Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Living Thrifty

Thrifty: adjective, thriftier, thriftiest.
1. practicing thrift or economical management; frugal: a thrifty shopper.
2. thriving, prosperous, or successful.
3. thriving physically; growing vigorously.
4. Christina Fernandez-Morrow

That was not a typo, my name should be listed with the definition of thrifty. If there is a discount to be had, I will find it. I can't recall the last time I paid full price for retail. I can't understand walking into a department store and paying the listed price on a piece of clothing, or even food. One of the only area where this does not ring true is when the product or service offered renders an experience.

Lots of things fall under this experiences. For example, paying an artist for their work is one of them. Owning art in all forms adds to the richness of life. It elicits feelings that are priceless. That is worth paying full price. Another example is having a high quality service done that is high quality. I count things like personal training, haircuts and massages in this category. When those are done at bargain prices you definitely get what you pay for.

There are things that I can't justify paying full price. Some examples include plane tickets (I'd much rather spend money at my destination, not getting to it), hotel rooms (It's basically a place to sleep and storage, I travel to see things, not be in a room), "blockbuster" movies (Another comic book adaptation? Yay.), new cars (They lose value as you drive them off the lot - that makes no sense to me), brand name for the sake of brand name (Are you getting paid to advertise for said designer brand? Billboards are paid, you should be, too). Honestly, there are too many examples to name. My point is that if I can find a coupon, travel during off peak times, stay with a friend, or try something gently used, I'm all for it. I really have to see how the item impacts my life before shelling out the dough. That means I walk away from and say no to a lot of things. That tests the patience of some, but I stand by it. I am even teaching my daughter my frugal ways and am proud every time she makes a choice that saves her money. It's not that I am cheap for the sake of being cheap. My goal is not to amass boatloads of money for a "rainy day". While I save for the purposes of survival, college and retirement, I spend on experiences that feel like an enrichment of life. Materials don't matter to me. I feel the same in a $200 dress as I do a $10 dress. I don't feel the joy in having the latest phone or gadget like I do when I step foot on a plane or get a bad-ass haircut.

The cliche, you can't take it with you holds true. When it comes to cash and material goods, it all stays here. What you leave behind are the memories, and that seldom comes with "stuff". Sure you can leave your car, home and other assets to your loved ones and that can help them in many ways, but those can all be lost. What remains are those memories of the time you went to that concert, took that trip, ran that 5K, drank that exotic wine, took a selfie at the top of that mountain. What you wore to those events isn't important. Who you shared it with becomes paramount, part of your legacy.

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