July 6th, 2020


frugal groups

I joined some frugal living/money saving/personal finance groups around the internet and wow, they are REALLY not created equally.

I think facebook is just not the place for frugal living ideas. The groups I joined were all very "small picture". Low-cost recipes, budget kid entertainment ideas, reclaimed crafts. Very domestic. I caused some drama on a post about christmas shopping, the poster said she started in June/July to get the best deals, and I guess I came across judgey when I said the best deal is to AVOID ALL SHOPPING and limit Christmas. maybe try to find a way to NOT buy for everybody on your extended family tree? the comments were just "well some people have large families!" Okay.

Compare that to the reddit groups... there is very little talk about the grocery budget. the ideas get bigger. some of it is WAY out there, I keep finding rabbit holes. move your family to an extremely low-cost-of-living country in asia or africa. manipulate bank and credit card offers to get mega points or cash bonuses. there's more about investing, decision making on major purchases, paying down mortgages and overall budgets. there are 25 year old guys posting the distribution of their Roth IRAs. Maybe because of all the FIRE communities (fixed income retire early). Leanfire is about spending nothing and trying to get ~50% of your income in savings, so in theory you could retire for as many years as you were working. The minimalism community over there isn't about posting a photo of one shelf with a succulent, but how to convince your significant other to have no couch at all and just sit on the floor forever.

After reading reddit for the ideas, I go to the facebook groups and cringe all over the place about all the materialism and "save through shopping" that we've gotten sucked into as a culture. I'm also always struck by how divided the world is. Seclusion and echo chambers all over the place.

I guess you could say I stay in the facebook groups to be a troll at this point. But being frugal is definitely a spectrum, and to pick a place on a spectrum you need to be aware of what both ends look like. One one side there's the mom who buys her toddler 500 hair bows and a glass case for all of them. Facebook feels more like the mom who buys her toddler 500 hair bows then makes a DIY holder with ribbon and dollar tree frame, and calls her life "frugal".

reddit has people who straight up won't have KIDS because they're a waste of money and resources.

there's a lot of room for in-between in there.