Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who are the Jones?

Being an avid personal finance blog reader, I feel like a member of the PF blogging community. Frugality is emphasized by many blogs and one area that I find to be extremely important.

On the other hand, I am a college educated twenty-something married gal. My husband works for a nonprofit, but I work in the well paying financial services industry. To make things worse, I work in consulting where consumption seems to be even more prevalent.

Another group I identify with are my college friends. Many of my friends from college are still getting started with their careers, often due to the desire to pursue even more education. Other good friends have chosen less lucrative careers such as teaching.

I don't feel like I quite fit in with my co-workers since I'm not used to their consumptive lifestyle. When they invite me to get a coffee with them (and oftentimes I know that they'll pay since it can be expensed), I pass up the offer - mostly due to health reasons. I don't dress as well as I should since i don't want to invest in the wardrobe. I try to make sure I don't wear the same shirt/sweater more than once a week. :)

My frugality is very simple compared to others who blog. Yes, I buy compact flourescent light bulbs (CFLs), but part of that is because I've gotten them really cheaply at Costco (last time I got 8 bulbs equal to 60 watts for $3). However many of the more time consuming acts of frugality are beyond my patience.

Between these two extremes, I can't even determine who I should be trying to keep up with.

I probably fit in best with my old college friends, whom I spend the least amount of time with. They don't seem to be too concerned with consumption, but they don't go to the extremes to be frugal.


Anonymous said...

I'm a consultant too, and I like to think I'm a frugal one, but there's definitely a high level of spending necessary to keep up the professional appearances that consulting firms and clients expect. My solution has been to milk the job for every single perk it offers. Corporate credit card? Sign up for the points program and earn gift cards to stores that sell work clothes - that way your job is paying for its own wardrobe. Business travel? Eat at the nicest restaurant in town, then eat canned soup or something cheap when you get home. Vacation time? Put those frequent flier miles and hotel points to work. Unlike money they don't earn interest, and they're not going to do much good just sitting in your account.

Lazy Man and Money said...

Perhaps you can find a compromise like shopping for clothes at They have some higher end labels that I'm sure would impress, but are often close outs so you can get a decent price.

I say that everything is about balance.