Apr 1, 2013

Finding a New Word



The word choices for spending less are disappointing. Words like "frugal" and "cheap" have such negative connotations, conjuring up images of mom jeans and tins of cheap coffee and ramen dinners and going without. Who wants to live that kind of life?

Living on less money or with less stuff doesn't have to mean living a life without beauty, or living a life that is lacking. You know why it feels that way? Because that's what the marketers have been telling us since we were very small.* And that is what the words frugal and cheap or cheapskate have come to mean - "I don't have enough."

It might be taking some getting used to for me to stop wanting more stuff, but I not only have enough. I have plenty. More than enough, even. How about you? When you look around the corners of your life, is it more stuff that will really make you happier?

I think we need a new word for "trying to be responsible with your money in an effort to live within your means." This shouldn't be a negative thing! I don't really want to be known as "frugal" or "cheap." How about something more descriptive, such as "mindful money user" or "crafty repurposer" or "freedom fighter" (since our efforts are helping us on our path to financial freedom).

I'm even o.k. with "frabulous."

What do you think are good alternatives to the words "frugal" and "cheap?"

*For more on why I think the advertisers and marketers have skewed our financial realities, check out What We Deserve.


  1. I've been calling myself a "selective shopper" in my head lately. I found a bunch of cool stuff at a Goodwill today and convinced myself to put it all back when I realized I didn't need it. I kind of like "frugalista" too.

  2. Conscious (or careful) consumer?

  3. Good ideas! Another one that I was reminded about on facebook was "thrifty." I like that one too.