I have long ago finished “Cheap: High Cost of Discount Culture.” But my friend, Ellen Ruppel Shell convinced me to revisit my spending habits, particularly in a world filled with economic uncertainty. I have tweaked my spending habits and embraced a new frame of reference. I now consider myself something of a frugalista, a term that Ms. Shell discussed in the latter chapters of her book. It’s a real word which is defined as someone who is fashionable and frugal. In fact, according to the Oxford University Press’s Blog, frugalista was one of their 2008 word of the year finalists. It seems that these ideas are not mutually exclusive, although I think that, in practice, frugalista has a broad range of definitions.
I still look for bargains – you can’t take the fun out of shopping. Cheap is a mind-set, a belief that more is more, rather than more is less. And it can influence our lives in ways that are at first subtle until they become overwhelming. How do I know, you may ask? I just cleaned out my closet. Enough said….