I had to laugh a little when I read the headline on our public radio's website this morning: “Frugality Fatigue May Fuel Increased Holiday Spending This Year“.
The article goes on to cite a University of Minnesota professor's claims that consumers (I really don't like that word) have a “pent-up” urge to spend a bunch of money this Christmas season given all they've heard for so long is (generally) pessimistic outlooks on the economy.
Add to that, low unemployment, high consumer confidence and you have a recipe for folks going out and spending—what they forecast—over $800 (each) on gifts this season.
At the risk of sounding like Scrooge McDuck, what got me flustered was the idea of us all becoming “fatigued” by watching our money (being thrifty as I'd rather say).
I'm all for giving. And that's one of the reasons why I love Christmas. We ought to be cheerful givers.
But what struck me was a continuation on an old narrative that we owe it to our economy and the world to keep spending.
It seems this line comes out often around holiday season:
“The time has now come so you can all go out and spend your money!” (Hooray!)
What a bunch of hoo-ha.
Every since I first fell into the debt trap in my early 20s and then dug myself out of the hole (the first time) around my early 30s – I have developed a sense of distaste for spending more than I need to. I love presenting coupons and discount codes at websites, buying items only when on sale and generally building assets / vs. spending them.
But I still like to give. I (hopefully) don't come across as cheap. But, frugal; thrifty.
I'm not tired of being frugal, but of spending
All this to say, I'm not tired of being frugal – but of spending, year after year on useless things that don't add value to my family's life.
And, I won't be persuaded by the media this is “old-fashioned” or this thinking has “expired”.
I'd love to know what you think of this story – and the often cited narrative that we ought to abandon our thrifty-minded ways.
Are you ‘frugally fatigued'?