An argument for frugality in the face of hard economic times

by Karen on October 12, 2008

I’ve been mulling over the article I read in Seattle’s paper last week that suggested frugality might be bad for the economy. So I’m fascinated by this essay from last week’s Time that insists the opposite: Real Patriots Don’t Spend.

The author asserts that America, like all great societies, was built on the idea of thrift. Also like most great societies, Americans have thrown the idea of frugality out the window for the modern consumer culture:

Somewhere along the way, THRIFT did not just stop being a value; it became a folly. Saving was for suckers; you’d miss the ride, die leaving money on the table when you could have lived it up. There are no pockets in a shroud, as the saying goes. We once saved about 15% of our income. By the roaring ’80s the rate was 4%; now we’re in negative numbers.

This idea is particularly poignant to me, as I find myself constantly explaining to astounded co-workers why my husband and I share a car, or why I’d rather eat leftovers during my lunch hour than go out to a restaurant.

Anyway, just thought I’d pass it along. Frugality might not be to blame for the recession. Whew. That’s a relief.

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