When To Be Frugal

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I am not an extremely frugal person, but I am not a spendthrift either. I love squirreling away my money just as much as I love my home, health, and hobbies. In short, my husband and I save more than a third of our income on a regular basis, but we do not cheap out on certain things. Specifically, I will spend whatever is necessary to live healthily and sleep well. Frugality has its place in the world of personal finance, but there are some things that you just cannot afford to be cheap about and things you can.

Homeowner’s insurance

The natural disasters that have occurred over the past few years have shown the importance of having good homeowner’s insurance. You never know when a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, or flood will ravage your area and damage or destroy your home. This leads me to make sure that I have a homeowner’s insurance policy with enough coverage to be able to rebuild. I also make sure to use reputable companies with a history of paying up when the time comes. In my opinion, it is worth paying a couple extra dollars a month to protect my biggest financial investment.

Health Insurance

The number one thing that drives most people to bankruptcy is not having health insurance. Medical bills are astronomical and are too much for the average person to pay alone. That is why it makes sense to pay for a health insurance plan no matter what budget you are living on. Even high deductible policies protect you more than no policy at all.

Automobile Insurance

There are way too many uninsured drivers on the road today. Even though it is against the law not to have at least liability insurance when driving in Texas, I know there are a ton of drivers on the road around me without it. I think that an automobile insurance policy should at least cover the damage you cause to others and whatever amount you need in order to ensure your own ability to get around.


I personally think that everyone should budget for some fun in their lives, but feel free to be cheap about it. There are so many affordable options out there for entertainment. Would you enjoy board gaming with friends or bird watching in the mornings? You may also want to look into hiking or hosting movie marathons in your home. I believe there is a fun yet cheap option for entertainment for absolutely anyone willing to try something new. I personally love hosting monthly potlucks and we can keep the cost below $25. My husband enjoys computer games and spends $10-$50 for 20-100 hours of fun.

What do you spend on and where do you cheap out? Do you agree with my examples above?

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “When To Be Frugal”

  1. Spewin says:

    I think you’ve confused the meaning of frugal and cheap. Every single thing you’ve described above is frugal. When should one be frugal? ALWAYS. Being frugal is about making good choices with your money and using it wisely. Getting the best value for each dollar you spend. Being cheap is spending as little as possible in every situation. I was under the impression that this distinction was commonly accepted in the PF community.

    • Crystal says:

      I agree with that distinction, but you can only use the word cheap so many times in one post. 🙂 That why I tried to make the distinction in the last line of the first paragraph “but there are some things that you just cannot afford to be cheap about and things you can.”

  2. skylog says:

    i could go on forever with this post, but i will keep it brief. i also pay more for quality shoes and beds/bedding. you spend so much time on your feet and in your bed, it only makes sense for me to make it as pleasant as possible.

  3. I believe that the best thing that I have purchased under the “buy quality” is our bed. We relented and tried out and bought the Tempurpedic mattress. Like skylog said, you spend a bunch of time in bed so you better have quality.

  4. Yes, I agree. I have heard horror stories about people not having medical insurance and having to go to the hospital; they could be paying this the rest of their lives… 🙁

  5. Strebkr says:

    We spent decent money on a nice mattress and its so nice. We didnt go crazy, but we knew we would have it a long time and there is nothing like a nice night’s sleep.

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