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Welcome! You're in the Frugal Zone to Save Money, Be Thrifty, Spend Wisely... and Have Some FunBy Vicki McClure Davidson
Frugal Café has opened and we're primed to join you to conquer/vanquish/annihilate/crush/fisticuff (just take your pick) some of the financial challenges we're all up against.
Challenges like feeding the family, paying the bills, shopping for Christmas, trimming the budget... the list is lengthy. Grab a steaming cup of coffee and get comfy... you're among friends at the Frugal Café.
Zowie, since this past summer, our economy has been insane and scary for just about everyone in America (except maybe Oprah and the CEO of the 99-Cent Only stores).
Just when you've got a wobbly handle on understanding our current US economic situation, a new discovery, a new crisis hits the Internet and the evening news. Your confidence is shattered... again. You're feeling queasy, beat up, overwhelmed.
With each ticking of the proverbial clock, your money and financial security are in increasing jeopardy. "Stocks are up, stocks are down, stocks are up, uh-oh, stocks are sliding down again, they're down 800, no, wait, they're going up again by 830"... when does the madness at least SLOW DOWN?
It's a frightening, gut-twisting feeling. You aren't alone on this, believe me.Our nation's financial roller-coaster is impacting your paycheck, your grocery bill, your children's education, your retirement fund, your health, your peace of mind, your dreams. You may have lost your job, or your home, or your investments, or know of someone else who has or is about to lose them. You want to trust this new president, this new government, this new direction for America, but you're uneasy. And you're fresh out of optimism.
Grab the World by the Tail
Defy these times. Defy giving in to fear. These worrisome financial times won't last forever (they never do). Things WILL get better.
You can take charge and re-prioritize. Take the world by the tail rather than letting it take you. Take charge of what you can control. Be a warrior, a warrior of frugality.
While the media continues to slather doom and gloom into reports each day like manure on a reseeded lawn, you can be the victor. Heck, if our grandparents could do it way back when there was a bona fide depression (which this isn't, at least not yet), and if our parents could, are we so timid, so flabby, so self-absorbed in things and appearances that we whimper and falter, not knowing what to do if we can't whip out a credit card or go on a shopping spree at the mall? Of course not!
Don't Give Up—Think, Plan, Laugh
Take a deep breath. Think about all the ways you can reduce. Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Start making a plan on how you're going to accomplish this. How you're going to become more frugal.
And laugh. Try to laugh a lot.
Laughter will help in keeping you from getting sick, from losing your perspective, from forgetting what in life is truly important. It's most important when the going gets tough. Basically, it boils down to "Laughter good, worry bad." Whatever it takes, try to see the glass half full, laugh when you really would rather cry.
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We're just getting started here at the newly opened Frugal Café. Tossing around ideas about inexpensive options on doing without or doing things more cheaply. Spending less. Stretching a dollar like you've never stretched it before.
Many people have embraced a frugal lifestyle for years. If you're one of them, kudos—you have much to teach others. For those who haven't been frugal, welcome—you have much to learn about thrift and living within your means, but no worries. Everyone is pretty much in the same rocky boat. So, let's roll up our sleeves and help each other out.
Café MentalityCafés of the past were gathering places where people could discuss, debate, and exchange ideas while sipping steaming cups of coffee. As this website grows, with an upcoming forum in the works, its mission is to be such a place of camaraderie.
Let's tap into people's successes on frugality, those who forged on while keeping their heads above the turbulent water. Give support and suggestions to those who are financially and emotionally struggling. So, settle in with a steaming cup of coffee or tea and enjoy your café. Sure, we may be facing a new age of thriftiness, but that doesn't have to mean living a life of mind-numbingly bland austerity, of forgoing nights out with friends, of feeling guilty for spending money on anything other than bare-bone necessities—good heavens, what kind of life is that? You just have to THINK SMARTER and TRIM DOWN on overall spending. It's indeed possible to save money, spend wisely, and still have fun.
Being frugal isn't a "bad thing," something to be adopted only during lean times. It's a revamped mindset and behavior.
It's about not being beaten down and giving in to self-loathing or feeling like a failure. It's about being strong and principled and refusing to be manipulated by outside sources, like advertisers or rich spendthrifts or high-end fashion mavens or journalists or politicians, to be senselessly overindulgent. It's taking pride in character, in gumption, in doing it yourself—the good old-fashioned DIY. It's high-fiving each other for those personal triumphs, no matter if they seem small.
It's about the joys of moderation.
At the Frugal Café, it's chic to be cheap.
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