It used to be that if you wanted to save a buck, you were cheap, plain and simple. “Penny pincher,” ”thrifty,” “frugal,” and “stingy” are terms that sting and imply that you do not care about anything or anyone but saving a penny. One benefit of the economic downturn is that many begin to adopt a more cut-back lifestyle, savoring quality over quantity.
The message prevalent in society and media for years has been to consume. Credit card debt has skyrocketed while a true appreciation for things (what they can and can never be) has ironically diminished. People feel the need to buy the next greatest thing in order to feel as worthy as the elite who have them. On the opposite side of the spectrum, those who rebel against consumerism take frugality to a point where they end up actually spending more, opting for products of a lesser quality in favor of the cheapest when paying slightly more could be a better value.
For those needing help, there are a few guidelines that can help to both save money and enhance the quality of life. Ask yourself if the item you use is a regular need. Do you need a designer brand or will generic suffice? Is the generic brand comparable? Paper towels at 30% less that require twice as many to finish the job are not a good value. When it comes to clothing, is it something you truly need to survive, or is it a desire? If you don’t feel strongly, pass. If you do feel strong desire, wait and see if it’s a passing impulse or a real want. If so, buy the best quality you can afford and enjoy every moment with it. See if you can get the same thing for less. Coupon codes and online price comparisons are a fantastic way to get what you want at the best price.