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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Can You Get Rich With Burritos?

Even though I read lots of blogs dealing with (supposedly) frivolous topics, I am at heart a frugal girl. Married--thank heavens--to a frugal guy. And the parent of--even more thank heavens--two frugal offspring.

As a frugal girl, I crave contact with other frugal types. Sadly, with the exception of my colleague Merton, I have no one to discuss such topics as "What is the best stock-up deal at Piggly Wiggly this week?" Yes, even though I am a teacher of literature and love to show my students how certain words reverberate through Hamlet, I find such discussions compelling.

Needless to say, the blogosphere was a godsend to frugal girl in search of frugal friends. Sadly, most of the frugality blogs seemed to devolve into "Make more money blogs" stuffed with ads for payday loans. Then I discovered Mr Money Mustache. Get it?

A lot of people must be in search of frugal friends, because his posts get 100 comments! He's a guy who saved 3/4 of his engineer's salary for about 10 years and retired. Not to sit around, but to do other stuff. And yes, he has a family. While I don't aspire to early retirement (in fact, MR FS and I are at the age OF retirement), I believe in frugality as a general principle. So I've been blissing out reading through his posts. Ahhhhhhhhh.

One of his themes is "Get rich with." Get rich with the library. Get rich with your bicycle. These are not new ideas. Even the great Amy D of Tightwad fame admitted there was nothing new under the frugal sun. But how much more compelling to say "Get rich with" rather than "Save money with."

I have some new frugal apprentices this year: Miss Em's friends Mr C and his roommate C. They are Americorps volunteers. Mr FS and I send Miss Em off with 100 frozen homemade bean and cheese burritos each semester. We learned last year that Mr C was eating a lot of them.

Guess what? Mr C is a very smart fellow, having achieved knockout scores on his SATs and--we hope--on the MCAT. He learned how to make burritos himself. Then C started eating them. Now they make burritos together.

Can you get rich with burritos? They cost around 30 cents a piece. If you eat two or three for dinner a few times a week instead of the usual more costly options, well...you do the math. I may ask Mr C to work it out: he majored in Economics.










7 comments:

Lisa said...

Frugality is something I have been learning over the past several years. Its still something that I struggle with, but have gotten on board with shopping for my clothing and some other items at Goodwill and thrift. I have found that to be fun and productive and my wardrobe is more beautiful than when I shopped retail, because I am more discriminating when I thrift. I still struggle with temptations like buying fashion magazines and fast food. It is a process for me (my parents never address the issue of frugality) but a process that I am actually enjoying. I just need to work harder at it!

Patience_Crabstick said...

I just looked around at Mr. Money Mustache, and he's great. Thanks for the recommendation.

Shelley said...

Thanks for the new blog recommendation, I'm sure I'll enjoy reading there. Sadly, I don't 'get it'; I often don't. I think perhaps I think too literally. I remember Amy D's (must remember this instead of always going to look up how to spell her last name) editorial about people - usually men - encouraging her to move on to things like investing to make money. She declined to do this, saying she didn't have the expertise (and she didn't trust the stock market anyhow). She pointed out that by following her frual food shopping tips a household could save on the order of $300-400 a month and there probably weren't that many sure bets for those sort of returns in the stock market. I think I might tire of eating even delicious bean and cheese burritos night after night; then again, if you're hungry you eat what's in front of you I find. In any case, it would seem that if one has income and doesn't spend that income, it eventually stacks up... pretty simple, eh?

Duchesse said...

What is 'getting rich' to you, Frugal? Is it financial independence (income generated from investments, not your labour)? Is it $x in the bank?

The relentless use of the phrase "get rich" really bugs me- and maybe I should adjust my attitude as I am likely missing out on some interesting writing.

By some measures I am rich (mostly if you look at what people live on per day in some countries) and by others definitely not!

Revanche said...

It's a funny thing that if I'm not the cook, I can happily eat the same food night after night if I liked it in the first place (usually rice and chicken, plain; dumplings, basic Asian style; greens soup and rice; plain pasta). And if I'm cooking for just me, same. But if I'm cooking for more than just me, I can't bear doing the same food over and over, I feel pressure to do creative meals or I get bored cooking the same dishes.

To answer Duchesse's question, my idea of rich is multifold: money in the bank, investments generating income in some way that doesn't rely solely on my labor and my and PiC's jobs (having lived through the horror of my parents losing everything when they lost their jobs and health, their parents having to live through a war), the ability to create an enriched life that has more than just money in it of course, but a stable financial foundation that has more than just two legs. My health is highly unstable so I am certainly overcompensating early so I can consider having a family.

listiani nganjuk said...
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Jane W. said...

I checked him out, and while the content is good and resonates with me, the tone is pretty hard for me to take. Too bad.