April 17, 2011

Feeling like the Lone Ranger?

It happens at some point.  There will come a time when you will feel like the Lone Ranger when it comes to stretching every penny out of your hard earned dollars.  When it happens you feel like a lesser person or you start to wonder if you are definitely the only one out there willing to do a little bit extra in order to save money? 

You know the personality.  We all have an acquaintance that you feel really isn't wanting to know how to save money, but they are mostly looking for an opportunity to put someone down because they don't "have" to cut back on anything.  Or do they?

It happens when someone asks me how I make my own laundry soap.  I tell them the process to make both the powdered and the gel version.  Many times they say that they just don't think that it is worth the time to save to make it. 

But it doesn't stop there.  They will go on to ask me what else I do to save money and when I give another example such as reducing the amount of ground beef I put in a recipe (I save out 2 tablespoons and put it into a container in the freezer until I have enough to put on pizza or in another recipe.), they cannot believe that I would do that to save money. 

If they ask me for more ideas, I refer them to my blog.   Deep down I know that some of these people, not all of them, probably have a secret.  They are deep in debt and they have serious financial issues.  Perhaps they have come to the point that they are only being able to make minimum payments on credit cards and they are in deep financial trouble. 

I see this a lot in our community with manufacturing.  It used to be that workers were automatically given overtime each week and families came to depend on this overtime money in their budget. They relied heavily on that overtime pay and then the day comes when companies have to cut back, overtime is cut and workers are even laid off.  Now what?  The workers, for the first time in their lives, are deep in debt and are in serious trouble.

It is hard when you are used to having a lot of money to spend on anything you want, to have lived beyond your means for years to suddenly come to grips with your financial mortality.  If you don't change, you will soon be in a terminal state of financial affairs.  Their status is in jeopardy, the lifestyle they have lived appears to be dying and they will fight hard to maintain an image they cannot afford. 

It's always sad to me when I know deep down someone is struggling financially and refuses to accept the reality of the situation.  They deny what is happening to them and they continue to spend to make themselves feel as if nothing has changed.

So they ask me how to save money and then criticize how I save money.  I know it is a defense mechanism and I refer them to my blog and tell them to look at the blogs that I follow for more information. 

If ever there was a time in our lives that it is okay to admit that you are in debt and want to get out of debt, that time is now.  There are more blogs and websites out there that devote themselves to just that.  We are not Lone Rangers.  There are others like me and I know there are others that have had the same scenarios happen to them.  I want you to take a deeper look at that person and try to see what is hidden behind the criticism.  The majority of the time it is denial and the feeling that living frugally is a demeaning life.  It is lowering them to a level where they feel that others will make fun of them by seeing them going into the Dollar Store or Aldi when they are used to shopping at a gourmet grocery store. 

So, yes, I feel like the Lone Ranger some times but let's not forget that even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. 


HDNelson said...

Your post makes me think of your Tightwad Gazette review from yesterday, maybe? The one where people want Amy to tell them how she really saves money, and then scoff because it's in groceries, etc? It's like these folks are expecting some amazing plan that will save them tons of money, but yet not cramp their current style of living too much.

I am a frequent shopper at places like Aldi's and Goodwill. And now that the warm weather is here, it's time for garage sales! And I don't feel bad about it at all!

Anonymous said...

I so agree with this article. Sometimes we can feel alone in our efforts towards frugality, especially when people give you the weird "look" as you tell them some of the things we do to save money. Keep up the great articles, I really enjoy them. You remind us that we are not alone in our ventures to live simply and be debt free.

Anonymous said...

In 2014 I think more people than ever will need to re-adjust their finances...

What I liked most about Amy was her telling people- embrace frugality whilst it's a choice not a necessity.