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buying a bigger house when you’ve lived in your for over 3 years, buying new gadgets just because your current ones are outdated.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.
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.
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?