Why Frugality Is NOT Boring [Having Frugal Fun]

Do you think frugality is boring? I’m convinced that frugality is NOT boring and it’s possible to have frugal fun.

There are many people who live by this quote: ‘People who say that money can’t buy happiness just don’t know where to shop’ – Kathy Lette

Lots of people live by this quote, where they think happiness comes from spending money. Of course, money can help improve your life, but it’s not the end all be all! Money can also lead to undesirable side effects, like stress and debt, when it’s not managed well.

The people who think money can buy you happiness are the same people who think that you should consume when you have money. When they get more money, it means more consumption. It means buying a bigger car when you get a raise, buying a bigger house when you’ve lived in your for over 3 years, buying new gadgets just because your current ones are outdated.

Up to a certain point, we all love the consumption of certain things. Things that make us happy, things that add value. After this point, our consumption will not bring us the same amount of satisfaction. That’s the point where we need to stop.

While there are times when people have no option but to spend less than they usually do, there are people who live a frugal life by choice. It’s not living paycheck to paycheck, it’s a long-term habit.

I’m talking about spending on things that don’t bring you joy just because others have it too, going into debt for it or spending beyond your means in general.

If you say you’re frugal, people will assume a lot. You’re boring, cheap, don’t want to pay things for others, you can never do nice things, and more. They think frugal people never spend money, are just sitting at home all day, have no hobbies, are never going out, just to name a few things.

Well this is NOT true to say the least.

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Exhibit A – Me!

I’m choosing the life of frugality. This is also how I was raised. There was not much to go around when I was young, so my mom had to make ends meet. These habits stick to me until today, and I’m not planning on releasing them any time soon!

I’ve chosen to continue to live life like this. I’ve chosen to have no TV, I’ve chosen to live in a shared apartment, and every day I choose what I will or won’t spend my money on. This has led me to save over 60% of my income in January.

I don’t feel like I’m missing out, I have a life I enjoy, and I have amazing friends and family.

By living a frugal life you will most likely have less clutter in your life, you will have a simpler life that you enjoy. If you’re having material things, this doesn’t mean that you’re happier. Sometimes having more things can add more stress. The more stuff you have, the more likely something will happen; it can get lost, not used or break.

[Related read: 6 Ways to Radically Simplify your Life in 2019]

I also had this time in my life where I wasn’t thinking about my purchases, I was buying whatever I wanted just because it was cheap or just because I wanted to have it. Well, not the best mindset to be in. After I’ve realized that I haven’t enjoyed these items at all, I’ve got rid of them. It felt wasteful and I felt stupid for buying these things in the first place.

Being frugal for me is about being thoughtful about your purchases, finding things that you enjoy and buying things that enhance your quality of life. Spending money really on things you enjoy is a great feeling!

You’re not missing out

Some people believe that you’re missing out when you’re not having the latest everything. The latest phone, the latest TV, the latest car, and more. This are the people who believe that people who save money are boring. Well, I strongly disagree!

There is no reason to spend all your money in order to have the latest ___ – fill in the blank. You can live a good live while saving money!

If you’re a frugal person, you can live a good life while staying on a budget. You don’t have to live you life ruled by money. The amount of money in your bank account does NOT determine how much fun you have!

You can save money and have an amazing life at the same time! You can still visit your family, go in vacations, do fun things with your friends, have nice things, all while staying within your spending budget.

One example that perfectly illustrates my point. When I was traveling in South America, spending all the money I wanted on everything I wanted, I spent about the same as when I was living in the Netherlands just doing my thing. So I spend equal amounts of money whenever I was just living my life, versus me having the time of my life on another continent.

[Related Read: 25+ Incredible Easy Tips to Save More Money]

Everyone is different

Everyone has different needs – some people really need that $200 per month entertainment budget, while others can’t live without their car or enjoy eating out. It’s about spending your money on what you enjoy.

Me personally, I don’t like to waste things. I think before I buy (mostly), which comes very naturally to me. If something is wasteful, I often won’t buy it. That’s me being conscious to not contribute to the waste problem we generally have but also saving money at the same time.

It’s about buying reusables rather than buy things you only use once, like not buying plastic bottles or plastic straws.

Think about what matters to you and simply spend money on that. If something doesn’t add anything to your life, don’t consume it. For example, I find frugal and minimalist hobbies that I enjoy, to have some frugal fun.

Early Retirement

Because I am living frugally, I will be able to retire early. Many of my friends will work until they are 72, or longer. I will be able to retire at 35 if everything goes as planned.

I have chosen the path of financial independence. I’m choosing to save more money rather than spending it, I’m choosing to put in my efforts now so that I can lay back later.

I have the option of retiring early, which is super exciting for me. It’s all because I’m intentionally spending the income that I am earning.

I am saving a high percentage of my income so that I have the option of retiring early. Instead of working 45+ years, I’m being frugal which means that I can move my retirement date back – a lot! I’m cutting down my working years so that I have more time to truly enjoy life!

Why are you frugal? Did you also encounter these biases about frugal people?

14 thoughts on “Why Frugality Is NOT Boring [Having Frugal Fun]”

  1. This reminds me of going out with friends and refusing to get drunk. I have never been a great drinker. I did it in my younger days, but my middle-aged self no longer finds it attractive. Many of my friends and colleagues do not concur and believe that you can’t be having a good time unless you are drunk. They regale you with stories of nights forgotten and then days wasted as they were so hung over. I am the boring one who had one glass of wine and stayed sober for the evening. The thing is, I still enjoyed myself, enjoyed talking to people and sharing life’s experiences. It’s the same with spending money. You can’t be happy unless you’ve got a new car with a personalised number plate. But I am happy, driving my nine year old car, on which I don’t owe a single penny.

    Sorry, this sounds like a rant. Maybe it’s because I am always seen as the boring and sensible one, when in fact I am a lot happier than most of the people that I know!

    Reply
    • Hi Sam, thanks a lot for your comment!

      This is a great example, I love it! It’s many people who think you can’t have any fun without being drunk, who are also ‘bragging’ about how bad their hangover is. And then it’s the same people who are buying the latest cars and getting into debt for it, only to brag about it later.

      They think you can’t be happy unless you have the car, unless you drink, unless ___ fill in the blank.
      I agree that when you stop chasing the things that seem important and start focusing on the things that truly ARE important, everything shifts.

      I was also that person ‘bragging’ about their hangover or bragging about certain accomplishments. I’ve learned to focus on what I think is important, not on what other people think is important. Such a huge shift!

      Ps. I love your rants, keep them coming!

      Reply
  2. “Think about what matters to you and simply spend money on that.”

    So very true, and I’m ashamed it took me so long to realize! Before I started budgeting, I was afraid I would be constantly stressed out by tracking where my money goes. Instead, it’s the opposite feeling: it’s freeing to know I have a certain amount of money set aside for entertainment or spending money and that I’ve already prioritized my savings as the most important part of my budget.

    Reply
    • Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by!

      I know the feeling, it also took me a LOT of time to realize this. Before I was always pleasing everyone with my spending, a terrible habit that I luckily got rid of!
      If you want to read my entire story you can do so here: Money And Confidence

      I think the expectation of constantly being stressed is what holds people back of actual budgeting! They anticipate that they will feel bad and just don’t do it. As you described, it is so freeing to have some power over your money, instead of money having power over youhttps://radicalfire.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=simple-author-box-options-pricing

      Reply
  3. Great post! Impressive goal to retire by 35 🙂 I agree that it’s doable because everything is about the CHOICES we make. Thanks for writing this post. I agree that life can be fun, even if you’re not spending much. The best things in life are free.

    Reply
    • Hi Karina, thanks for stopping by!
      Yes I 100% agree, especially ‘the best things in life are free’, that’s so so true! Today I’ve been on a 2 hour hike with my boyfriend, we didn’t spend anything and I feel recharged to take on the weekend!

      Reply
  4. Wonderfully put. I love how you point out that everyone’s different and what they spend their money on will be different. I know a lot of people that have put themselves into deep debt because they have to have the latest and greatest of everything and all the toys and the toy accessories but then wonder how they will pay their bills or feed their families that month. Makes me sad. I haven’t always been a frugal person, and I feel like it’s something I am still working on, but I love the fact that I can walk through an entire store and walk out having purchased nothing because I didn’t need anything, but made notes of what I may need in the future.

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by!
      Yes I agree, it’s amazing if you see what people spend money on because they think they value that. I hope they find out sooner or later that it’s not what they value! Frugality keeps being a work in progress for sure, no doubt about that. If you’ve already come to the point where you can walk in and out of a store without buying anything, you’re wayyy ahead in the game. Great job!

      Reply
  5. I absolutely agree with you! Frugality truly is NOT boring! For me, it’s a fun challenge and it gives me a sense of accomplishment and control over my life.

    As you’ve said, we are all free to choose what we spend our money on. My family and I are frugal with most things, but we choose to spend a big chunk of our annual budget on travel. It all aligns with our values and true desires, so we’re happy with these choices!

    Good for you for being a frugal rebel! I have no doubt you’ll reach your goal of financial freedom by 35.

    Reply
    • Hi Chrissy, thanks for stopping by!
      YES, same here. It gives me so much accomplishment to choose to spend little money in some categories and A LOT in others. I’ve also traveled a good amount of my life, it’s been a priority and I loved every second of it.
      Thanks for your kind words Chrissy, I will continue being a frugal rebel and be financially free at 35!

      Reply
  6. frugality is plainly being aware of everything you do with good reason. if you are defined by it..that friend needs to be fired!
    I retired on my 38th birthday..i still dabble in the same field on a hobby level because I love what i do.
    Now 51, I “work” 9-12 hours a week when I want.
    ps: we follow what we are taught.
    by no means is it easy to break the cycle.. re-create the wheel so to speak.
    beginning a minimalist or intentional lifestyle was not easy. but the pay off was worth it.

    Reply

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