Today, we’re meeting The Frugal Spinster, who, last week, encouraged a hesitant reader to submit a Meet a Reader interview.
And then the Frugal Spinster thought, “Hmm, maybe this means I should encourage my hesitant self to submit one as well!”
So, she did:
I waited a long time to volunteer for a Meet The Reader post. I tried blogging myself, but it was a sorry blog with only a handful of subscribers.
I began the blog because I was thinking there was a niche for frugal singles, but after a couple of years I didn’t have anything to write about.
So now I’m wondering if FG readers will want to hear about my life….
1. Tell us a little about yourself
I am a never married single. My FB name is Frugal Spinster.
I’m a retired cake decorator and baker and I live in the Pacific Northwest.
I enjoy bird watching; I lead field trips for The Audubon Society, Nature Walks at a neighborhood park, and teach children about birds at a summer camp.
I’m a dog lover. I don’t own any myself, but I walk 3 dogs daily.
With pandemic-induced retirement, I’ve started a garden and learned several new food preservation techniques (I learned canning and freezing from my mother but never put up things like soup, or meat.)
I also did some dried foods using my thrifted dehydrator.
I enjoy sewing and crafts; here’s a potholder I made:
Thrifting is a favorite pastime. I believe almost anything can be found second hand. It may take a long wait, but I have perfected delayed gratification.
I’m a “Trust Fund Baby Adult” thanks to a rich uncle who named me beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust.
2. How long have you been reading The Frugal Girl?
Since Kristen appeared on The 700 Club; I don’t remember how long ago that was.
(Kristen here: this was in 2010. So the Frugal Spinster has been here for 12 years!)
3. How did you get interested in saving money?
I live frugally by up-bringing, conviction, and necessity.
a) I came with frugality installed in my DNA. My parents were children of the great depression. Both of them knew how to use it up, wear it out, make it do, and do without.
b) I am very grateful that I was fortunate enough to be born in America, a country where our poorest would be considered rich by a great number of people around the world.
I choose to live simply so others can simply live. I get great delight from sharing with less fortunate both here and abroad.
My lack of consumerism eases the stress on our planet.
c) All my working years were spent in retail and food service jobs.
Neither are known for high salaries, so I had to stretch every dollar I made.
4. What’s the “why” behind your money-saving efforts?
See part b of the previous question.
5. What’s your best frugal win?
I’m not sure it’s my BEST but, joining my local Buy-Nothing group comes to mind immediately. It’s helped me declutter my home and at the same time fill the needs of neighbors.
I don’t often ask for things; however, one of my favorite pieces of art came from the group.
The giver is the manager of a large apartment complex in my neighborhood. They were redecorating the leasing office; all the furnishings (desk, chair, lamps, book case, etc.) were posted on Buy-Nothing.
I asked for and received a lovely picture to hang over my fireplace.
When I got the picture home, I noticed a gallery label on the back, and realized it was an original watercolor. The gallery price? $305.00!
That painting ended up inspiring the color palette when I remodeled my home in 2016.
6. What’s a dumb money mistake you’ve made?
As the old song goes, “What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget”. I’m sure there have been plenty of dumb money mistakes that I’m blocking from my memory.
One big one does come to mind. In 1984 went shopping for a used car, and a very skillful salesmen spotted a naive single woman. Before I knew what was happening, I was signing on the dotted line, committing myself to 60 months of car payments that I could barely afford.
To top it off the car was a lemon. One thing after another went wrong with it. Still, I drove it for 15 years.
7. What’s one thing you splurge on?
I bought a $2500.00 pair of binoculars. I still have a hard time believing I did that.
Probably 90% of my possessions are second hand. When my $300.00 binocular broke, the repairman said they weren’t fixable. Since much of my spare time is spent birding, I decided to go for the best available binoculars.
(Later another store was able to repair my broken pair for $50.00, so now I have a pair to share.)
8. What’s one thing you aren’t remotely tempted to splurge on?
1. Entertainment. I’m easily entertained. My favorite activities involve free or low cost outdoor activities. I also consider thrifting recreational.
2. Fashion/makeup hair products. I’m a plain Jane kind of girl.
9. If $1000 was dropped into your lap today, what would you do with it?
Give it to charity.
10. Share a frugal tip with other Frugal Girl readers.
Shop second hand & choose delayed gratification.
Sure, online orders can arrive the next day but almost anything you’re looking for can be found at a thrift store if you’re patient enough.
11. Is there anything unique about frugal living in your area?
There is an abundance of thrift stores in the area. Nationwide chains such as Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Deseret Industries, Value Village, and independent stores that support Sr. Centers, pet rescue, foster care, etc.
Every once in a while I take an entire day, drive a 50 mile loop and visit then all.
The Pacific Northwest is full of natural beauty. There are so many frugal ways to entertain yourself/family/friends in the great outdoors.
- Drive to the mountains or beach.
- Go for a walk in a park.
- Listen to the birds sing.
- Look for wildflowers.
- Discover mushrooms.
- Sit by a stream.
In the summer there are lots of free outdoor concerts and art shows (it doesn’t cost anything to look)
Frugal Spinster, thanks so much for being brave enough to join in and share about your life! I am so happy that I now know more about you. 🙂
I am curious about the trust fund you mentioned; how does that work? Did the trust fund help make it easier when the pandemic caused your job loss? I have realized that I always think of trust fund recipients as people who do not have to work, but I’m guessing that is an erroneous perception on my part!
Also: do you miss your cake-decorating job, or are you just enjoying all of your extra free time in retirement?
One more question and then I will stop: you mentioned you love birding, and I’m wondering: What’s your favorite bird?