Whether you call it thrifty, prudent, penny-wise or cheap, the habits of being frugal are essential to being a successful bootstrapper. Here in Maine the frugal Yankee culture goes back centuries, and this mindset aligns with other regional cultures as well.
First, being frugal is about avoiding waste. Everything gets used, and reused, and reused again!
Second, it is about spending lots of time and focus on buying at the lowest price or for the best value (which is not always the lowest upfront price) – Sam’s Club coffee brewed in the office instead of a trip to Starbucks.
Third, it is about spending cash cautiously, carefully, which means many things are not purchased after evaluation, or are purchased in the smallest possible quantities – low heat in your office, bag lunches instead of restaurants.
Fourth, it is about saving as much cash as possible instead of spending.
The toughest thing about being frugal is that sometimes it is the wrong way to ultimately make the most money – famously being “penny-wise, pound foolish.” Sometimes it is necessary to take a risk in spending more in order to make more.