Who is your exit buddy?

I am sure it has to do with the way I grew up, but I have always been a saver. I always looked for ways to save money even if it was just a little. I have always taken great pride in this and I have never been one to try to pass something for another. For example, I have no problem telling people that my son’s cute outfit was a hand-me down from his cousin, or that the designer bag I am carrying is a knock off I bought on the streets of New York. I always hoped people admired the way I saved money in getting those items instead of thinking of how “cheap” I was.
However, I have never been able to find someone who shared this same ideology with me. When I have shared some of my frugal ideas with my mother in law she’s made comments along the lines of “that’s funny.” Even though I usually follow this type of conversations with comments about how much we are able to save for retirement or our children’s college education. However, I have always felt that the measure of our success has always gotten lost in translation. The message never reaches the receiver because the receiver has gotten caught up in the way we haven’t spent the money.
Up until recently, the closest I have come to finding someone who shares this ideology with me is my friend E. She wants to learn about personal finance and saves money at her own rate. But she’s not at the same point on this journey as I am. It has been comforting to find a blogging community committed to the same interests that I hold. But I have always wanted to have someone in real life to share this with. As much as my husband likes to save money with me, our frugality levels are different.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to spend more time with my neighbor and through conversations I have come to realize that this may be the exit buddy I have been looking for. Here’s someone who has appreciated my sharing some of the deals I have gotten and has even asked me to please tell her more about the resources I have come to learn recently. Here’s someone who hasn’t looked at me with that look of “how cheap are you?” and “what’s the big deal about saving $0.50?” And telling by the way she has her coupons organized and how well she knew about the Tightwad Gazette, she may even be way ahead of me. She may even be a mentor to me. I am just glad to have finally found someone in real life that shares at the same level this particular interest with me. It makes the ride more fun.