I didn't really consciously think about it until today, but there can be a lot of pride in being frugal. It struck me today when we were at my grandparents' place and they were talking about how they never buy new clothes and will always wait for one of their kids (e.g. my Dad) to bring back old clothes that their kids (e.g. me) grew out of.
After keying in on that, I could hear over and over how proud they were at being so frugal. But I imagine, that their frugality really came out of necessity rather than a desire. It was a principle adopted into their lives based off a need rather than want. Or maybe it wasn't them, but their parents. But somewhere down the line, I am 100% certain that frugality was essential to survival.
But now it has become a badge of pride that they wear, my Dad wears, and I see myself adorning on occasion as well. Now that I think about it, though, it makes sense. It's never fun to be the victim of circumstance (i.e. frugality due to necessity). So turn it into a game, or something you pride yourself in, and it becomes now a factor of your life that you control.
It's a great coping mechanism. But also I do honestly think it's a great principle to have (but that may just be generations of Zhao frugality in my blood talking). I think being frugal is great. It discourages waste, and we all know the world could use a lot more of that. As I addressed in a previous post, being frugal is absolutely wonderful as long as it doesn't impose too much upon your happiness. And if you were raised frugal, most likely it will not.
So sitting there listening to my grandparents go on and on about how they never have to spend any money really made me appreciate the origin of my frugality. Because somewhere down the line someone in my family really had to be frugal just to survive, I now have this great principle that will keep me from spending beyond my means and being a resource-waster. And I'm proud of it.