Thursday, October 2, 2008

Being Frugal and Being Green Go Hand in Hand

One of my favorite daily web pages to go to and read up on what other personal finance bloggers are writing about is pfbuzz. The other day I read an article over there that just keeps going around and around in my head. I feel I need to comment on it. The article is called Cheapskate Make Over: Call Us 'Ecofriendly' on Smart Money. I actually liked the title on pfbuzz better - "We're Not Cheap, We're... uh... Green!"

I really encourage you to take a minute to go read the article. It is well written and there are tons of frugal tips in it. At the heart of it is something I have been thinking about a lot over the last couple of years - the fact that the same things that are helpful to our planet are also fiscally responsible. Both are a way of preventing waste and making the most out of what you have.

So, why is it so frowned upon? Why do people look down on treehuggers and frugal people alike? Why do I feel like a dork when I reuse aluminum foil?

One upon a time Americans were proud of their ability to "make do." They had pride in the ability to fix anything and use it until it was worn out - then take the parts and make something else out of it. We appreciated innovation and thriftiness. It wasn't about being a miser, it was about hard work and appreciating whatever you had. What happened to all that?

I can't help but wonder if the wheel will be turning and those attitudes will be returning. With more and more people being concerned about the environment and global warming, consumption and waste are starting to get a bad name. With the financial crisis happening, everyone is hurting. No one has the kind of disposable income we once had. Maybe it is time for national attitudes to change and the word "cheapskate" to become a compliment!

Photo of hosta leaves by: leezie5


craftlover said...

LOL, I wrote a speech about how I'm cheap but disguise it as being "environmentally friendly"
I really like your blog and wish you luck. I divorced earlier this year and my ex-husband was responsible for the home. he stopped paying the mortgage though and I don't know what to do now - I signed it over to him with a quit claim deed, he still lives there, and honestly I can't afford the home b/c he makes much more money than I! I enjoy following your story and it is good to know that I am not alone!

Budgets are Sexy said...

PF Buzz is pretty sweet. I like it too :) You can get soooo many great ideas (and reads) from it!

Dawn said...

Craftlover - oh, I am sorry. Man, I hate to hear that other people are in similar situations. If you signed it over to him with the quit claim deed, you shouldn't be responsible anymore, right? That's what a quit claim deed does. Check with your lawyer, but you should be ok.

BAS - I agree! I use it all the time.

Catie said...

I just looked up the etymology of "cheapskate". Yes, I am a geek. Cheap, from the Middle English chepe (and back to old English, ceap, meaning "trade"), means bargain. Skate, along the lines of chap or fellow. "Good chepe" meant a good deal. Therefore I think 'cheap' has been maligned and taken to the negative extreme! Let's take back the word.

Dawn said...

Catie - I love it! I'm going to be a cheapskate with pride. Goodness knows I love a good deal!