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3 Best Pieces of Media Depicting Frugal Lifestyle To Inspire You

Most media is all about excess. Characters drive flashy cars, live in expensive cities, wear the finest fashions, eat the best foods, and never run short of cash before payday. Sure, we know it's fiction

But a teeny-tiny part of our brains might tell us that we deserve to have all this great stuff, too. The reality is that most of us couldn't keep up a lifestyle like that without going into debt. Not a good look!

A reader on a popular online forum wondered, “What about media that highlights a frugal lifestyle?” 

Frugal Living

Other readers responded with their favorites. Keep calm and frugal on!


Based on the story of a single mom living below the poverty line in modern America. It became a Netflix miniseries in 2021 that did “a great job showing how every single cent matters,” one forum user says.

1. Maid (Book and Movie)

The 2017 nonfiction book focused on folks who took to the road, often because they were laid off or couldn't afford a home of their own.

2. Nomadland (Book and Movie)

A mom of six wrote a wildly popular 1990s newsletter that turned into a book. One forum user was delighted to learn they were not alone: “I learned my extreme frugality was a thing that real people engage in.” Indeed it is!

3. The Complete Tightwad Gazette

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