Are Indians Really Frugal?

Frugal living is an act of being intentional with one’s spending. Those who are frugal would not spend much money on themselves. Synonyms include thrifty, sparing, careful, prudent, economical.Frugal does not mean cheap. Both are merely confused most of the times. Frugality deals with assessment of one’s desire and prioritize on things to buy based on their utility. Whereas “cheap” means buying a low-priced item without thinking of the quality.

Acts of frugality include

  • Eating home cooked food most of the times, even beneficial or health (being frugal towards health expenses as well!!)
  • Growing own veggie at home (terrace gardening and kitchen garden from veggie left over)
  • Using public transport
  • Keeping a watch on utility bills
  • Not falling for “CONSUMERISM”
  • Keeping a track on monthly bank statements, (unsubscribe for the services are not being used)
  • Investing rather than spending
  • Capitalizing on Government schemes
  • Simple living standard
  • Repurposing
  • Avoiding credit card purchases

Are we Indians frugal? The answer is yes!! At least the older generation. Indians have been following most of the enlisted activities unknowingly. The concept of frugality is followed at the two extreme ends in India. The older generation, due to their struggle in life or the “poor economics”, value even single pie that they earned and spend it very resourcefully. On the other hand, the younger generation, does not have any idea about frugality. It is often confused with the word “cheap”. But given the present situation, the globe celebrates frugality of Indians.Though India’s economic condition has improved to a greater extent, still, its overall “per capital consumption is at the lowest as compared to other western countries. The concept of buying clothes only during big Indian festivals, repurposing the clothes has helped earth by not dumping the huge junks. As Indians are reluctant in spending on electronic gadgets, this reduces e-waste junk as well.

As known to all, Fossil fuels are a major contributor to global warming. The “per-capita fuel consumption” of India is way much lesser than other developed countries. Indians use more of public transports, clothes are mostly airdried. Dish washers are still a luxury which most of the Indian families are not willing to adapt.For generations, we have been taught to waste nothing and to create a value system.

Prof. Smithashree C R
Assistant Professor, DSCE-MBA


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