I read a statement awhile ago that really bothered me. To paraphrase, what it said was that "everyone knows that tightwads are miserable, unhappy people".
I found the remark to be extremely offensive. It is just another way our society gives us messages that are destructive to our families and our personal finances.
Why should it be wrong to be conservative with your money? Is it more desirable to spend on credit than to save money? Why does our society applaud the two garage, two income, two vehicle (preferably SUVs), heavily mortgaged, and consumer indebted family? What is so admirable about that?
What is the number one cause of divorce? It is money. What does divorce lead to? Poverty! What forces kids in daycare when it is not wanted? What takes away choice? Many times, it is those SUVs and consumer debt.
I have never heard of a single case of bankruptcy blamed on being a tightwad! I've never even heard of a divorce caused by someone being too tight with money, although I am sure there are some extreme cases. The worst thing most people can say about a tightwad is that they don't buy everything desired by those around them, including themselves.
How sad that our society does not value those who try to curb spending. I think we all know that we usually find the money for that which we really want. There is nothing wrong with that.
You just can't have everything. If you try, you become a slave to debt, and that is what leads to problems. That is when you have to make serious changes in your life to try and turn it around, and breaking habits is not easy.
I applaud anyone who is able to turn their lives around after experiencing debt and its consequences. It's not easy.
There are many people trying their hardest to change their lifestyles, trying to get out of debt, or trying to keep out of debt and save money.
In our society, it's like pushing a train up a hill. What an effort it takes. Some are at the bottom of the hill just beginning. Others are reaching the top, soon to reach level ground where they will have a much easier time keeping the train on the track and going in the right direction.
I think the problem with the author of the negative statement about tightwads is that he or she does not know what true happiness is. Perhaps I should feel pity, nothing else. He can keep his "treasures," and I'll keep mine. My Tightwad Treasures?
Freedom of Choice, Freedom from Debt, and the freedom to be a Happy Tightwad! Who can put a price tag on that?
Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at www.frugalhappyfamilies.com - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! Article first published at www.allthingsfrugal.com
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