Sunday, April 6, 2008

Frugal equals fun

In a culture that places a lot of value on the acquisition of "stuff" and the cost of that stuff, being thrifty tends to make one stand out a bit. I consider myself very thrifty, and I am quite proud to be so. It is one of the values that I very much want to model to my boys; I think that they have really absorbed this way of living and they often make remarks that show me that they understand the benefits of thrift.

We get almost everything second-hand, for me this is a way to be able to enjoy material things without feeling that we are using up ever more resources. I generally like to get things for no more than 10% of what they would cost new; that isn't a hard and fast rule but it is a general guideline that I use. Quite often my boys have asked me why anyone would pay full price for anything when they can wait and find it at the thrift store for around one-tenth of new, so I know that this lesson is sinking in. I love that they think this way. They are always quite tickled when they find bags of Lego for 50 cents; brand-new Heelys for $1; working light sabres for $2 (I wasn't as thrilled about these); Harry Potter hard-covers for $1 and so on.

The boys have been bugging us for a few years now to get a trampoline. We have put them off, waiting until E was a bit older. The bugging has ramped up just lately and so I told them that if they could find a good quality second-hand one for a reasonable price, that we would talk about it. They immediately started checking the classifieds. W found one but by the time we phoned it had sold. A few days ago they were looking again and showed me one that they had found. I recognized the name of the seller as someone my husband knew from Cub scouts, we knew that it would be a good one and well looked after. My husband phoned and we ended up with a Sundance trampoline for $75. The boys have spent the last few days bouncing, they have been heading out first thing in the morning. I'd say that we've already got our $75 out of it. :-)
My point is that, for my boys, being thrifty is not a chore; it is not about deprivation, it is about making good choices. For us, being thrifty means that we are able to do things, and get things, that we otherwise might not be able to. For my boys, frugal = fun!!!


Samantha said...

What fun!
After seeing L once again enjoying hours of play on a trampoline, I have decided to get him one as well. I have in my mind exactly what I am looking for and I am visualizing it in hopes that it will help me find it! I've put it out there in the universe (and to my mom) so hopefully this summer we will have one. Plus, it will free me up in the garden as he keeps himself occupied ;-)

Heather said...

Yes, they are really enjoying it. L will have to come bounce with them. Trampolines seem to be one of those things, like pianos, that you can always find some second-hand and barely used. Try looking on Castanet.

Anonymous said...

Trampolines are great, wish I'd had one all my life. Exercise doesn't get more fun than bouncing. The Sundance website explains why they are good for the lymphatic system. What a great buy, way to go W!

this is my patch said...

For me being frugal is by no means being mean, I would just rather save that bit of extra money to put towards something else. Why pay more for something when you don't need to. I get a lot of pleasure from bargain buys, as much as your kids are getting on that trampoline. x