Extreme Frugality: An American Co-culture Essay
I found that America’s frugal culture is roughly divided into two groups: the cohort of senior citizens who survived the Great Depression and their grandchildren, young Americans either just beginning their adult lives or still raising their families. The generation between these two, the Baby Boomers, are less likely to practice extreme frugality merely for the purpose of conserving financial resources, but those who do often fall into the green-and-frugal category. The Boomers I observed had a strong aversion to thrift because they associated it with their parents’ values and a certain “peasant mentality.” Frugal senior citizens are thrifty out of habit. They remember the bad old days when everything was tight and do not ever want to repeat the experience. The younger generation is thrifty by necessity. I found that most people in this age group have a financial goal – buying a house, paying off maxed out credit cards - or compelling reason like the desire to be a stay-at-home parent.
Folk Heroes, Proverbs, and Wisdom
Like all cultures, frugality has its heroes. Authors dominate this position probably because the written word is so easily disseminated. A historical giant in the community is Benjamin Franklin, publisher of Poor