DH = Dear husband
My reflections upon “badassity”
This past July, I wrote a post about Mr. Money Mustache and his subculture of “badassity”, trying to figure out if it was for me. If you’re not familiar with the use of the term in this context, “badassity” refers to extreme frugality motivated by a stick-it-to-the-man resolve to disengage from the norms of consumerism and waste. It features the maintenance of an intentionally humble lifestyle, even with increasing income, and of hand-over-fist investing. It results in remarkably early financial freedom (age 30 for MMM and his wife) and all the power to develop talents, pursue passions, work for causes, and enjoy leisure that comes with it. In my post I concluded that, much as I respect MMM and admire the tenets of badassity, I choose to adopt a modified version of it.
Laurie from The Frugal Farmer
“Ok, LOVE this!!!!!!” commented Laurie from The Frugal Farmer, “We live the same way, and I think we should figure out our own name for it.”
“How about Fruclassity,” I suggested, ” for frugal yet classy?”
Over a month later, I was surprised to find an e-mail message from Laurie. “I’ve been thinking seriously about the term you coined: fruclassity … How would you like to work together and take that term and run with it?” she asked. Wow! Just like that, I was teamed up with an award-winning blogger with an extensive reach, who inspires so many people with her stories of striving against financial hardship, her transparency about her own vulnerabilities, and her radical vision of homesteading and financial self-sufficiency. She’s a combination of friendly, tough, warm, fiercely honest, encouraging, and funny. And I know I’m very fortunate.
“The 10 Commandments of Fruclassity”: #4
Together, we started by working on “The 10 Commandments of Fruclassity” to give definition to this concept. Laurie will share the whole list in a post at The Frugal Farmer at the beginning of November, but I’ll give a sneak peak of #4 today: “Prepare a budget for value-based spending. As you manage your money towards debt-freedom and/or financial freedom, spend wisely. Differentiate between “wants” and “needs”. Which “wants” can you eliminate? How can you save on some of your “needs”? What does value-based spending look like for you? REMEMBER, nobody else needs to approve of your spending …”
Value-based spending & our anniversary
DH and I celebrated our anniversary last week-end. As the time approached, we wondered what we would do. Would we stay home for the week-end, as we had the last two years? Ask our daughters to make arrangements to stay overnight at their friends’ places, and treat ourselves to restaurant meals for supper and brunch? Or would we go away to the resort where we’d spent the two anniversaries before our journey out of debt began? Complete with massages, hot tub, pool, tennis courts, supper, and breakfast? DH was leaning towards the resort idea. “We didn’t really have a vacation this summer,” he said. “We need to get away.” I was reluctant. I liked the idea of a get-away, but that resort stay would cost about $800.
Spending money to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays is not a need. “We celebrate our relationship every day,” say some people who choose not to spend in marking their anniversaries. That might be true for them, but it’s not true for us. Most days, the demands of work, family, and household make it difficult for us to spend much time together. We don’t “celebrate our relationship every day.” So we make an effort to do so on our anniversary. And we spend money on it. For us, it’s value-based spending.
After weeks of a cold, rainy September, the forecast was suddenly very encouraging. Several days in a row of sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. “We should go camping,” DH said. Great idea! A get-away, but at about 5% the cost of the resort. We had only rarely camped in September – and never at the end of the month. We fancied ourselves rather badass. There was plenty of toughing it out – hoisting the canoe off the van and carrying it down to the water; setting up the tent; cooking over a Coleman stove; preparing a fire for the cool of the evening. And there was a lot of wholesome going on – we star-gazed on the beach at night; tossed a frisbee in the sunshine; swam in cold water; and paddled in the stunning light of a late September afternoon, taking in the surreal beauty of early-autumn leaves reflected perfectly in the glass-calm lake.
DH paddles while I read
Putting the “class” in fruclassity
If you’re an outdoorsy type, you know that food tastes SO good when you’re camping. Hot dogs and canned beans are mouth-watering. A fried egg is exquisite. Now just imagine how filet mignon and fresh salmon taste. DH and I did not skimp on our food for the week-end. We went all out. We prepared our respective filets with mushrooms and onions sautéed in butter. We packed a baguette, Parisian potatoes, ready-made salad. We brought along wine glasses for a toast of sparkling wine. For breakfast, the apple crêpes you see in the photo below. It was LOVELY!
Apple crêpes, complete with raspberries, ham, and maple syrup. Our anniversary camping week-end: Fruclassity in action.
“Well, that’s how you got into debt in the first place!’ you might say. No, it’s not. This was thought-out and planned, with eyes wide-open. Paid for with money we had in hand. And with no restaurant dining – just great food bought at a store – it even turned out to be less expensive than our at-home anniversary last year. This was value-based spending. It was the “class” in fruclassity. And it was worth it.
How do you navigate frugality and value-based spending? What does value-based spending look like for you?
Comments are welcome!