Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What is the Opposite of Frugal?

Reading all the media on the New Frugality, I am bemused. The presumption is that the opposite of frugal is luxurious. I disagree with that premise. For me, and many others, the opposite of frugal is wasteful. Why be wasteful, no matter what the economy looks like? Especially given environmental issues and overconsumption of resources.
I also disagree with another common idea - that the opposite of frugal is generous. I maintain that one can be frugal AND generous - in fact, frugality empowers generosity. Being sensibly frugal allows one to allot resources wisely - and generously. And makes splurging for an occasional luxury possible. Frugality is not about deprivation. It's about judgment.


danielle said...

totally agree, it is about judgment, on both sides. to say that frugality and generosity are opposed, it's as if to say that frugality = being cheap. if i can save money and cut corners to save up for a great wedding gift for my best friend, i don't think that's being cheap. i think it's being smart!

Betsy Teutsch said...

Right on, Danielle. But let's think of a more positive description of "cutting corners" - to a lot of people that sounds negative. How about, "consuming more efficiently"?