The Already-Frugal—Who's Looking Out for Us?

coin jar, moneyThe other day, after reading my millionth non-useful "How Frugal Can You Go?" article, I came upon my good friend Amy's post on the topic.

In Amy's post, she talks about the frustration of reading yet another "Living on Less" newspaper article that's obviously *not* written for her family or other working class families she knows.


Does the mainstream media even know how minimally the typical American family is already living? Are journalists once again out of touch with the everyday struggles and norms of real working families? Who's looking out for us? Who's going to give the middle and lower class families, the ones who really need it, some useful tips to saving more in these tough economic times? My guess is that these types of tips are probably not as glamorous to write about...

Amy has agreed to share her post with us here.

Random Thoughts While Reading the Paper

from Amy Anderson,

Nearly every morning, while reading my local newspaper, my thinking gets stuck a rut. This rut involves the current rash of "how to live with less" articles. Always eager to cut costs, I skim these, only to find that most of the advice is stuff I and most of my acquaintances have been doing for, well, our whole lives.

I feel pretty lucky most of the time; my kids have clothes and food, my husband and I have jobs, we all have health insurance, and we can even afford our dog, with his food and vet bills and replacement dog toys for the ones he's already destroyed. I don't focus on what we can't afford, at least not most of the time.

But when I read these articles, which seem to believe we're all eating out every night and, if we're eating at home, we're eating filet mignon, and maybe now we need to start using our frequent flier miles for our annual trips to Hawaii, now that times are hard, well, I feel invisible. Holy cow, I find myself thinking, who are these people with frequent flier miles they don't even use? Do they even exist? (And if they do, I'm totally willing to accept their donated miles.)

In other words, these tips for being frugal don't really help those of us who already live what is apparently to some a frugal life. For actual useful tips, I tend to go to blogs by parents, not newspapers. Does this ring true for others? I'm curious.

Thanks, Amy, for sharing and for asking this important question.

+++ Do you feel overlooked in the media's recent deluge of suggestions and tips for living with less? Tell us about it.

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