Editor’s Note: This was originally a guest post over at Simple Sapien. Jack’s site is still operational and here is the original link, but I just couldn’t resist reposting it back over here at Insight Writer. Jack has not posted anything in over a year so I hope he doesn’t mind. 😉
Ah! Peanut Butter and Jelly. Some people like it. Some people don’t. Others absolutely positively love it. It is the same way with frugality. Some love it, some hate it.
Being frugal has good and bad connotations. Some people see it as being miserly, some see it as being wise. Most don’t think about it at all. I would say that if you want to live a simple life then it is something to think about, and implement in your daily life.
What does it mean to be frugal anyway? Being frugal means…
Saving 10% of your income
Having a budget for your household
Eating at home more often
Limiting the amount you spend on credit cards
Limiting your time spent driving
Limiting the cost of your utilities by using less energy and water
Shopping at thrift stores and garage sales
Learning how to do things yourself
Partaking in more free forms of entertainment
If you caught on you would realize that these are simply ways to be frugal, not what frugality ultimately means. When it comes down to it, being frugal is all about a philosophy and a way of thinking. If I had to define frugality down to its very essence I would say it is about doing more with less.
There are many ways to do more with less, but if you don’t have a frugality mindset than you will probably not see many opportunities to be frugal, let alone take advantage of them.
Being frugal starts with having a compelling reason to do more with less. Perhaps you are forced to do more with less because you don’t make a very good income. Perhaps you have added a newborn to your family. Perhaps you were raised that way. Whatever the reason is, it is hard to really be frugal without it.
Why would you want to be frugal? When people ask me a “why” question, I am always tempted to say, “Why not?” With that being said, here are some compelling reasons to be frugal.
The economy may not always act in your financial favor.
It helps keep you from spending above your means. (In April of 2005 the American Savings Rate went negative. This means people on average are now paying more than they take home in pay.)
You will have less stress.
You will be happier, despite what people say about being frugal.
You will be more in control of your life.
You will enjoy life more.
You will gain new superpowers.
Ok, I made up the last one, but becoming frugal will make it seem like you have new superpowers. Instead of buying more and more junk that you have to maintain more and more, you will live a simpler life. This in turn will help you be more productive. When you are more productive you will get more things accomplished that you want to accomplish. When you accomplish more of your dreams you will be happier, have less stress, and feel more in control of your life.
In the end being frugal will help you enjoy life so much more!
There are a million and one ways to lead a frugal life, but it all starts with a mindset, a philosophy, and a compelling reason. Once you have that the world is yours.