paranoid asteroid wrote a very good rant about PF blogs, and I have to agree with her. I love my J. Crew or other mainstream brand name clothes as much as the next person. I could never be the woman to buy a t-shirt from Wal-mart and say it feels the same as a James Perse.
It may not be the most economical choice in the matter, especially if it’s a plain white shirt, but the quality and the difference in feel of the fabric on my body is priceless.
Same with shoes.
I don’t cheap out (at least I try not to), but on the other end of the pendulum, I also don’t go out and buy 50 pairs of $50 shoes. I’d rather buy one calculated, well-agonized over single pair of $500 shoes than to own many cheap replicas. Hear hear. I’ve blogged about this before too, about letting debt rule your life.
Some blogs really go too far, teaching you that even spending $2.00 on a candy bar is not very frugal or thrifty, but is a TREAT. Oh c’mon… are you kidding me? A $2.00 candy bar is a regular occurrence for me if I think it’s great (like, weekly).
I’m not going to beat myself up over spending $2.00 on a chocolate bar – I spent it, I ate it, I loved it. So what? I don’t do it every day, and it’s $2.00 not the end of the fricking world.
I also KNOW that I’m on track to financial freedom, and I don’t like this self-hating mentality of PF bloggers to make you feel awful for spending even $2.00 a week on a candy bar because you could’ve saved it, and snowflaked it to some savings account for retirement to get a 10% return over the long term.
You may end up pleasantly surprised that you actually don’t spend as much on junk food as you thought you did (unlikely, but possible), but the main point of not wanting to spend the $2.00 in my mind, is if you don’t track it, you won’t know you spent it.
Where you run into REAL problems is big ticket items like a house or a car – people overextend themselves, but then cheap out on actual living day-to-day expenses like food.
So cutting out a latte or a candy bar in my case that gives me happiness every morning but then buying a car for $45,000 instead of $25,000 doesn’t make any sense.
Besides, while being frugal and thrifty is a great thing to be (don’t buy what you can’t afford and what you don’t need), being a cheapskate is not, and sometimes these PF blogs advocate a really monk-like style of living, and deprive themselves of all desires and wants, thinking it’s a good thing, when in fact it’s the opposite, and just as bad as being a shopaholic – it’s just that it’s on the other side of the extreme and they have the disease where they CAN’T spend.
Have you heard of the story of the little old lady who lived on cat food in the projects and saved EVERYTHING she used, but ended up being a secret millionaire when she died, surprising everyone?
Yeahhhhhhhh.. SOOOO not gonna be me.
They even have secret millionaires who live on the streets because they refuse to pay rent or utilities and go to food kitchens in shelters to eat.
My point is that the money you save achieves a goal. It’s either meant to be spent, or meant to be there as security so you can (like me) tell the company you’re working for to EFF OFF, but in a polite, 2-week notice kind of way.
What money doesn’t do however, is want to be saved and thrifted on for your entire life so that you end up a millionaire but never enjoying the money or the fruits of your labour because you just got so used to deprivation and you have that self-hating PF blogger mentality that makes you beat yourself up for spending $2.00 a week on a candy bar, that you never let yourself go free.
What kind of life is THAT?
Great post, paranoid asteroid. I never knew I had these feelings bottled up in me. LOL.