On My Unnecessary Spending Guilt

Flea MarketI’m getting my kitchen remodeled as a 50th birthday gift, but I feel guilty.

I coupon; I make my own dishwashing detergent; I made my kids start an iTouch fund—and then I blog about all my economizing.

So now I feel like a frugal fraud, because here I am advising others on how to save a buck—while I’m ordering expensive Silestone countertops.

It doesn’t help that most of my friends, family, and readers are penny-pinchers, too.

When people see my kitchen, they say, “It’s not that bad”—implying that I have some kind of closet weakness for luxury because I want to replace the peeling paint, the warped cabinets, the not-fully-working stove.

My friend Anne-Marie let me know over a discounted Groupon dinner that she understands that I must be strapped for cash because I have to pay for this expensive project.

I think she was trying to make me feel better. But do I have to be broke to be frugal? Does being careful with cash mean that I can’t spend it from time to time?

When my husband turned 50, we bought a boat! A used boat, but still. It was a big-ticket item, and it was exactly the sort of thing we like to spend money on—not trendy gadgets and clothes, but things that make our lives more enjoyable.

I’m working on this fraudulent feeling because I’m still frugal at heart and proud of it. Even tightwads need to renovate—and I’m willing to clip a few more coupons to pay the price.

Pinch pennies. Do your frugal values ever conflict with your needs?

Marilyn Zelinsky-Syarto is a writer, author, and frugal lifestyle expert who blogs at Two Frugal Fairfielders.

photo source: LolasRoom's shop on etsy