According to the experts it is once again cool to be frugal. I’ve heard advertising types tossing around articles with titles like, “Frugal is the New Black.” My favorite recent article on the subject was from Randall at Credit Withdrawal where he writes, “It’s Hip To Be Spare” (take that Huey Lewis!). Yes, these are good times for those of who live frugal lives and were made fun of unmercifully when times were good. One has to wonder, will the frugal trend last?The last two decades lead me to believe no, frugality won’t be a lasting trend, at least among the masses. In fact, despite what the media tells us, I’m not even sure frugality is a trend now. The last time a new version the iPhone was released I passed a Best Buy store on the way to work and saw dozens of people camped outside the store at 7:00 in the morning–for a telephone (so it’s more than a phone, but come on!).
Last weekend my wife and I stumbled on an old $25 Olive Garden gift card we had received as a gift, and we enjoyed a nice evening out. We decided to go early to avoid the crowds, but even at 5:00pm there was a 45-minute wait! The wine was flowing freely from the tables around us, and when we left the restaurant the line waiting to eat was nearly twice as long.
All this to say that it does not seem like people are living very frugal, despite how good or bad their finances are. I imagine the level of frugality displayed varies by locations, so I wanted to get your take.
Based on what you’ve seen around your hometowns, is the frugal movement something that you believe will take hold and stick around? Or is it simply another fad that disappears as soon as the markets begin to rebound?