchased what they needed instead? To them, “I can earn as much as I want to buy anything I want. Who cares about what I do with what I do not want.” Did you notice how many “wants” there are in that statement? It is what they “want” and not what they “need”.

Most of us when we were young and single, we will not look into the future at all as what we were spending then was the hard earned money of our parents. As we get older, we will start to work and finally get ourselves committed in a relationship. At that period of time, we still spend carelessly without worrying too much about the future as it was our hard earned money and we can do whatever we like with it. Soon, we will marry our other half and build a family. At this time, when a child is born, we get the tension of finding ways to make ends meet. The child will require our much hard earned sum right up to his/her completion of education. What will happen if we do not have the frugality in us when we were young? The cycle of spending unwisely will go on and on without an end. Do you want that to happen endlessly?

Awareness of being thrifty and frugal is important to be instilled into the lives of a child when they are young. After all, it the ultimate way to break the chain from the cycle of spending unnecessarily towards one’s “wants”. Sometimes, saving a bit and throwing a lot does not serve the purpose at all. Get what you need and avoid overspending on your “wants”. It is fine to pamper yourself once in awhile with what you want but there is a limit to everything. Plan carefully as only you yourself can chart your own future.

Have you ever sat down and analyze your spending? Are you frugal enough? Do you think that whatever you have purchased are really necessary or you tend to shop-until-you-drop without checking your budget? Do share it out here.


savante said...

Eeeep! Don't remind me, I'm already spending too much.

Bell said...

hehe... frugality... yea... I'm living a semi frugal life. I don't throw out food... cooked or uncooked. I don't buy unnecessary things (often) and I keep track of all my receipts so I know how much is spent each month outside of phone and rent and power bills.

We all have needs and wants... it's a matter of making the right choices... I need a new bag... but do I REALLY need a Gucci/Burberry/LV (and so on) one? etc etc... Self control and common sense is key

PapaJoneh said...

need and wants.. oh man.. my wants are no longer in the family dictionary. Its the kids needs now. I rather eat mee so to be able give better milk to my children..
oh well... they're more important.

CRIZ LAI said...

savante: Hi Dr Paul. Just hinting here.. haha

bell: Wow... we are so alike. I also do keep track of an account. At least I will know which month of the year I spent too much. Haha. I'm also not so frugal myself. In fact, I can spend quite a lot on meals. I just feel that eating at home is healthier without those MSG.

papajoneh: awww... so nice of you to put other family members' needs before you. Sometimes, you will need to treat yourself too.. haha

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