When you do research to define stingy, the contradictions can be overwhelming. On the one hand, stingy meaning can describe a person who is reluctant to spend money, keeping it close at hand. So, yeah…guess we’re stingy in our cheap rv living lifestyle, right? But wait…it gets kinda ugly as you read on…ungenerous? ungiving? selfish? Now wait a minute, that is NOT us. So how does the frugal rver get through this sea of negativity, keeping self esteem intact?
Here are some of our thoughts about stinginess when cheap rving or living frugally in general, to help you sort it out:
You Have To Be Somewhat Stingy When Living Frugally In An RV
Living in an rv on a limited budget means you do need to be reluctant about spending your money. If you throw around cash every day without much thought, you are going to run into trouble. Sometimes (and maybe this is you) we equate being “liked” and “loved” with handing out cash instead of the things that really matter most. Buying expensive gifts we cannot afford, always picking up the tab when dining with friends, donating to so many causes we need a second job to pay for it all – if you cannot afford it, you need to stop doing it or the money is going to run out.
Ignore The Eye Rolls
Do you get embarrassed when you pull out a coupon at a restaurant or correct the checkout clerk at Walmart because a price rang up wrong? Stop doing that, starting today. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of. If that restaurant coupon saved you $5.00 on the bill, not using it is like taking a five dollar bill and throwing it in the trash. If you do this 3 or 4 times a day, for a dollar here or there (because it does happen often, guaranteed), that could equate to $10/day or $300/month in money thrown into the trash! Cheap rving is all about getting the most for your money, so don’t let public pressure force you into throwing away your cash.
Beware Of The Messenger And Critic With Credit Cards In Hand
One of the best parts about this frugal rv lifestyle is that, though we get criticized for “not having much” by those who just do not understand our unconventionality, if the economy completely disintegrated tomorrow, we’d be the wealthy ones. We’ve become quite self sufficient, need very little to survive, have no debt to others as well as cash on hand. Sometimes we feel pressured to go out for expensive dinners and feel stingy when we have to decline the invitation. However, you can count on those that are nudging us to overspend on these luxuries to pull out the credit card when the meal or event is through. Do you see the hypocrisy here? Living cash only, we choose to stick to our budget. Living on credit cards creates the illusion of having money, promotes complete overspending and leaves us looking like tightwad, penny-pinching, cheapskate, stingy….um…losers? Those who make you feel down because you are reluctant to toss away your cash haven’t been hit by the debt tsunami yet – we were, and we have no intention of ever getting ourselves back in that position. Brush off the dust and, if it helps, envision if they would be asking you to take on this activity or entertainment if all of their credit cards were gone today. In fact, a fun role reversal would be to say “ok, but only if we BOTH use cash…and no making a cash withdrawal from your credit card!” Suddenly, a fine dining experience at a Chinese buffet would be considered a “better idea.”
We Don’t Agree – Stingy Doesn’t Have To Mean Ungiving Or Ungenerous
If the only thing that defines us in this world is cash then, fine…call us stingy. But we believe we are more than just a checkbook balance or money in a wallet. We always lend a hand, try to help in any way we can, put thought into gifts instead of focusing only on price tags, donate excess to charity when spring cleaning…and, most importantly, we care about people. We just feel there are other ways to be generous besides relying solely on cash. It can be challenging because our society has negative stereotypes for those whose entire worlds don’t revolve around cash. Actually, we find it refreshing that we only think about it when paying our few bills each month or when budgeting before going to the store…otherwise, there are many other wonderful things to think about.
Anyway…if you gain anything from this rambling post, it is this: spending your money wisely, coupon clipping and living frugally does not make you cheap or stingy…it makes you SMART. Often those who criticize are chained to the debt obligations of their homes, car loans and credit cards. By how we measure wealth, the richest people on the planet are those who are free – free to live life on their own terms, free to travel around, free to spend more time with family than behind a desk and, lastly, free from obsessing and thinking about money every day, as if money were all that matters during our time on this planet.
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