Frugal People of the World, Unite!

David Sung | July 18, 2012

In a tight economy, being frugal is important for a lot of people. However, the experts at MSN Money make a valuable distinction between people who are cheap and those who are frugal.

In a nutshell, cheap people only care about price. They disregard the quality, longevity, and efficiency of a purchase for just the number on the price tag. Frugal individuals, on the other hand, know when to spend a little more money so that it saves them money in the long run. That requires thinking and researching more about purchases rather than just for a moment. In order to give our readers some frugal role models, we at Cash Store have highlighted three frugal individuals from widely differing backgrounds. All of them are good role models for you and your wallet.

The Stay-at-Home Mom

Mother of two, Joanna McFarlane, was granted the title of “Most Frugal New Englander” by Boston.com. McFarlane keeps her budget under control by not having a cellphone, cable television, or an entertainment budget. Instead, she seeks out free entertainment venues or checks out movies and books from the local library. “Think before you buy,” is McFarlane’s mantra for purchases. And, she also ensures that she thoroughly researches coupons and discounts before ever making a purchase.

The Large Family

It takes an estimated quarter of a million dollars to raise a child from birth, but Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are managing to raise 19 of them and still somehow stay completely debt-free. The Duggar family buys in bulk or buys used items, they use energy-efficient products, give each other haircuts, and make a lot of needed products at home. The Duggars are living examples that no matter how big your family, there is always room for frugality.

The Billionaire

Despite his net worth of $44 billion and his top five ranking on Forbes’ list of the richest billionaires, Warren Buffet earns a base salary of only $100,000 a year. He also lives in the same house he bought for $31,500 in 1958, and he drives a Cadillac DTS, priced at a relatively modest $50,000. Buffet is a man of simple tastes, who enjoys watching sports on television and running his company Berkshire Hathaway. He makes a valuable frugality-related point in stating, “Your standard of living is not equal to your cost of living.”

As you can see, you can be frugal but live well in any walk of life. Frugality is all about how you spend your money, not how much of it you spend. And with a role model for everyone, a little budgeting can go a long way. For another guide on personal finance, start with understanding your credit scores.

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