cheap or frugal?

I’ve never been fond of these descriptives. I’ve also never been fond of the images associated with these words and I certainly would not categorize myself as either cheap or frugal. Surprised? 

I prefer to think in terms of being conscious or being aware. In other words, thrifty. Thrifty is defined as – (of a person or their behavior) using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. That’s the key for me – not wastefully.  I’m neither cheap nor frugal – I’m thrifty.

I think the reason I struggle with the word ‘cheap’ is the fact that a lot ‘cheap’ stuff is just that ‘cheap’ – or of inferior quality and wasteful. Cheap isn’t always associated with quality or respect for our finite resources, actually, oftentimes, just the opposite…just look at how many ‘cheap’ plastic toys break just after one use?

The word, frugal is defined as – sparing or economical with regard to money or food. While being frugal is wonderful, it can come across as being a bit dull or limiting (not true I know, but some do fear this)…Now some may think this is silly – it’s simply a matter of semantics, right? Perhaps you are right, but for me, the word ‘thrifty’ is all about being aware of our money and our finite resources and I’m all about that.

I think if everyone was a bit more ‘thrifty’ (mindful), we’d all be a bit better off…it’s an advantageous lifestyle – not only for our own individual selves and others, but the planet as well.

 What do you think? Are you thrifty?

red floors white floors

White floors. I have them. Well, I have them now…I’ve always wanted to paint the floors in this house, white. From the very first moment I walked into the house (we rent) until the moment I (we) painted them. The house needed white floors. Actually, what it needed was anything but the dark red, dank floors it had…regretfully, we lived with those dark, dank floors for years before taking the leap into white – our landlord didn’t share our vision initially and after a few winters here, I said, that’s it – we’re painting them, what’s the worse scenario, we paint them back to red? Plus, they needed fresh paint. They were chipping and peeling and just a downright wrong surface for a baby to be crawling on. Of course we had rugs, but surrounding the rugs, was the red floor – ugghhh. Personally, I think we did the owners a favor. Once we started, there was no looking back. The only problem was the guest bedroom down stairs – it just never got painted. We did the main living areas, the stair case and the upstairs, but we never painted the guest room floor. Well, more accurately, we just couldn’t seem to find the time between adjusting to life with a new baby (he’s nearly 3 now), our business and living the life we live in Maine.  There was little time left for ‘redecorating’, to say the least. But that floor still needed to be painted.

The room needed it, the overall house needed it. The flow downstairs was interrupted by that red floor – it was time for it to be painted. I needed it to be done – and I’m so glad I finally did it. What a difference.

It’s incredible how simple changes in our surroundings effect our overall being. Granted, my house is far from perfect; perfect is weird anyway – how can anyone live in a perfect house? It’s the little changes that make a big difference – next project, that chair…

The paint cost $28

(I went for low cost paint since it is a rental) and now I have plenty left over to freshen up the other rooms too.

It took three nights, one hour each night of painting and now it’s done. My environment is very important to me – in particular, my home. I feel our quality of life is greatly affected by how we live in our home as well as how our home reflects who we are – the more your home reflects you, the more you can be you. So go ahead and make your home more yours (even if you rent). Paint the floors, rip up the carpet/linoleum (ok, this is a major project, I realize this) but if you hate your floor coverings (and can afford to) – do it.  Paint the walls – even just one room or one wall can shift how you feel in the space. Move furniture around within a room or exchange pieces between rooms – free ‘shopping’. Buy a low maintenance plant – amazing what a plant can bring to a space…or simply hang that picture you’ve been meaning to hang … do something to improve your overall being, through your surroundings – it doesn’t need to cost a fortune either, usually it’s the small stuff that makes the biggest difference. Even something as simple (and free) as organizing your junk drawer can make you feel good. Do it. Get organized, do that ‘thing’ you’ve been meaning to do – clean and clean out. You’ll feel better for it.

Curious to check out the rest of my house? See here.

Want some inspiration for more flooring ideas? See here.

What’s one simple change you’d like to see in your home?