Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Shame of Being Frugal, part 2

In a post I wrote awhile ago, The Shame of Being Frugal, I talked about how I felt awkward walking from my house, instead of driving, to a restaurant wearing high heels and dress clothes to meet friends for cocktails. While I knew I was being smart by saving gas, getting exercise and enjoying the gorgeous evening, I felt like a dork parading down the sidewalk carrying a purse with a birthday present sticking out of it. I would have been a lot more comfortable in blue jeans and sneakers.

This morning driving into work I saw a young lady walking. She was wearing a pretty sun dress, a little cardigan, strappy sandals and carrying a purse. Though she had long hair, she reminded me a lot of Audry Hepburn. My first thought was how cute she looked; how nice it was to see someone dressed up.

Then with a thunderous clap the hammer of irony hit me.

I realized that I had been projecting my fears that I would look like a dork on other people, when in fact, the only one criticizing my fashion sense was me.

In my post I wrote about the shame people sometimes feel in being frugal, about how it seems "cooler" to be broke and going down fast than to be practical and stable. Now it occurs to me - how often do we do something because of what we think other people other people think of us - and how often are we wrong? It isn't them - it is us, our own fears. That's certainly what happened to me.

I'm to make an effort to listen to my own heart when it comes to saving money and personal finance. I'm going to try to not listen to my fears, whatever, they may be. I'll see them, recognize them, and then move on and do what I want to do anyway. The only thing fear can do is get in my way!

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