Recently, on the ides of March to be precise, The Washington Post printed a fascinating Op-Ed piece entitled: “I’m Not Buying Recession Chic.” Then today, another riffle shot in the dissing of the good Recessionista name rang out via the NPR Talk of the Nation show via a segment entitled “Frugal Chic’ Shouldn’t Be For Everyone.“
Naturally, the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I listened to the bashing of the good Recessionista moniker via this esteemed US radio program. Normally, I stand unflappable on matters of who is a fashionista and who is a recessionista and who is frugal and who is not. After all, these are individual choices. I have made a choice to go Recessionista here on my humble blog and share my opinions. However, I do find it humorous when a leading newspaper takes the time to discuss it. I enjoyed Kelly Marages’ piece immensely. She’s a very good writer. There’s nothing more stimulating than a good lead in about using Tupperware. However, I was surprised by her characterization of Recessionistas. She writes, “Enter the “recessionista.” Whereas a year ago this person may have attended the gala du jour in a brand new designer frock, she’s now wearing one recycled from the back of her closet” in her piece, ” I’m Not Buying Recession Chic.“
So, I must respectfully dispute this definition of Recessionistas. I was never one to go to the in a new designer frock. However, I was one who cheerfully paid retail and ate out at restaurants on a regular basis. I didn’t do this because I was a spendthrift. I made these choices because I was busy working a demanding full-time job with very long hours. I didn’t want to take the time to cook, or hunt around for the best deals or stand in line to get a better price. My whole philosphy was I am tired from working so I want to do what is easy for me when shopping. How many professionals can relate to that choice? If you’re tired from a 12 to 14 hour work day, it’s so much easier to breeze into Nordstroms, get your goods, and get out in about five minutes. And forget clipping coupons, I was too busy to do any of that. I traveled about 50,000 frequent flyer miles a year for business.
But the times they are a changin’ in this pesky old recession. I decided to go Recessionista because I want to do a little more saving. By looking for better prices on items I commonly buy, whether it’s fashion, wine or a great dinner, I am indeed able to save a bit more. So before you give me a heaping serving of “hater tots” for this ephipany, hear me out.
There’s a new set of consumers now thinking of going frugal, and I say “don’t hate, congratulate.” It doesn’t matter how people come to being frugal. What matters is that we give them some tools and pointers to practice smart saving, that don’t leave them feeling deprived in tough economic times. My goal is to make it easy for people to find coupon codes and bargains via the magic of the Internet. The idea is to encourage people to put back INTO the economy, but to be smart about their spending. This is the purpose of my blog, The Recessionista.
After all, if everyone stops buying everything, there will be no economic stimulus. Think about it, this economy needs the Recessionistas as surely as the desert need the rains. Frugal Chic is indeed for everyone. Bring it Recessionistas!