Last year I wrote a post for my friends, The Frugalwoods, called Frugal Friends and Where to Find Them. Today’s post is the sequel.
A couple months ago, a new neighbor came over to chat. He had noticed that Mrs. 1500 and I were out of town and asked us where we’d been. I told him that we were at a financial blogging conference (FinCon). I explained that we write articles about money and that one of our interests is teaching young people about personal finance. I couldn’t stop myself and went down the rabbit hole. Eventually, I mentioned something about compound interest. It was at that time that I noticed my neighbor’s eyes glazing over. I stopped talking and he quickly steered the conversation to his Harley Davidson.
While Mr. Frugalwoods and I enjoy/attempt to survive our very first month as parents to our daughter, Babywoods, I have a delightful slate of guest posts from my friends lined up for your reading pleasure. Today, please welcome the fabulous Mr. 1500 from 1500 Days To Freedom!
By: Mr. 1500
Are We Outcasts?
I’ve always felt like an outcast. I can get along well enough with my neighbors, but sometimes it’s difficult to find common ground. I don’t keep up with sports, zombie TV shows, or celebrity gossip. I perform my own car maintenance and fix my own stuff when it breaks. I try to use my bike for transportation when the distance is reasonable. Many of the things that I enjoy talking about–including personal finance, energy trends, technology, books, travel and science–are lost on others. However, everything was different for one weekend this past September at the FinCon conference.
At FinCon, I spent time with the Frugalwoods, the Mad Fientist, Jim Collins, J$ and many other like-minded people. We chatted about topics as diverse as alternative energy, real estate investing, and the meaning of happiness. At one party, there was even a heated discussion about investing. None of these conversations would ever happen in my normal circle of friends. It was wonderful. I was with my clan, surrounded by people that my introverted self felt at ease with almost immediately.
Why Frugal Friends Are The Best
Recently, I was thinking back to that weekend and reflecting on the qualities that I so enjoyed in the folks at the conference. Today, I’m here to tell you why Frugal Friends are some of my favorite people in the world.
- We are real: Everyone knows fake people who hide behind a veneer of possessions like cars and designer clothes. It can be difficult to get to know the real person underneath all of that stuff. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting the Frugalwoods or Jim Collins in person, I’ll bet that they are exactly what you expect. I’ll also bet you’ll feel instantly at ease with them.
- Solid families: Frugal people know that spending time with friends and family is priority number one. Frugal people cherish their relationships. A frugal friend is a loyal friend who will help you out in a pinch and doesn’t keep score.
- We’re happy: Frugal people are good with money and therefore, don’t worry about it. For many, money is one of the most stressful things in life and frugal people don’t have this worry. Some frugal folks like Jeremy and Winnie from Go Curry Cracker! spend their time traveling. Many of us are living our dreams. We’re a happy bunch.
- Hopeless optimists: You can’t plan to retire at 40 and not be optimistic about the state of the world. It’s much more fun to spend time with a group of folks who believe the best days are ahead instead of behind.
- Critical thinkers and smart: My frugal friends are some of the brightest people I know. Many of them are engineers or work with technology. If I need advice on something like solar panels, travel hacking, or a computer issue, I can usually count on a frugal friend to have the answer.
- We’re a fun bunch: You may think we’re all nerds, sitting around talking about compound interest, budgets and hypermiling. And you’d be right! However, we know how to have fun too. At the conference, I never stayed up past 1am, but plenty of other folks carried on well into the night. We know how to have a good time.
If I had it my way, all of us frugal folks would live in Frugaltown. The Frugalwoods homestead would be right down the road and we’d all be neighbors.
During summer weekends, there’d be bike rides and hikes in the morning. Our children would play all day. We’d sit around a backyard fire in the evening.
In the winter, we’d snowshoe and sled. We’d have homemade pizza and movie nights at each other’s homes. We’d play Ticket to Ride and other board games.
We’d share ideas, We’d help each other build and grow. Over cold homebrewed beer, we’d discuss ideas and dreams. No one would care about designer clothes, fancy purses, or new cars.
Of course, there is no Frugaltown, but I can dream, can’t I?
And if we can’t have Frugaltown, perhaps we could still have Frugalwoodstock*?
*This is a figment of my wild imagination. Frugalwoodstock is not a thing. Yet…
Mr. 1500 writes about financial independence, practices frugality and dreams about plastic dinosaurs over at 1500days.com. When not writing, he can be found spending time with his family in the mountains of Colorado.