Thursday, May 14, 2009

Frugality is not cheapskate

Our most recent posting has received several comments and good recipes on how to get a good feed for yourself and your family for under $10. It is interesting to read a comment from Ange of France stating “When I was a poor student, I'd buy only local seasonal fruits and vegetables that were on sale due to over supply and the cheapest cuts of meat. Not eating out, not buying pre-prepared or ready-to-eat foods also helped tremendously”. We could not agree with Ange more. But what was interesting in the comment was the adjective “poor”. We rather prefer to change it to smart, if we may.

Frugality isn’t about deprivation, or about buying the cheapest things or spending the least amount of money. It goes beyond money and spending. It is about not leading a life of excess, about appreciating what you have, about making do and about letting go. It is definitely not about living in poverty but it is about living with balance. Since I’ve started actively trying to live a more frugal lifestyle, I have gained riches that have changed my life for the better especially in my personal growth.It has illuminated the pattern of changes that we are making in our everyday lives-adjustments in day-to-day living that are an active, positive response to the complex dilemmas and economical woes of our time.


  1. agreed. i'm also leading a more frugal lifestyle here in aussieland than back home.

  2. I am tranferring Ange's comment on
    frugality under this posting so that it is
    easier for everyone to keep track
    and offer their advice on this matter.

    ange said...
    Hi Uncle Phil,

    What a coincidence that you have brought up the subject of frugality when my friends and I have just talking about how much money one needs for retirement. You see, I have been told by quite a few people I know that one needs way more than a million US$ in order to be able to retire "comfortably". When I look around, it made me wonder how many people - even in developed countries - actually have that kind of money when they retire and does one really need that much to be able to live simply and reasonably comfortably? I'd love for you to share your views on this.

    Thank you,

  3. ya i pack my lunch to work now, no need to spend a single sen @ work!

  4. Hi BY,
    Good on ya! That's very good for a start.


  5. Hi Ange,
    That's the big question. "How much do I need to retire comfortably? And other questions coming in mind are "How much is enough?" "Do I have the fund to see me through before I meet my Maker? Surprisingly not many of us are asking those questions until they are right in front of our nose.Unfortunately, most financial planners can only give you a rough guide. What you have been told are probably right. You do need a $$$$lion. I was told, as a guide, for every $100,000 of lump sum bendfits from your Superannuation ( I am not sure of the CFP at home allows whole lump sum withdrawal)you have on your retirement, you can expect to purchase a fixed annual income in the form of an annuity of around $8,800 (based on a return of 6.5%) for 20 years when it will be exhausted. That's ok if you expire before that date... :) In the developed countries, they do have an age pension that helps to ensure you have a safety net income for your retirement but they keep raising the qualifying pension age. It is gradually been increased from 65 to 67 in Australia. Well we better learn how to survive on a limited and tight budget from now. Can anyone contribute more tips for those uncles and aunties who are on transition to retirement?

  6. Hey, Uncle Phil.

    It's Denise from Toronto again. I'll like to recommend a book that I read while I was living in the States that changed my life.

    When I read your post, the principles in the book automatically pop up in my head. The book is, "Your Money or Your Life: Transforming your relationship with money", by Vicki Robins and Joe Dominguez.

    One of the biggest and possibly toughest lesson I learn from this book is the concept of enough. It is tough to not want more, especially in this world where overconsumption and excess is encouraged.

    Even today, I am always tempted to want more than what I need...

    I think that book gives you a great overview on how to find your point of enough. It's a book that I read once every couple of years, just to refresh my memory and to keep me on the course, when I get sorely tempted by all the glitzy doohickeys. =)

    This is a long comment! I'll talk to you again soon.