Mastering the Art of Frugality: A Path to Financial Freedom — An AI Written Blog Post!

by Katy on July 5, 2023 · 44 comments

I was sitting on the couch just now and wondered what a Chat GPT AI written blog post would look like. So I created an account and gave it the prompt “Write a frugality blog post,” and it immediately spit this out. I’m freaking out and I totally get why writers, artists and other creative people feel threatened. Also, why is it so good?

P.S. The above image is from me writing “Blogger in Portland, Oregon” into an AI image generator. Nailed it!

So here it is, a well written but dystopian bland blog post.

In a world driven by consumerism and materialism, adopting a frugal lifestyle can provide a refreshing perspective on personal finance. Frugality is not about deprivation or penny-pinching; it’s a conscious choice to prioritize value, mindful spending, and long-term financial well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the art of frugality and how it can lead to financial freedom, helping you achieve your goals and live a more fulfilling life.

  1. Embracing Mindful Spending: Frugality starts with developing a mindful approach to spending. Instead of impulsive purchases driven by advertising and societal pressure, take the time to evaluate the value and necessity of each expense. By asking yourself whether an item or experience aligns with your values and goals, you can make informed decisions and allocate your resources accordingly.

  2. Budgeting as a Tool for Empowerment: Creating and sticking to a budget is a cornerstone of frugal living. It allows you to gain control over your finances, track your expenses, and identify areas where you can cut back or optimize. By setting financial goals and allocating funds strategically, you can make progress towards your aspirations while still enjoying the present.

  3. Living Below Your Means: Frugality involves living below your means, spending less than you earn, and avoiding unnecessary debt. It doesn’t mean sacrificing your quality of life but rather finding creative ways to maximize your resources. Look for ways to reduce expenses, such as cooking at home, using public transportation, or exploring affordable entertainment options. These small adjustments can add up to significant savings over time.

  4. Embracing Minimalism: Frugality often goes hand in hand with minimalism, a mindset that values experiences and relationships over material possessions. By decluttering your life and focusing on what truly brings you joy, you can avoid the trap of consumerism and find contentment in simplicity. Consider selling or donating items you no longer need and make deliberate, thoughtful purchases that align with your values.

  5. Investing in Your Future: One of the key benefits of frugality is the ability to allocate resources towards long-term goals and financial security. By saving and investing wisely, you can build an emergency fund, plan for retirement, and create a safety net for yourself and your family. Frugality empowers you to prioritize your future self and make choices that will pay dividends in the long run.

Frugality is not about deprivation or sacrificing happiness. It is a mindset that empowers you to make deliberate choices, align your spending with your values, and build a solid financial foundation. By embracing frugality, you can gain control over your finances, reduce stress, and work towards financial freedom. Remember, it’s not about how much you earn; it’s about how you manage and allocate your resources to create a life of abundance and fulfillment.

Katy “Robot Writer” Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

mary in maryland July 5, 2023 at 2:42 pm

Much wordier and less fun that the ones you write.


Katy July 5, 2023 at 2:46 pm

It’s blandy-bland-bland and there’s no Yiddish. However, it’s on point.


Vickey August 14, 2023 at 6:29 am

While I’m in solidarity with Mandy’s discomfort, I *am* curious to know what you’d get if you asked it for “frugality blog post with Yiddish touches”.


Katy August 14, 2023 at 8:06 am

I was worried it would come out anti-semetic, but here goes:

Title: “Frugal Living with Bubbe’s Wisdom: A Meshuggeneh Guide to Saving Money”

Shalom, my friends! Welcome to this unique frugality blog, where we’ll blend the age-old wisdom of our beloved bubbes with modern savvy to help you stretch your gelt and live a more financially mindful life. From the shtetl to the city, our Yiddish-infused journey into frugality will show you how to kibitz with your budget and make every cent count.

Bubbe’s Budgeting Borscht:
In Yiddish, we say “A barg is a barg!” Bubbe’s budgeting borscht is a hearty concoction of practicality and resourcefulness. Start with a heaping spoonful of budget planning and mix in some tzimmes-style tracking of your expenses. By knowing where your money is going, you’ll avoid shelling out too much tuchus.

Schlep No More: Creative Transportation Tips:
Our bubbes were the queens of getting from point A to B with flair and resourcefulness. Apply their schlep-savvy techniques by walking or taking public transportation instead of splurging on fancy meshugahtaxis. Trust me, saving on fares will leave you with more bagels for the shmear.

Nosh on Savings: Frugal Foodie Feats:
Bubbe’s kitchen was a treasure trove of culinary genius. Take a page from her recipe book and cook up a storm. Batch cooking, repurposing leftovers, and buying in bulk will have you saving like a true maven of mazel. And don’t forget to pack your mishpucha’s favorite snacks for a frugal flight, just like bubbe used to do.

Bubbe’s Thrift Store Tchotchkes:
The thrift store is a playground of potential, just like bubbe’s attic. Embrace your inner bubbe and hunt for hidden treasures among the tchotchkes. You never know, you might find a mensch-worthy bargain that’ll make your heart kvell.

Mensch Moves for Energy Efficiency:
Our wise bubbes knew how to conserve energy, and not just in their dance moves. Make bubbe proud by turning off lights, unplugging gadgets, and using energy-efficient bulbs. You’ll shave off some schmaltz from your electric bill and help Mother Earth, too.

Savings Seder: Passover-Style Shopping:
Every day can be a Passover of savings. Just as our ancestors wandered the desert with only what they needed, shop with intention and avoid impulse buys. By skipping the extras and focusing on essentials, you’ll part the Red Sea of overspending.

So, my fellow penny-pinchers, there you have it – a frugality blog with a generous sprinkle of Yiddish flavor. By embracing our bubbes’ timeless wisdom, you can navigate the modern world with a knack for saving, a dash of humor, and a heart full of schmaltz. Remember, when it comes to frugality, our bubbes would say, “A klugt iz mir” – a smart one is worth a lot. So go forth, save wisely, and may your wallet always be full like a tumbler of bubbling chicken soup! L’chaim to a meshuggeneh and money-savvy life!


Katy August 14, 2023 at 8:08 am

“Heart full of schmaltz” sounds like a medical emergency and “shelling out too much tuchus” is messed up.

Mand01 July 5, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Please stop encouraging the AI. Every time I read a test post like this, we move a step closer to the singularity.


Allyson in Sacramento July 5, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Good info, but totally devoid of personality!


MB in MN July 5, 2023 at 3:12 pm

I appreciate seeing the example. I fervently wish AI would go away as it is extremely scary and upsetting. I’m just incredulous that we (the tech companies) are bringing this upon ourselves as I believe it is one more nail in the coffin of humanity.


Ashley Bananas July 5, 2023 at 3:29 pm

You would think with all the things we could get machines and artificial intelligence to do, we would find mundane things for them to do so that with time freed up we could spend more time and embrace the arts and creativity instead of losing it.


Monica July 5, 2023 at 3:44 pm



Marie-Josée July 5, 2023 at 4:05 pm

Well, I’m impressed. ChatGPT really summarized foundational concepts elegantly. I guess I can safely assume, that at this point, the bot isn’t sentient and can’t bring personal experience and true feelings to the narrative. Contrary to you who infuses your blog with snippets of your life, sharing your experiences, feelings and your wit.

Have you collected enough vegetable oil to fill up the learjet and take it for a spin?


Kristin July 5, 2023 at 4:11 pm

Such a cool idea to do this. I’m amazed at what AI can do. Not even close to being as entertaining as you, but I was still amused.


Plaidkaren July 5, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Well the picture is spot on ….. NOT!! While factual, the heart is missing, along with the yiddish!! You can not be reply ed Katy


Plaidkaren July 5, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Replaced not reply ed!!


Jen in Santa Cruz July 5, 2023 at 4:51 pm

Ok, that is way better than I expected it to be. Mostly general knowledge, but flowed and made good points.

The photo of you looks JUST like you! How did the Bot know?

My mind is a little blown, to be honest. I thought you were joking with us and it would be a poorly written mess. Wow. Add a few anecdotes and your work is done!


Katy July 5, 2023 at 4:58 pm

I deliberately left it as is. Was tempted to bold face the titles, but felt I would be sleeping with the enemy.


Jen in Santa Cruz July 5, 2023 at 6:32 pm

The more in think about the Ai, it was just a boring word salad. Nothing new or memorable. I would much rather read a real human blogpost from you, with a Day of Adventures or good or weird Goodwill finds…or a tea towel salad dressing or a good curb find. AI will be sufficient for some things, bet never better than the real thing.


Katy July 5, 2023 at 9:12 pm
Lindsey July 5, 2023 at 5:34 pm

If AI figures out how to have babies, there will be no need for us. Maybe because I am old, but I feel like we are letting the profit making corporations take control of this technology. What could possibly go wrong, she asks, after reading a recent article on what social media has done for the mental health of teens. Thanks for giving this a try, but no thanks. Like everyone else so far, I am more interested in your authentic voice.


t July 5, 2023 at 5:48 pm

We were just messing with this app. The best was when we had it come up with a sitcom about our asthmatic fluffy scaredy cat. It was hilarious. I just feel sorry for teachers. Otherwise it’s kinda amazing.


t July 6, 2023 at 5:21 am

We also had it write a cover letter for a tech job resume in the style of Mark Twain and that was interesting if wordy. When asked to do the same in the style of George Carlin it politely declined.


Selena July 6, 2023 at 3:19 pm

My gut tells me it can’t do Carlin.


Lesley July 5, 2023 at 5:58 pm

Meh, I have been seeing those same points, written almost the same way, in “listicles” far and wide for at least 20 years now. The thing with AI is it can’t come up with, for example, something like “The cabinet I picked up at a yard sale had so many spiders in it that we had to throw it away, so I guess it wasn’t such a bargain after all.” But you could, Katy. Anyone scared of AI, please google the phrase “stochastic parrot” to find articles about how AI isn’t anything close to actual intelligence. It might be able to write better instructions than the average instruction writer (“Please do not remove the gaskets from your vinyl flooring”) but that’s about as far as it goes.


Katy July 5, 2023 at 9:13 pm

That would have to be a lot of spiders for me to give up on it.


Selena July 5, 2023 at 6:30 pm

UGH is all I can say. Sounds like a boring lecture/required homework reading. They’ve managed to program some empathy (aka emotion) into software. I found it quite sad that the AI for people “asking/telling” about medical issues was more empathetic than most doctors.
Obviously the programmer(s) who contributed to the frugal “genre” have no life experiences on which to draw.


Marc July 5, 2023 at 7:49 pm

Ya they hit it right factually but not interesting or personal, written like a finance writer not a person who lives it everyday


Katy July 5, 2023 at 9:11 pm

Robot save money, robot suggest tips.


Coral Clarke July 5, 2023 at 8:26 pm

All the things I love , and look for, on this site are missing!The wit and humour, the highly developed sense of the ridiculous, that we find in Katy’s posts are missing, as are the examples of the non consumer life in action. It’s the difference between a Michelin meal and a protein bar! I know I speak for all of us when I say Katy is irreplaceable!!


Ecoteri July 5, 2023 at 11:28 pm

I read a site called LessWrong (google it). WARNING – it could take you down a very deep rabbit hole dug by very smart humans. However, those very smart humans have been worrying about AI for some time, and since I discovered LessWrong a while ago, I, too, have been worried. And I only understood about 1/8th of what they were worried about!
Anyway, since I can’t stop AI I am going to choose to not worry, choose to hope that the Real Katy will stand up again, choose to spend more time in the garden and with my real human friends…. and occasionally be amused when someone shares their experiments with this astonishing technology. Who knows where it is going to go? I grew up pre-personal-computers – and I am adapting…


Cindy in the South July 6, 2023 at 4:32 am

I want to hear about human experiences. While AL may be factually correct, it is only interesting for a generic take.


Dmarie July 6, 2023 at 4:32 am

*yawn* but oh, my! I’d be curious to read & compare the two if you were to edit that text into your own post. Wonder if AI will be used by the many who find it easier to edit than to start from scratch? …a jumping off point? As for the image…uh… 😀


Jan July 6, 2023 at 5:29 am

Ugh, that entry was as boring as a technical manual. I don’t think writers are going to be replaced any time soon, especially you, Katy!


Ava July 6, 2023 at 5:57 am

A real person could summarize each paragraph with one sentence and still get the point across. It is like a school paper padded out because a certain number of words were required. Readers want real life examples, hideous Goodwill finds, exciting free piles, days of adventure stories. Even sock mending is more exciting than that. Bleh.


Katy July 6, 2023 at 7:36 am

Sock mending is exciting!


MW July 6, 2023 at 6:01 am

Well, it certainly isn’t going to put you out of a (side) job. . . Yikes!


Ruby July 6, 2023 at 6:02 am

The bot will not be enthused about glorious free piles on the curbs, tickled pink over weird Goodwill donations, or showing us wizardry with random fridge contents, all with great humor and the occasional garnish of Yiddish. I think your job is safe, Katy.


Heidi Louise July 6, 2023 at 6:59 am

This example compiles the existing components of frugality. It doesn’t add to them.
It ignores the personality that makes readers loyal to the author. It is arranging content, not creating it. It provides superficial or often repeated examples (“cook at home” “use public transportation”) because it cannot think up unique examples that provide depth or spark innovation. The criteria it uses, one presumes, is repetition of what is most often repeated on popular sources.
It has no sense that frugality might be hard or might be easy, that some people might struggle and need encouragement, provides no welcoming into living frugally or opening for comments, and it certainly wouldn’t know how to celebrate a frugal victory, whether large or small. Its vision of life-fulfillment and abundance is generic and predictable, not really a vision.
Thank you for this experiment, Katie! This article can only be an overview, not a real blog post. You are writing the real ones.
(and waiting to hear from A-Marie, former professional editor, if she wishes to join in).


Peg July 6, 2023 at 7:18 am

I read and enjoy your posts as much for the entertainment as the practical advice. I’m not sure AI can do entertainment.


Marion July 6, 2023 at 8:21 am

When it comes to AI all I can think about is HAL in 2001 A Space Oddessy. And we’re all Dave.


Cathy July 6, 2023 at 8:57 am

Wordy, boring, repetitive and pretty basic information. I much prefer KI – Katy Intelligence! LOL!


Adrienne July 6, 2023 at 12:14 pm

I fell asleep.


Marilyn July 6, 2023 at 2:45 pm

Just not inspiring!


Wendy July 7, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Good post… theory. But, this is all stuff I know. I need help in how to put this advice into practice, which you provide (and AI will hopefully never be able to do).


Tracy July 9, 2023 at 1:54 am

You have nothing to worry about Katie! Boring and not funny
But I have never used Chat Gpt, so was interesting to see AI in action-


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