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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

But that’s not frugal!

Today was our first day back at school after break. It’s a lot of fun to chat with students and colleagues in between interesting tasks and dreary paperwork. Since it was on the cold side today (cold for this area, I hasten to add, not compared to the upper midwest), I wore boots. Since it’s too early in the semester for much intellectual content or conversation, some students admired my boots. After saying thank you, I said “Oh, wait till I wear my Uggs. I wrote some blog posts about trying to get Uggs on sale.”

To which the students exclaimed, “But Dr. F, Uggs aren’t frugal.”

This scenario was repeated several times through the day. So let me take this as a “teachable moment.” My students equate frugality with not spending money. No. No. No. Frugality has to do with getting good value for your resources (money, time, stuff) in accordance with your values.

So, just to be totally transparent here, I will admit that in addition to my Uggs ($78.00 plus a ridiculous shipping charge), I bought a neat pair of black boots (from Garnet Hill, on sale for $49.00) and a memory foam mattress pad (around $100.00 from Costco).

I think these purchases are totally frugal and the boots, in fact, constitute ALL my clothing purchases this year, except for a jacket my mother bought me at Forever 21 and a few items from thrift stores. And when I say “this year,” I mean my school fiscal year, which started mid-August.

Besides, my birthday is January 20, Inauguration Day, so Happy Birthday to me.

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