Recently I was chatting with a friend of mine who confessed something to me. She told me that she adores my blog, but won’t follow it publicly because she doesn’t want her friends thinking she’s poor. I have to admit, I was a bit offended at first.
Once I recovered from the shock, I settled into confusion. This woman is actually one of the wealthiest friends I have. She lives in a very nice home, in a very nice neighborhood and her children attend private school. I can’t think of anyone who would look at this woman and ever make the assumption that she was hurting for money. Not to mention, her husband’s career (which I won’t mention because it gives up a bit too much personal information) is in an incredibly lucrative field where he makes well over 6 figures (and that’s kind of a given with the work he does…).
She was nervous people would think she was poor simply for publicly following my blog? Really?
~So if frugal people are poor, what does she think of me?~
The more I thought about it though, I guess I can understand. You see, I’m a pretty open book person. People know when things are good for us, and they also know when they are bad. I have never hesitated saying, “Nah, we’re kind of broke right now so we’re going to have to decline.” or ” We’re saving up for “x” so we aren’t spending money on “y” right now.”. That just doesn’t bother me. I do know that not everyone enjoys the same flippancy when it comes to discussing their finances however (although people seem to be quite open when talking with me about it…I guess because they know I would never ever judge someone’s financial situation).
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand not talking facts, figures and salaries. I don’t talk about that stuff either. Not only is that way too much information, it also can come across as bragging (or in some cases, seeking pity).
The problem my friend had (and don’t worry, I got the total okay to write this post keeping her as anonymous as possible!) with publicly following a frugal living blog was that her love of freebies, coupon shopping and bargains would make her seem poor to her other friends.
So that leads me to ask…why do people immediately assume that all frugal people are poor?
~Frugal and poor can be mutually exclusive…to a great extent~
That’s why I chose the misconception that all frugal people are poor as the first posting in my Misconceptions About Frugal Living Series. Because it is…it’s a total misconception. Just look at some of world’s richest people who claim “I’ve Got Billions, but Don’t Like To Spend It” . My friend is another obvious case of someone living frugally who is nowhere near poor.
In fact, the truly frugal often are the wealthiest of their peers because they are so cautious with their income.
So let’s bust this frugal living misconception:
Sure some are frugal because they have to be, but I think frugal living in general lends itself to a lifestyle of wealth more than anything else. Maybe not obvious wealth, but the wealth that comes from living within (or below) your means. You might not see it today…or even tomorrow, but I dare you to look ten years from now and see who has a heftier bank account. The person cutting coupons and shopping sales or the one that doesn’t for fear of being labeled “poor”.
Call me poor…and then call me ten years from now. I bet we’ll have a lot to chat about!
~Have you been labeled as poor for living frugally? Do you hesitate to clip coupons and make the most of your money out of fear of what others might think?
Want to learn more about living a frugal lifestyle? Check out my series on Frugality.