Festival of Frugal Shopaholics at Home?

I totally mixed that metaphor.

Today, No Credit Needed is hosting the 92nd Festival of Frugality! This is the first festival/carnival of any kind I’ve participated in, so I was psyched.

I submitted my post on “shopping at home.”

Here’s a just few other great posts from the festival:

Growing Up writes about the cost of fear. Are you too scared to call companies and ask for a lower interest rate or a better plan? Until I started working, I was quite nervous about such things. Now, fortunately, it’s much easier for me. I do it often enough at work that it’s become routine.

A Penny Closer has some good thoughts on how to balance living frugally with those little luxuries which make our lives so much more enjoyable.

Fiveberries points out how we can save money (and the earth) by sleeping naked. I should post sometime about what Mr. Micah and I do about sleepwear and other clothes.

And so much other great stuff!

In other news, Bobbie lent me Confessions of a Shopaholic. In a way, it makes me wish that my debt were for something a little more fun. It’s entirely student loans and car. Ok, also $720 of credit card debt, but that wasn’t my card. Why couldn’t it be $114,000 of angora sweaters? Oh well. I’ll live vicariously through her. And her antics definitely keep me from wanting to shop. Kinsella does a good job of making it sound both fun and miserable. I love her writing!

I think a whole section of the book is essentially a study on attempted frugality. For example, our main character planning to save $120 (equiv) a week to pay off her debt. So she decides to be frugal. Some things that happen are just amusing, but others are quite serious issues. She adopts the mindset "My new frugal thing starts tomorrow, thus I should buy things today. And it's not really bad because I'm really going to be saving money." Then, once she starts, instead of objectively evaluating costs, she tries to run with what the author of her frugality book recommends. Make a curry? Easy for me because I already own curry spices, have some recipe books (get others at the library) and know how to find recipes online. For her? requires buying spices, pots, pans...costs lots more than takeout.

Is it really being frugal if it requires major expenditures? Or is it an investment, like my $7 lunchbox in which I've packed lunch every day? (ok, Mr. Micah did the packing, but it's a valid point.) In her case it's not, because she can't cook worth beans. The beans would be very burnt.