The term ‘frugal’ sometimes comes with negative connotations. However, it’s just a word; what it represents and what it can do for you is much more important. Many people find that living the frugal life makes them happier and presents them with more time. Sometimes, less is more, so here are a number of ways that being frugal can be a blessing.
Having less stuff means less trash. By buying less, and reusing the things you have, you’re creating less excess, which is a positive for the environment. Think of it in regards to a person who is succinct versus one who is verbose in proving the same point. The former party uses less words yet can achieve the same effect, which saves the speaker and listener time and effort.
Buying less means having more money in the bank, which means less stress for most people. When you’re a regular consumer, you spend more, which means you have less of a nest egg in the bank. That may be fine for those who are making a lot of money.
But most of us are not surgeons or Wall Street stock brokers. We are likely to want the same things but have less money for them. For example, we may want to buy a new car because the seats are worn, yet buying a set of seat covers from www.shearcomfort.com is cheaper and solves the problem too.
Those who care less about commodities and material possessions have more time to focus on things that matter, such as good health and time with family and friends. Those who are truly happy seldom need material things to continue their state of well being.
Being happy comes from within, and while it can be immediately enjoyable to consume and enjoy material possessions, focusing on what really matters is the path to long term happiness.
Those who are not preoccupied with buying and possessing are more likely to give things away to others, especially those who may not have the means to buy needs. Having less things and more time to focus outward is better for the surrounding community. Plenty of people need help, and those who are not preoccupied with their own wants are better able to identify the people who are truly in need.
Who wants to work? While some people are lucky enough to make money doing what they love, most people are working to make a living. Even those who can say they love their jobs probably don’t get to make their own hours, take vacations whenever they want, and don’t want go to work every day.
Those who live below their means don’t have to worry about saving for retirement and can retire earlier, so they can truly live each day how they would like. Those who love work don’t have to stop altogether, but can work on their own time, which is much different from ‘working for a living.’
It takes curiosity and awareness to become frugal. You have to reverse engineer a number of things you do each day, which leads to insights about yourself and human nature. For example, many people get in the habit of buying more food than they need whether they leave food on their plate at a restaurant or wind up discarding a number of bought grocery items.
An aware person may order an appetizer versus a meal at a restaurant or only buy items they immediately need at the grocery store. Being frugal is not being ‘cheap,’ but a new perspective on life. Being cheap means not wanting to spend money; being frugal means growing aware of having things that you really need. There’s a big difference in meaning.
Eve O’Neill works as a personal finance consultant, and is a huge advocate of frugal living, believing that more fulfilling lives can be lead by being frugal. She shares her thoughts and tips online through her articles.