One of the seemingly easiest (but secretly tricky) lifestyles to fit into is also one of the cheapest. You might think that those super skinny jean wearing, googly spectacled hipsters are all loaded. Sure, they’re the first ones in line for the latest $600 iPhone, and yeah, they aren’t afraid to drop a couple of hundred bucks on a pair of Wayfarers. But still, real hipsters are likely more frugal than you.
It’s all a part of the image–to not be mainstream, to shop local, and to be ahead of the curve by focusing on complex forms of entertainment. It all so happens to be a super-cheap way to live. Need more reasons to become a hipster? We’ve got seven.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: the mantra supporting everything eco-friendly. It’s not just about separating your plastics from your paper, and your cans from your glass bottles– it’s a movement, a cause. Hipsters are experts at living a minimalist lifestyle, making old things new again, and keeping waste out of landfills. If it can’t be composted or recycled, it’s unlikely even to be purchased in the first place.
They Ride Fixies
Many hipsters believe that all cars, even hybrids, are the worst thing to happen to the world. Cars are pollution-spewing earth-killers, so hipsters avoid them at all costs. Instead, they ride bicycles, preferably fixed-gear bikes, everywhere they go. To the market, to indie concerts in the park, to hipster hangouts at Starbucks.
They Reject Consumerism
Unless it’s an Apple product, hipsters don’t care about the coolest, newest, “it” thing. If it doesn’t support the environment, the local mom and pop, an obscure indie band, or the craft sellers down the road, it doesn’t matter.
They Buy Local
Oh, the processing, extra packaging, damage to the environment, blow to the local economy. Should I go on?
If it can’t be found growing in a field within a 20-mile radius, chances are, a hipster won’t buy it. Yes, it may seem like it’s more expensive to buy local, organic, free-range, cruelty-free food, but there’s a trade-off. Instead of dropping a few hundred dollars at a chain superstore, hipsters only spend cash at farmer’s markets on stuff they’ll consume shortly. If they can’t fit it in their bicycle basket or green bag, they don’t buy it.
They’re all Vegan
Maybe not all of them, but hipsters are often some form of vegan/vegetarian. Nix meat, eggs and dairy products from your grocery list and you’re likely to save loads. Make it your life’s purpose to avoid some other specific items like artificial sweeteners, soda, or other unhealthy foods, and you’ll fit into those skinny jeans just fine. Better yet, start growing your food.
They Have Hobbies
Not just any hobbies, but especially cheap craft-oriented hobbies. Wood carving, crocheting, writing poetry, painting birds (or owls) on things are all appropriate activities for hipsters.
They Thrift Shop
One of the most well-known characteristics of hipsters is that they thrift shop like it’s their job, or at least a favorite pastime. Nearly everything in a hipster’s wardrobe has come from a bin or rack at a fine establishment like Goodwill, Value Village, or the Salvation Army. The goal is to look like you don’t care about fashion, opting to wear ugly sweaters, vintage tees, and grandma-style floral prints to fit the image and tiny budget.
All hipsters aren’t the same, so feel free to excuse this blog post as satire. But it must be said that nowadays, frugal-living is in. Saving money on groceries, clothes, and transportation isn’t just for coupon clippers and people on fixed-budget incomes.
Spend your next Saturday as a hipster, visiting your local farmer’s market for fresh produce, a thrift store for a few steals, and take on a new hobby. Not only will you have a day full of budget-friendly fun, but you may also find yourself fitting in with the cool crowd.
Brenda Harjala is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney. She specializes in personal finance topics such as budgeting, debt settlement and money management. Brenda has a B.A. in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technical University.