Case and point: I’ve been using the free version of a program to write screenplays for the last three years. I love the program. It has many great features including formats for play and novel writing. Plus, from the screenplay standpoint, functions to help with plotting, research, production, scheduling and storyboarding.
Yet, it was only last Friday that I decided to commit $14.99 to get the full version. ($14.99! Whoa Nellie!!) There are comparable programs out there that run in the $400 and up range.
Mind you, this momentous decision was finally arrived at after two years of going back and forth of whether I should or not. And this is for a tool… nay, an essential requirement for the work I do. That’s how much of a frugal bastard I am.
Unlike my parents generation, I did not live through the depression. Though I will admit that I have weathered through some pretty slim times… but that is part and parcel of the career path I chose to follow.
And I’ll repeat… this is for a tool I use for my work.
It amazes me how many who live with a similar budget that I do will willy nilly buy stuff they will barely use… then bitch about “not having anything.” The spree is usually spurred on by the insidious grip of, “This is the latest and the greatest and everyone has one and I’ll be left out and unhip if I don’t have it” factor.
Look, I’m not against rewarding oneself. I like nice things too and on occasion I will indulge myself. But there is a vast difference between having something because I want it and being a slave to social trends.
I guess my chronic case of “tight wad-tis” comes from the realization that one never really has as much money as one would like to think one has. In my experience, even plans for frolic and frivolity from a more than substantial payday will be dwindled by the need to take care of the unexpected circumstance that crops up. This of course does not apply to those with more money than sand in the Sahara.
Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps, the combination of living through (more than) enough slim times coupled with a somewhat practical nature dictates that I should always sock some away for a rainy day. I am not opposed to quality but I also take pride in getting the best results from the “mid-shelf” tool.
This is especially so in the realm of technology where “top-shelf” never ever means the end all be all… because something better or the new and improved is always going to crop up. Heck, whatever new toy you get is pretty much obsolete the moment you shell out the shekels for it.
It’s not about making do either. When it comes down to it, a tool is just that… a tool. It is only as good as the skill and talent behind it that serves the project. At best it is a convenience. One that requires time and effort to master which in turn is employed to create quality.
Yes, I am frugal. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again. I make no bones about it.
Though, I will say by having less (by choice), I believe, has pushed me to be more creative in both my life and work… and that leaves little room for boredom.