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Katie over at the Non-Consumer Advocate recently shared some thoughts about an article in The Oregonian which stated that although a lot of people *say* they're going to stick with their new frugal habits post-recession, a lot of research shows otherwise; consumer spending has already begun to increase significantly.
I've always theorized that there are three types of people when it comes to frugality:
1. The Committed Frugalista: someone for whom frugality is a core value; this individual practices frugality consistently no matter what their financial circumstances or the state of "the economy".
2. The Desperate Frugalista: will resort to frugal practices when absolutely necessary to make ends meet; often feels embarrassed about penny-pinching practices and will return to their old spending habits as soon as their cash flow improves again.
3. The Wouldn't-Be-Caught-Dead-Clipping-Coupons Anti-Frugalista: scoffs at frugal people and would never consider adopting frugal practices because it's "beneath" them.
It seems that many people who adopted frugal practices during the recession fall into category #2; as soon as they're not feeling desperate any more, they go back to their old spending patterns. I suspect that these people associate frugality with poverty and so will not resort to radical changes in their habits except as a last resort.
In contrast, the individual who is committed to a frugal lifestyle is a "fair-weather frugalista" who will not think twice about continuing their frugal ways even when economic times improve. Their actions are not born of desperation but rather stem from a deep conviction about how they want to live their lives. They get a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment from their frugal ways.
I love the way Amy Dacycyzn of the Tightwad Gazette puts it in this interview:
"We always do think frugality in the bad times, and I just wish people would do it in the good times, because if we would do it in the good times, the bad times wouldn't be bad; we'd be able to ride it out."As for me, it's hard to imagine I'll ever give up yard-saling, curbside shopping or making my own bread, no matter how much money is in my bank account. What about you?