Why Is A Frugal Lifestyle So Popular Yet Humiliating? : The Saturday Weekend Review #258

why is a frugal lifestyle so popular yet so humiliating



Money has no feelings so don’t let it own you, not now not ever because that circle of desire vs. need can get tricky when you lead a lifestyle you think you deserve. What I mean by this is that there are people out there and perhaps yourself reading this today who want to act rich but live a frugal lifestyle without anyone knowing. That’s all fine and dandy but what I don’t understand is why is it so humiliating that you can’t admit it?

I am a self-confessed nosey person but I don’t think I ever considered finding a bargain to be a deal breaker when it came to conversation. Even when I was a broke student I would look for deals and would tell my close friends about them because I was thrilled about it. I wouldn’t pretend to them that I bought something I likely couldn’t afford to buy retail or even on sale. No, I bought it USED.

You might be that person who loves to save money and considers themselves part of the frugal lifestyle movement but not prepared to tell anyone about your thrifty ways. I often find it interesting how some people loathe letting anyone know how much they didn’t spend on something they found for a bargain but will champion the brand because it’s far more expensive than what they paid.

Who cares if you paid $100 for a Gucci watch instead of $1000? You might, I don’t but I will give you a high-five for an awesome score.

We have become a society who runs with brand-name and the elite designers but lay humiliated in a closet of shame because affordability may be unattainable. Portrayal of belonging to a certain financial group becomes more important than life itself for some people. Having to shop second-hand, garage sales or buying used from online sites such as Kijiji or even Facebook is popular but I know some people who create fake accounts because they are embarrassed for anyone to find out who they are.


Aren’t You Embarrassed?


The other day our little guy asked if we could go shopping at Value Village out loud in public and my friend’s wife looked at us like we had two heads and with a smirk on her face. “Aren’t you embarrassed when he says that in public?”, she says. No, of course not was our response. She shrugged her shoulders and went on with what she was doing in the back garden.

Yes, we bring our son with us to second-hand shops and he loves to go because he can play with toys, read books and enjoys it. We enjoy the prices and the fact that we don’t spend a fortune on our son buying new stuff and are saving products from going to the land-fill. This is also part of the way we parent by teaching our son that you don’t have to pay retail for everything and there’s nothing wrong with buying used.

Saving money is the best financial feeling isn’t it? Well, for us it is.

That minute of conversation had Mrs. CBB and I chatting on the way home about why the frugal lifestyle is so popular but there are people who don’t want the world to know they are frugal too. If anything our friend in question shops at second-hand stores and will pick up a freebie if she finds one on the side of the road. She will transform it into something beautiful and turn around and sell it for profit. She’s all about the frugal lifestyle but in the closet about it.

I only know this because I am close friends with her husband and he tells me but she won’t talk about anything frugal if she doesn’t have to. She’d rather us believe that she has this amazing job and can afford whatever she wants. That’s fine with us but why question our frugal lifestyle or the way we choose to share it.


Frugal Lifestyle Wanted


There have been times where we wonder if we are too frugal or if that is even possible. In all honesty we have a budget and we follow it but it’s not that strict as we cover a variety of budget categories. It really doesn’t matter now because we know that our budget is our budget whether we are loose or extreme savers or spenders with it.

Our frugal lifestyle is for life not just for a certain amount of time.

You can read all the frugal blogs that your eyes can handle but if you’re not committed to living a frugal lifestyle then you’re wasting your time. Sure, you may learn lots of information along the way and you may put it to use here and there but more than likely you’re spending more in one area than you should be which trumps the savings in other areas. This is why we have continued our frugal lifestyle beyond becoming debt free and paying off our mortgage.

Although we don’t talk about how much money we earn with our friends we do love to brag about the deals we’ve found. There’s something rewarding for us when we can score something cheaper or even free that we want to share it with people we know or don’t know (CBB).

I don’t think we’ve considered what our friends and family think of us because we live this frugal lifestyle. Personally, we don’t care but some people do. They don’t want anyone to know they use a coupon or search for online codes when ordering online. You know if you have to ask how much something is you can’t afford it in the rich world, well compare it to this way of thinking. The reality is just as we are free to express our feelings about savings they are free to keep it to themselves.

It’s safe to assume that if you know where someone works or their position that you have a general idea of how much money they earn. Of course being a business owner is a different story because you won’t know how much money the business makes. That number means nothing because of a four letter word, DEBT if applicable.

I wonder if this is one of the reasons why if people who are frugal lifestyle closet savers feel ashamed when their friends, family or colleagues find out. I don’t really know but I do know that our friend earns an almost 6-figure income in a senior level role but loves to earn extra money on the side or save it as mentioned above.

The amount of money one earns and the position they hold in their career dictates how they must depict themselves in public. Do you know someone like this? I’m sure we all do. There are many broke rich people out there. Sounds ratty and off the wall but this is the way some people operate but when they get home they are wondering how they will pay the next credit card bill.


Proud Saver but White lies don’t hurt


Consider this…

If someone were to say to you that your dress/shirt/shoes looks amazing and wanted to know where did you purchased it would you say, Value Village for $5? Perhaps it’s none of their business but on the other hand I don’t have issue with being proud about saving money and spreading savings cheer. I guess everyone is different just like there are people who don’t mind talking about how much money they earn when it is a taboo subject to others.

What drives this frugal lifestyle embarrassment though?

Overall, I think living a frugal lifestyle is certainly something to celebrate because we don’t know what the future holds. I also appreciate that we are all different and choose to disclose different things to each other. At the end of the day we still have to spend less than we earn and make sure that WE are taken care of first in the event of a financial disaster or even worse, illness or death.

Don’t let money own you, own it and be proud of the money you save because I’d be more inclined to want to talk to you more about how you save money then how you spend it.

Discussion: Are you into the frugal lifestyle but don’t want anyone to know about it? Why?

If you are living a frugal lifestyle and love sharing your money saving deals tell us why.

Share your comments below.


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strawberry picking with kids

Top Post This Week: Free Money Saving Tools


At The CBB House


fence renoThis week has been non-stop tearing down the old fence and getting ready for a new one.

In the midst of it all we’ve had to do some grocery shopping and bring our son to his extra curricular activities which is always a nice break for us.

Canada Day we didn’t do too much during the day but in the evening we went to see the fireworks and our little guy loved every minute of it. ll.

Since our city is so big and our son not so big we opted to go to a small town for the Canada Day festivities which proved to be a smart move for us.

We loved the small community feel and everyone we chatted to was so helpful and friendly. Not that they aren’t where we live but we were worried about our little guy running off in the masses.

We found a few bargains this week at the second-hand shops which we will re-sell to make some money to go into our ‘extra money fund’ that helps pay for clothes, toys and other bits we buy our son. We’ve almost sold all of his baby clothes and accessories that we no longer need so that has helped draw in some cash that we spent over the years as well.

Our mulberry tree is pretty much bare now as Mrs. CBB picked all the berries and we made a lovely jam which we will be sharing on the blog at some point. I don’t think mulberries get the recognition they deserve and I know some homeowner who just let the berries fall to the ground or the birds enjoy them as they aren’t sure what to do with them. Yes, they are edible and delicious.

I’ve also taken on a back to work schedule to help out my old employer as they are stuck for vacation staff. I don’t have a problem with that but it sure does remind me how lovely my new career is and why I fought so hard to keep my foot in the door. 🙂

How was your week?

Until next time…





Send me a photo of your deals with the low-down on what you bought and how much you paid for it. Did you score some deals? Each entry gets you a chance to win gift cards at the end of the year. More than one prize!

jen garage sales july 7

LOOK what Jen found at local garage sales this week for only $2.25. There are bargains to be had as long as you make the time to look around. Well done Jen. Thanks for sending in your deal.

  • Boys shirt and shorts $.50
  • Cotton makeup remover pads x 2=$.50
  • Hanger $.50
  • Body scrub x2
  • nail polish $.75

Total spent $2.25


Frugal Recipe Of The Week



It was so hard to not click the link to read the recipe for these Snickers Brownies that Jen over at Baked By and Introvert made. I’m almost certain it was the dripping caramel sandwiched in between the chocolate and nougat layers that caught me off guard. You all know how much I love Brownies!! I’ve added this recipe to my Pinterest list!


CBB Words of Wisdom






childs organization school paper box

Our son is starting Junior Kindergarten in September in what will be the beginning of a long school career and LOTS of paperwork for mom and dad. When I saw this creation Lindsay over and Lindsay’s Sweet World which consists of an organizer to keep all of your child’s paperwork from start to finish I was sold.

Ah, the never-ending trail of school papers that parents have to deal with!  It can be such a nightmare.  And if you’re a sentimental person like me, then it’s even worse, because you probably have a hard time letting things go.

As you know we are organized in the CBB family when it comes to just about anything (or at least we try) so this box will most certainly come in handy. Thanks Lindsay!


Saturday Search Term Giggles


Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • Recipe for turkey chunks– You know right away I thought, well cut your turkey into chunks and bing-bango you’re done!
  • My parents don’t know about my savings account– That’s ok neither do mine
  • Why is being frugal so popular?–  I don’t know perhaps people would rather save money then just blow it.
  • Do Canadian men cook? – No, not at all. Of course they do.
  • How to make huge money in Canada– Find a unicorn

Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.

Note: Some posts on CBB may be paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service that I’ve tried and used before. Please read my privacy policy and disclaimer.

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  1. Growing up in the ’50s, with five kids and a single income, we had to save where we could. We never bragged about our bargains, but the frugality seems to have stuck. I watch for bargains all the time. When I go walking, I sometimes take a backpack to carry empty refundable containers, especially when going through the nearby University campus. In September and January (semester beginnings) are amazing, as students seem to filter out things that mom and dad deemed essentials, but the kids do not. The end of semesters also yield notepads, pens and pencils, and other things of use (if not of great value), as well as clothing items. I picked up two pairs of jeans (Levi 401 and Tommy) in my size(!) at the end of the school year, and collected two guitars, cheap ones, but workable once restrung. I often see packages of food products which probably have been acceptable at the Food Bank, but the students apparently are not motivated to call them or drop stuff off. Oh, yes, they also pitch things like CDs and DVDs.
    I am known as a scavenger, and get comments from friends. I don’t really mind, since I have things I wouldn’t want to buy yet are useful or at least interesting.

  2. I definitely live the frugal lifestyle now, and I don’t mind sharing my tips with people….no one person specifically but I try to encourage (not crow) when I share. It helps us to achieve some goals that I can’t get to otherwise. I have worked very hard to learn to save and it takes me about 5 hours a week to really hit hard on the weekly shopping.
    Yesterday I brought home 2 new mattresses for the kids. Their mattresses had dents in them, you know what I mean. I took my son to Leon’s and he tried several on, then determined he liked coils, not foam. They have a sale, save 30% and save the tax. We took pictures of good $299, better $349, best $449 sale prices and looked at mattress protectors $60.00.
    Next we went to a Liquidation store, and learned they typically run at $149, on sale for 30% off. They had run out of twin. My son looked at them and said “They don’t have plastic on them, I don’t want to get something dirty.” Sometimes the savings aren’t worth it.
    The next Liquidation store had some foam, some coil…King Koil. A weekend store, and on Friday it had good stock. My son tried a few and picked one. $199. I took my daughter and she picked foam. $179. Walmart had new protectors for $24.97.
    I had an opportunity to take both kids and show them a real world example of the way to shop and save. Research, do the homework and then decide. We paid $480 including taxes, instead of $924 (assuming we went with better, not best).
    If I can reassure people they don’t have to give up on the important points (quality, etc.) when they shop, I’ll know that I have done something right.

  3. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of leading a frugal lifestyle until I read your article. I really don’t tell anyone in my family where I bought those jeans I have always wanted and what I paid. I do, however, shop with as many coupons as I can get my hands as possible. When I walk into the grocery store I head straight for discount racks. The other day I scored gluten free pasta for 1.94. regular price 6.29. I cleaned them out of it than went looking for more in the kosher aisle, they did not have any maybe another time. I also, use the clearance rack in the produce aisle, sometimes they have produce that is perfectly fine and I buy it there. Sometimes its just a little bad and I bring it home and cook it that night. I have even stopped buying Starbucks, and Tim Hortons, again I don’t admit this to anyone outside of you, and my roommate.

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