Many people have a warped view of what frugality is. When I talk to my friend about saving money he just replies that he wants to enjoy his money now while he’s young not wait until he’s old and retired to enjoy it. He thinks saving money now means a life of no fun until you retire and then you won’t have the energy to enjoy. This is what I think many people who aren’t frugal think frugality is, and perhaps even some who are frugal think this way.
That isn’t how I think of it at all. To me frugality is about making choices. I have plenty of fun now and I expect to have plenty of fun when I retire which I plan on doing early. It is possible to have fun and save money if you just make wise choices. For instance I can pay $10 to see a movie at night, or $5 to see the first matinee on weekends, or $0 to rent a DVD from Redbox. To me the fun value is the same, the only difference is in the price I paid. Another example is that I enjoy a free book from the library just as much as one I buy at a bookstore. For almost all kinds of fun you can have there is a frugal choice available. When I’m spending my money on entertainment I look to get the most fun value for my dollar. I’ve been going a little overboard on entertainment lately but I’ve still been able to save. I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything now, I’m just making wiser choices which will benefit me both now and later.