From Financial Integrity
FAQ - Spending/frugality
What do you do about the holidays?
Again, the answers are as varied as those who choose to follow the program. Those with children usually observe the holidays in some form, because they find it enjoyable and worth it. The vast majority of us spend less than average on gifts. Many others forgo gifts entirely and simply spend the time with friends and relatives. Holidays are about community and people, not spending and things, and that’s where we focus our efforts.
How do you do this in the city?
We live in smaller spaces, we share spaces, and we don’t rent in the most expensive parts of town. We take advantage of the plethora of free and cheap things to do in a city – discount museum days, free concerts, lots of people to get together with, and just being able to enjoy people watching.
Do you grow your own food? Do you sew your own clothes?
Some of us do. There are many ways to live cheaply. Some may grow food, others purchase their food in bulk. Many have found it’s cheaper to buy clothes in thrift stores than sew their own.
How do you get around? How do you live without a car?
Some of us do own cars (probably near the same number as non-FIers). Those of us who don't get around the same way people who can’t afford a car do: we walk, we ride bikes, we take the bus. We may rent cars for weekend trips or belong to a car-sharing program.
How do you keep housing expenses down?
Often by living in smaller spaces. Another way is to live in a less expensive area or share a larger dwelling. Some of us even live on boats or in RVs, having gained the freedom to travel by not needing a job to provide income anymore.