The other extreme happens as well. I've heard of dogs that have more toys and bigger bedrooms than my kids (or most people's kids for that matter). I remember the craze when Beanie Babies were new at McDonald's and people would buy the happy meals and throw them away to collect the toys. (Now, you can pick up these same Beanie Babies through Freecycle!).
Photo by scmtngirl
People that believe in frivolity poke fun at the "cheapskates". People that practice frugality shake their heads in disgust at the "spendthrifts". In today's economic times, "keeping up with the Jones' " could be interpreted differently if you have a lot of "green" neighbors. ("Oh, no! Did anyone see me buy that plastic wrap, use it once and
Photo by pixeljones
I will make my confessions. I have never used cloth diapers (although I think the diaper covers that are out now are so cute and almost wish I had!). I have made my own laundry soap, used it for a couple of months, and went back to store bought. I occasionally use convenience foods. I only recycle pop cans and only because my daughter collects them for extra spending money. (And, yes, they are from the pop that I buy!) When school is in session, I buy paper plates and napkins (and run out regularly).
I think the famed Proverbs 31 woman strikes a good balance between extreme frugality and frivolity. She works hard and is resourceful, yet her merchandise is good -- not cheap. She's careful how she spends her money, yet she isn't stingy--she willingly gives to the poor. She doesn't clothe her children in rags. In fact, though she makes all of their clothes, they are sewn with rich and beautiful materials. She even dresses herself in expensive clothing. Her husband has a good job (it would seem), yet she doesn't loaf around and attend multiple dinner parties. She works hard to stretch his income as far as it will go and adds to it herself.
As always, a discussion of this woman can drive us to despair that we will never be like her or it can inspire us to pick one aspect of her character and improve ourselves in that area. Let us strive to strike that elusive balance between the extremes of frugality and frivolity!