This one definitely goes under “Rants and raves” heading ….
I have mentioned a few times that I watch a lot of soap making YouTube videos – though I am, at last, getting pretty bored with them.
Anyway, there must have been a “How to live frugally” video that popped up in my recommended list. Soap making does pop up as a way to save money. (I have no idea why – it is the biggest expense of my retirement.) The system must have thought, “She likes to make soap, therefore, she must like to live frugally.” Which, coincidently, is true but I don’t see how YouTube would know that.
Anyway, this video on how to live frugally came on and I started watching it. The lady in it clearly had gone through a very hard time. She was saying how she would work out how much vitamin C the kids needed each day. If they were having broccoli for dinner that night, they wouldn’t get an orange for lunch. They got half a sandwich, one cookie and, on a non-broccoli day, an orange. A roast would last three meals, as would a chicken. She served one slice of meat for each of them and, when the meat was used, she would boil up the bones to get all the goodness out of them and use it with all the scraps for another meal. It really did sound like she was doing it tough. But her point was that she and the kids did just fine. They had a well balanced diet. Most Americans eat too much. (She could have added Australians to that.)
So, once I had watched one frugal living video, another came up. This time, it was a young couple who were giving 10 frugal minimalist family tips. They were both pretty cute and before long, they were talking away so I let them. They gave a preamble that stated by not buying these things, it was helping them meet their financial goals. They didn’t say what their goals were.
The 10 tips were:
1. They don’t get manicures or pedicures.
2. She cuts his hair and she only gets her hair cut every six months or so. (He had very short hair and she had long hair so I do think they were cheating on this one.)
3. They don’t go to shopping malls (centres) unless they need something, ie, they don’t go on shopping outings. And they don’t wear designer label clothes but … they do buy top quality clothes as they have to last a while. They only have 30-40 items of clothing! BTW, he was wearing an Oakley T-shirt.
4. The next one was a killer. They wash their own car. Horror of horrors.
5. They cut their own lawn.
6. They don’t have cable. They save up the shows they want to watch and then subscribe for a month and binge watch. They do have Netflix and Amazon Prime, though. Poor babies.
7. They don’t buy expensive cuts of meat. They eat mainly chicken breasts and turkey mince. Mmmmmm? They have me on this one. I am not sure why only eating white meat is a money saving device. They are thinking about having meat free days!
8. They don’t buy chips, cookies or soda but they do buy nacho chips.
9. This is my favourite by far. They don’t have fancy cars. He has a 2012 Dodge and she has a 2015 Honda. She bought it as a demo model so it was a bargain. He wants a “truck” (a 4 wheel drive) but he can’t get one for the price he wants to pay so he is waiting.
10. They don’t buy expensive, designer brand decorations for the house.
I was already being derisive at point one. “Who ever knew that by biting my nails, I was being frugal?”, I asked Maus. “Who watches this shit?”, I furthered, to which she replied, “Idiots like you.”
Fair point. 🙂
What has the world come to when young people think they are economising because they don’t have a pedicure, they wash their own car and mow their own lawn?
I do applaud the couple. Clearly, if they previously did all these things and now don’t, then they are saving money. But to think these are hot tips? I am still in a state of shock.
Come on, guys. The only thing on the list I do is get my hair cut. And, I am not trying to save money. I am just sensible. I could tell them how to save money. Don’t buy takeaway, don’t eat at restaurants, skip Cable, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Don’t buy that ‘truck” you want and put the money you saved off your mortgage.
I have always lived my life by the motto, “Don’t spend everything you earn”, no matter how much that be. If you spend everything you earn then you will always have to earn that much to survive. One day you may find that is not possible but if you have lived by my motto, all will be well. Resist the temptation to move to that posh suburb, to build a big house, to send your kids to that prestigious school. You are fine living just as you are.
One of the best tips I ever learned was to “pay yourself first”. What this means is: have your savings taken out of your pay and deposited directly into a savings account before you get your salary. If you “save” what is left over, then you will save very little as there will never be much, if anything, left over.
My dad died when I was very young but he left me with one legacy. I remember him saying, “Never owe the banks money, Glenda.” This is not always the best advice but the gist of what he was saying is:
- don’t buy things like a car or furniture or boat on credit. If you don’t have the money to pay cash for them, don’t buy them. When Maus and I first moved in together, we had an old mattress on the floor for a bed and another for a couch. We had Maus’ mum’s fridge and my sister’s old washing machine. I think mum gave us a table. You don’t need a whole house of furniture to start out in life; and
- pay off your mortgage ASAP. The amount of interest you save by paying off your mortgage early will be about 5-10,000 haircuts, depending on the size of your mortgage and how fancy your hair cuts are.
YouTube watch out, here I come 🙂
I do love a good rant Glenda, especially when you voice my thoughts exactly. And why buy chicken breasts when thighs cost less and taste better? Even better, buy the whole bloody bird.
Anne don’t get me on chicken pieces. I am finding it harder and harder to find a full chicken in a supermarket. You can usually only get boneless, skinless bits and pieces. People want everything convenient these days. They won’t even cut up a chicken.
You gave me a good laugh at the juxatposition of the frugals and your response. I appreciate a good rant. I have found that -our version of- frugal isn’t necessarily inexpensive. But we’re working on getting better at it and still living within our means. You make a very valid point. However, compared to mainstream #2 frugal are at least thinking about it and having a go. Probably my version of frugal that considers organic coffee beans a viable purchase would not qualify in some frugal quarters… but I offset, no mani-pedi’s here, and while the G.O. gets his hair cut infrequently by a barber, he cuts mine. I don’t miss hair salons, the chit chat and waits at all.
Hiya Ella, I do applaud the young couple but …. I couldn’t believe they thought their 10 points were worthy of a video. They had no idea really. By not buying another car they could save thousands. All they were really doing was curtailing middle class extravagances.
It absolutely amazes me that the only businesses that are going into vacant shops where previously retailers who have gone under were, are beauty, well more like narcissism booths. I can’t believe there can be that much profit in nails, brows and waxing BS&C’s. I obviously don’t have a life! 🙂 Love a rant, thanks.
And coffee shops round here too. I love the notion of narcissism booths – did you know they’re also apparently very good businesses for laundering money?
Anne, I am with you on coffee shops. I live in a small town and every second retail outlet is a coffee shop or restaurant.
That makes sense.
Hi Marie, It is all about the service industry these days. Nobody seems to do anything themselves anymore.
Hi Glenda, My son has a settlement agency and has done so for many years and I was horrified to find out that for 70 per cent of people under the age of 50 there is no equity in their homes when selling to buy a new home. I thank my lucky stars that we didn’t have the temptation of being able to borrow on our mortgage and now after 42years same old home but a great feeling. By the way no Pedicures or Manicures were in our budget. Jenny
Hi Jenny, Consumerism of today really worries me. Young people seem to want everything new and flash. Maus and I still have dining room chairs that cost us $1.00 each about 35 years ago. They are still good. BTW I have never had a pedicure or manicure either.