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A couple of weeks ago, I set up poll asking what drives people’s frugality.

Part of the reason I asked is because a lot of frugal living blogs/personal finance sites are really focused around paying off debt. People detail their debts and progress in paying them off in their signatures on every comment/forum post – most of them are well in five figures and one person I saw talked about having US$1million of debt (!!). But that’s not why I’m frugal – and it’s not why a lot of people I know are frugal – so I wondered what it else it could be.

As of this morning, most people who voted were pro-actively frugal – just over 20% of people said they were either frugal to live within their means or to avoid getting into more debt, and just under 9% in order to save for something, mostly something in particular. Only 3.5% of people were doing it to pay off existing debt.

Adding to the proactively frugal number, over 26% are frugal as a side effect of living a simple/green life or for other political/philosophical reasons (such as anti-consumerism or stuff minimalisation), and another 12% said they were frugal so they didn’t have to work/earn as much.

Over 10% said they actively enjoy being frugal – mostly that they have to be creative and learn new skills to live on a tight budget. And another 12% said they’d always been frugal and couldn’t imagine living any other way.

I realise that the results are not necessarily representative of the population at large, even the frugal population at large, just a selection of the people who read this blog and took the time to vote, but I find it interesting all the same. We hear so much about debt – not just when on the personal finance sites I mentioned above but in the media – that it’s good to hear that not everyone is rampantly spending with free abandon.

Thanks to everyone who voted!

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2 Comments on Why are you frugal? Poll update

  1. jan says:

    Hi Louisa
    I often buy things reduced because of sell by date tyranny. There’s a website where you can buy such items in bulk, Foodbargains.co.uk -based in Leeds area, so free delivery if you are local to them. cat food looks like a current deal. haven’t persuaded hubby to try the site yet as bulk buys take up room and we don’t have any, but worth a look!

    • louisa says:

      Ooh, that’s really interesting Jan, thanks.

      I looked into buying from that sort of site a few years ago but the postage costs were prohibitive – local collection makes it much more viable… :)

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