Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What the Frugality Game Taught Me


Being the cheesy writer at heart that I am, during the frugality Game I kept thinking of an equally cheesy blog post I could write about to tell my followers how simply saving money changed my life in more ways than one. However, I kept telling myself that would be entirely too cheesy and I reckoned no one would care. That is, until someone commented saying that I would be surprised how this game would help in all areas of my life. Why, by George, I thought, that’s exactly what I was thinking! So here is your extremely cheesy blog post, and you can thank Joy for it.

1.       The Frugality Game helped me in being less self-centred:
The thing about being a shopaholic is that if you’re not careful, you can become very self- centred. While I did not become quite as self-centred as I have seen others become, I did become self- centred enough to start to dislike this trait that was emerging in my character. I had noticed that in all my conversations I would talk endlessly about this great blouse I found on sale, how it fit me so well, what hair style I would wear with it.  Or I would go on endlessly about this great lipstick I bought, and how it contrasted so well with my dark skin and hair. Every conversation seemed to revolve around my purchases and how I was (supposedly) benefitting from them.
And the thing was that while I would sometimes buy stuff for family members or friends, most of what I bought was for myself. Therefore, not only was I senselessly spending money on stuff I didn’t need, but I was also senselessly focussing way too much on myself. Now the shopaholic era is over I have found myself becoming more interested in other people’s affairs and less on myself and my expenditures.

2.       I have more money.

     Now I have emerged from the pit that is shopaholicism, I have noticed that my pocket is a bit heavier that it used to be. In fact, I have found myself with enough money to be able to extend my Christmas gift list to accommodate more people. Last year my gift list was shorter than it had ever been. And I can’t even blame it on the economy; it was just selfishness. Last Christmas I bought gold hoops (for myself), lingerie (for myself), wine bottles (for myself) and dresses (for myself). I think my gift list was about five people long, and consisted mostly of my own immediate family and like two friends. Fast forward a year and the ol’ gift list has doubled in length and includes more friends. In fact, I have been so preoccupied with buying other people stuff, that I haven’t gotten time to buy myself anything. However, I think I spent enough on myself last year anyway. (Insert embarrassed face here.)

3.       I have more time
Two years ago, at one of the peaks of my shopaholicism era, I stood on Oxford Street in London and prepared to spend an entire day shopping. And I did. Six hours later I finally boarded a bus, and left Central London, exhausted. There is a reason why some people think shopping should become a sport. It’s hard work! If you want to do it properly, you have to put in the time. That means carefully reading the tags to ascertain what quality the garment is, going from store to store to see if you find something like it for a better price, fighting through crowds in Primark and fighting over shoes at a Barney’s sale. It’s not easy, and more importantly it takes forever. I mean I could have made better use of my time studying, or reading a good book...or, oh I don’t know, actually interacting with people and making friends. Now I don’t shop so much anymore, I have found that the Saturday afternoons that I usually spend in the mall after work are now spent going straight home and interacting with my sisters or just reading a good classic.

4.       4. I don’t feel like such a slave to commercialism.

Are you wowed by every new Maybelline commercial? Did you actually buy into the idea that your Maybelline Stiletto mascara was inferior to the new Maybelline Stilletto Voluptuous? Well, if you did and ran out to buy the voluptuous one because you thought it would be oh so different to the normal Stilletto, at least take comfort in the fact that the Misnomer was as stupid er, rash, as you were. It turns out that they are not that different to each other...except the voluptuous one clumps...
Anyway, now when those new Maybelline/ L’Oreal / Revlon commercials come on my TV I remind myself that a lot of what I am seeing has been re-touched/ photoshopped/ enhanced. And just because Aishwarya Rai (who is already stunning) looks great in a L'Oreal ad, it doesn't mean I have to run out and buy the shampoo.  I am no longer so wowed by TV advertisements to spend money on stuff that I don’t really need. Now I feel less like a slave to commercialism, and more like a strong, confident woman, above the wiles of commercialistic traps.

I have noticed that my shopaholicism indulged certain traits outlined above, and all jokes and old-fashioned humour aside, I’m really glad I got over this period in my life. 'Cuz like any addiction it was not healthy, and to be honest it was starting to take over my life. I was turning into the sort of person that I can’t stand – selfish, self- obsessed and empty headed – and I didn’t like it very much. I mean, there is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping sometimes, cuz everyone wants to look fly. But if you are actually incapable of going into a mall and not buying something (even if you don’t see something you like) or if you actually fall into depression when you hear you somehow missed an awesome sale, then it is time to change. Try the Frugality Game, if you need to! It worked for me! :)


  1. All of the above is certainly true. But I think having a little fun and variety in your life isn't a bad thing!

  2. Those are very important life lessons learned from your experience. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  3. @FB I agree that having some variety in life isn't bad, and I think to appreciate the light sometimes we have to go through the dark. So though I'm glad I'm not a shopaholic anymore, I can see that the experience has helped me to appreciate the sensibility in saving money today.
    So I suppose there's a positive in everything.

  4. A very mature and honest appraisal of your frugal gaming experience. I think we all go through this phase at one time or another. The important thing is to learn from it and be a better person because of it.

  5. i was once a shopaholic. my problem is now i dont want to spend money buying gifts either. i like to look at it in the bank. and an occaisonal trip to H&M lol

  6. Can't forget the value of #2! Haha.

    So awesome!

    I complete agree with finding freedom from commercialism. Very relevant. I really enjoyed this post. You are in no way a cheesy writer. you are a downright amazing one!

    Best wishes,


  7. hah that's all so true!! Nice post :)

    hope you have a great newyear!!



  8. love it, so perfect


  9. i think i'm a mix of both, i like to shop and save.

    i generally shop with my family & friends, so i try to make it more of a social experience rather than just me & my credit card lol

  10. i definitely agree with number 1. much or little, being a shopaholic does change you. been there, done that. and number 2 is so true. very encouraging too.

    btw, i'm giving away a beautiful dress. in case you wanna check it out, here's the link:
    http://fashiongeekscloset.blogspot.com/2010/12/first-giveaway.html :)


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