Frugality By Stealth

Hey folks

In the same spirit of anonymous charitable giving and being the anonymous benefactor, we too can gain deep satisfaction from being a stealth frugalista. Frugality by stealth may well be the most mature form of frugality.

In the same way that cashed-up-bogans can be utterly obnoxious when they squawk on ad nauseum about all their expensive purchases and possessions, so can the lean-mean-and-terrific tightwad when they ceaselessly preach about their free or super-cheap bargains.....ever admonishing all and sundry on others' errant spending habits like a pious pompous ass. Even worse is when said tightwad lives in a unkempt, dreary state of 'secondhandness' complete with a Scroogian scowl.

Fine dining for pennies.

The trick to living frugally is to do it by stealth - it is the most satisfying that way. Other people will wonder how we can afford this-that-and-the-other when we earn the same wage as them. We'll be smiling and it'll keep everyone so:

  •   How can THEY afford that new car? (...we saved up for five years for it and bought the current model at a repossession auction - that's how)
  •   Did you hear that THEY paid off their mortgage - how can that be? THEY are only on the same wage as us?! (....we lived well on 50% of our income and shovelled the rest into the mortgage and paid it off in 9 years - that's how)
  •   How come SHE has such nice stuff and we can only afford this stuff (...she buys quality secondhand furniture cheaply off gumtree and restores it herself and her house looks amazing - that's how)
  •   You should see HIS shed mate! He has every tool known to man - his folks must be loaded. (...nope, he saves up, buys the best quality he can afford, looks after things, repairs them when they break down. All those tools also save him sacks of money because he DIY's everything he can)
  •   They have one of the nicest houses on the street.  ( use not to be. We bought it as a fixer-upper and transformed it over a period of 10 years as we had saved the funds.  That's how)
  •   They always dress so smartly!  (....yep, we shop at secondhand shops and specifically look for good quality brands with little or no wear. Effective secondhand shopping takes patience, purpose and persistence)

Buying bulk and then diluting

Enjoy being an enigma....

  •   SHE doesn't have a credit card! (, "she" just has six months worth of expenses put away instead)
  •   HE pays cash for everything, have you noticed that?  (...yeah, funny that. This approach is also what has made him 10 x as monetarily wealthy as his friends)
  •   Have you noticed THEY get a new car every five years? (....yep and it is debt free every time as they have a share portfolio that they draw the dividends from only once every five years instead of  reinvesting the dividends like they normally do)
  •   I never realised before but apparently THEY have a small farm out west too - that's where they go to every second weekend and they also share it out to friends too. (....yes, those handful of acres where bought very cheaply and have been a source of extreme enjoyment for family and friends ever since by providing young families and teens with a cheap and fascinating holiday alternative to the debt-inducing coastal rentals)
  •   Someone just donated 100's of cans of food to our Christmas appeal - I'd love to know who it was! (...ha, you'll never find out that it was us. We donated generously from our stockpile all bought on special, which means we were able to give twice as much)

Buying on special and stockpiling

Wealth via frugality is best served incognito.

So, being frugal; if other people find out -  then it does not count. 

Think about it.

Having beautiful and memorable holidays on a budget.

Take care folks and stay enigmatically nice.



  1. yep, certainly agree here, a wonderful post as usual Mr HM!
    thanx for sharing

  2. But what about your blog and all the others - not incognito at all? :-)

    1. Well, I try to make it somewhat incognito as I blog under a pseudonym.

      I was sort of hoping that folk who read my blog (and others) actually want to do so and are not a captive audience per se.

      But yes Sue, that's a fair criticism I guess.

      Maybe I should have taken a different approach with this post and spoken about the fact that frugal people don't have to 'slum it' and be conspicuously 'tight'.

  3. I call it my sneaky smile, I always buy clothes at end of season sale, I love classic style and quality brands, so it does not matter if they are a few years old.Most of the house hold items cleaning ect is bulk purchased when they are on special, we loath to pay full price for anything.I does mean we don't set aside an amount each week or month for these things, but as we don't waste our cash needlessly shopping, we always have enough in our account when we require it. Strange way to plan but it does work out cheaper and it works for us.

  4. Hi Mr HM,
    Love it, you are so right, some people just don't "get it", I learnt the hard way by talking about my frugal lifestyle only to get shot down in flames, I now take the quiet approach and smile internally knowing I am at peace and have no debt. Thanks for another great post. Have a wonderful week. Fi

    1. Those flames will backfire on them one day me thinks Fi

    2. I think it's the good old aussie tall poppy syndrome. I remember an article by the multimillionaire Paul Squires (Melbourne penny pincher extraordinaire) a few years ago. The negative and nasty comments in response to his article were so uncalled for.


  5. Love the writings. Put a smile on my face.
    This rings true for a young man who visited and said his partner is influenced by a friend who mortgaged their 2 houses and living it up large and WHY can't she have the same stuff. Said to the young man that the couple spending up will be bankrupt in 2 years you wait and see!

    1. Uh oh - that sounds like a sure recipe for both financial and emotional shipwreck Karen.

  6. 'Cashed up bogans'. LOL! Love it!

  7. Wonderful post Thank you!! Since changing to a frugal lifestyle and doing the things you suggest our standard of living has gone way up. I have never had such high end clothes since I started buying second hand and no-one guesses Keep the posts coming -great approach to frugal living Shelley

    1. Thanks Shelley - it is a great feeling I agree.

  8. 👍very well put, enjoyed reading this post.


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