Can frugality be sexy? Not according to a recent survey, which asked for a word association for a hypothetical blind date described as frugal. “Sexy” got a measly 3.7% association, while 15% linked “boring” to frugal, and a whopping 27% chose “stingy.”

Now for the good news: Frugality may not be seen as sexy, but it is admired: 49% chose “smart” to associate with frugal. For what it is worth, 56% of men responded “smart” while just 42% of women did. The gender bias was similar with “stingy”: 33% of the women equated frugal with stingy, while only 20% of men did.

The dictionary definition of frugality is “prudence in avoiding waste, economical in use or expenditure.” Wikipedia gives a more expansive definition: “Frugality is the practice of acquiring goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourcefully using already owned economic goods and services to achieve a longer term goal.”

Frugality also can be a philosophy, a way of life. Embracing the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, and being a well informed consumer. Frugal living is a lifestyle practiced by those who aim to cut expenses, have more money, and get the most they possibly can from their money. (Source: Wikipedia)

Closing quotes:

“Because of deep love, one is courageous. Because of frugality, one is able to be generous.”  – Lao Tzu, author, Tao Te Ching, The Book of the Way; 600 BC-531 BC

“Industry is fortune’s right hand, and frugality its left.”  – John Ray, English naturalist/botanist; 1627-1705

“Without frugality few can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.”  – Samuel Johnson, English poet/writer; 1709-1784