I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty confident about the economy — confident that it’s likely to get worse before it gets better, that is. Can you blame me? I’m simply taking my lead from the president-elect. Of course, as long as I’m filling up my car with gas that’s less than $2 a gallon, it’s a little tough to maintain my hard-earned pessimism. I suppose I could always take a look at my retirement portfolio. That would surely help.
But sometimes it’s a little hard to feel the crunch, truth be told. I know I may be asking for trouble with that confession, but the fact is that we — my little family — have been frugal for a long time already. It’s just something that we’ve practiced naturally for most of our lives. That doesn’t mean that we reuse coffee grounds (though we do reuse most of our ziplocs) or live on cabbage soup (though we do eat a lot of beans) or sew our own clothes (though, as the defacto family tailor, I do a fair bit of mending). Of course, it’s nothing compared to what my parents and grandparents practiced. But it was different for them. It was a necessity.
Our frugality isn’t exactly about keeping us afloat, though it has certainly been that in the past. These days, we pinch pennies so that we can use those pennies where we feel it’s more important to use them — mostly educating our kids and enriching their lives, and supporting our favorite charities. (Speaking of which, the kids just supplied an impoverished family with a brood of chicks, and we offered up — are you ready for this — a GOAT!!)
Still, there are plenty of days when it feels like we’re cutting it pretty close, and there are lots of things I covet that I probably don’t actually need. But we’ve gotten in the habit of not giving in, and overall, it feels like the right path for us. Besides, I read the other day that — gasp — lots of other people may actually revert to the old barbaric method of spending only what they have.
So maybe they’re sharing my confidence. Are you?