When people call themselves stingy, frugal, or minimalist, this means something entirely different for everyone. Are you living stingy? Let’s find out!
Some folks who spend a lot and make their lives seem fancier might say they’re “living their best life.” It’s good to use money on things that bring you joy, but it’s also smart to save a bit for the future. Even if you’re having a good time now, it’s important to have something saved up for later when you might really need it.
If you’re serious about your set financial goals, you need to know where you are spending your money. Are you prioritizing the really important necessities in your life, or is your spending habits need a bit of finetuning?
Let’s talk about living stingy, your spending choices, and how you can still give others.
What Does Living Stingy Mean?
Stingy is no great word to describe someone. Stingy is defined as not generous or liberal, sparing, or scant in using, giving, or spending. But, when it comes to personal finances, living stingy can be positive.
Living stingy could mean the difference between becoming financially independent or having to work into your 70s. It could be your pursuit of more mindful spending and spending money on things that matter to you.
Living stingy could mean cutting back on grocery expenses, adjusting your transportation costs, or being more mindful of your spending. If you’re currently used to luxuries, living stingy could mean making your lunch for work or going on vacation less.
So, what is living stingy financially speaking? When you are living stingy, you are thinking about spending your money to give you the most fulfillment and joy.
Is It Bad To Be Stingy?
Living stingy is often used negatively. When you are living overly stingy, this can be negative. It can mean you’re complaining about money, trying to control money, never treating friends, and more. When you’re overly stingy, money is controlling you.
When someone is an overly stingy person, they often have a scarcity mindset. There is never enough money for them, and they feel like they’re always behind.
Try to switch that scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. There is always enough money. Money flows to me constantly. I love money, and money loves me. Here are more money affirmations to create an abundance mindset and our Law of Attraction summary to learn more about manifesting.
When you are living stingy, that could mean you’re budgeting your money, and you know where your money is going. You can spend money on the things you love and never feel deprived. You can give to others and help others in need while still having enough to provide for yourself.
Living stingy is something that can dramatically change your life and make for a great financial future down the road.
Pros Of Living Stingy
There are many upsides to living stingy. Let’s get into them!
While everyone has financial stress at times, it’s great when you can pay your bills without thinking about it. Finances can give people a lot of anxiety and worries.
You know you have money in the bank and a fully-funded emergency fund. It gives you room to breathe, plus it will reduce your financial stress significantly.
I believe that living stingy or living frugally is not boring. There are hundreds of activities you can do without spending money!
Try to save some of the money you usually spend, and you’ll be surprised how much peace of mind this can give you.
Depending on your current situation, living stingy can give you a lot of freedom. If you’ve ever paid off debt, you know how restrictive that can be.
The moment you choose to live stingily, you will experience true financial freedom. You can live your life on your terms and be free of the (financial) obligations used to weigh you down.
Learn How To Save Money
Living stingy will save you money – lots of it. While saving money can be hard in the beginning, it is a great habit you would want to build.
In the beginning, it can be challenging. Over time, you will remember why you save that money. It will become easier to say no. You will even start to notice that saving becomes a habit that you don’t have to think about it at all.
Saving the money will help you in the long term. You can make a couple of changes in your spending, and the results will amaze you!
When you start to save more money, you can consider investing it. Investing is a great way to build wealth in the long term and to increase your net worth.
If you invest monthly, even if it’s a small amount, that money will grow over time due to compounding returns.
While investing is said to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be. You need to open an account, know what you’re going to invest in, and invest your first dollar.
Cons Of Living Stingy
While there are many pros of living stingy, let’s also dive into the cons.
You Will Spend Less
When you are living stingy, that means you will choose to spend less. Spending less is a great habit, but it will take some getting used to.
Everyone has different money habits that work for them. Living stingy and spending less is something that speeds up the timeline to your goals. It doesn’t mean that you need to live stingy forever, so no need to worry!
You Need To Set Boundaries
Living stingy is all about cutting back on the things that don’t serve you. Trying to live stingily can make you realize what you want to spend your money on. For example, you bring your lunch to work every day and notice that you like it better than going out for lunch.
In the beginning, changing your habits will be difficult. The key is to know your triggers and to avoid them. If you know you want to buy fewer clothes, don’t tempt yourself and visit the mall.
You May Have To Say No
You may have to say no to events with your friends. You may have to say no to going out to eat multiple times per week. You may have to say no to your colleagues who want to go out and get lunch daily.
The people around you probably have the same spending habits as you. When you are living stingy, you need to be aware of that. Know what you want to spend on an activity, how realistic is it that you will meet that?
When you have activities planned with your friends, it’s simple to find an alternative that costs less money. Here is some inspiration for a no-spend (girls) day out.
Living stingy, for some, may not be a good thing. It may bring negative connotations as to how you live your life. It can further cause personal or emotional challenges as living stingily can bring name-calling and shame-calling from others. So know that there can be additional trials along the way.
Focus on your goals, and don’t get affected by what others may say to you. As long as you are not hurting other people and are happy with what you are doing, don’t mind them. You know who you are, and you are doing what you know will benefit you in the long run. Be firm and always remember the bigger picture!
Ways To Start Living Stingy
Living stingy is a great way to reach your financial goals, stop living paycheck to paycheck, and create a great financial future for your family. You will not be wealthy instantly, but you’ll be off to a good start!
Here are 12 ways to live stingy so you can work towards your financial goals, save more money, and build more wealth than ever before!
1. Set Financial Goals
When you’re embracing the stingy lifestyle, having a north star may help. Make clear financial goals for yourself. Why do you want to achieve these goals? Where do you want to be in 1-3-5 years?
You can write down your goals. Your goals could be paying off debt, working toward financial independence, increasing your liquid net worth, or buying your first home.
Knowing why you’re doing something will make it easier to stick to your new habits.
2. Create A Budget
Creating a budget is one of the basics of personal finance. It’s great to know where your money is going, plus you have the power to allocate it. You can decide where you want to spend your money.
Having a budget will help you not buy the stuff you don’t really want.
Budgeting is one of the cornerstones of personal finance. It’s one of the first steps to get control over your finances. One of the best ways to save money is with budget percentages by Dave Ramsey. It is simple to set up and will give you a lot of insight.
You may notice that it can take some work in the beginning. You start to compare car insurance, review your spending habits, and more. Over time you will get the hang of it. Creating a budget is a great way to start your financial habits.
3. Declutter Your Home
Look around you. Your home is probably full of things you don’t use anymore. Declutter your home and start selling all the things you don’t need anymore.
It’s easy to put things up for sale on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace.
You can even buy things and flip them for a profit. It’s an easy way to gather some extra spending money.
4. Pause Before You Spend
It’s easy to buy things mindlessly. You will spend your money, and before you know it, it’s gone. It may even get to the point where your debit card gets declined, and you don’t see what you spend the money on.
Pause yourself before you buy anything, and ask yourself:
- Do I need this item?
- Does this item give me joy?
- Will I still use the item a year from now?
5. Cut Back On Subscriptions
Ever forgot that you had a subscription? You can sign up with one click without noticing it.
Do you want to cut back on subscriptions without putting too much time and effort into it? You can try finance management apps like Trim. They negotiate your current subscriptions for you, and you can cancel through their service as well.
6. Cut Your Cable Bill
While we’re on the topic of subscriptions, let’s talk about your cable bill. The average American pays $1200 on a cable package per year!
There are options like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more. Here are 16 cable TV alternatives that will save you tons of money each year.
7. Sign Up For Cashback Websites
When you are shopping, many big retailers are offering cashback or discounts on your purchase. Sites like Swagbucks, Rakuten, Honey, and Ibotta are great to start with.
These platforms can offer you cashback offers for free. They get paid a small commission for getting you to buy something at the retail store. They will give you a portion of that commission while they are taking a small amount for them. This is a great way for both parties to make money!
8. Sell Your Gift Cards For Cash
When you’re earning gift cards, it may be hard to spend them all. Or maybe you get a gift card to a shop you don’t like.
There are companies where you can sell your gift cards. Companies like GiftCard.com allow you to sell your gift cards for cash. You can fill out the form on their platform and see exactly how much money you will get. They will receive the coupon code on your gift card, and you will receive the cash.
9. Do Extra Work
We all know that we can do extra work or start a side hustle to make extra money. However, not too many people are doing it.
This could mean you’re putting in extra hours at your current job, getting an additional job, or starting something you enjoy.
When you’re getting a fixed rate per hour, you know exactly what you get. When you’re working 20 hours extra per month for $20 per hour, you get $400 per month. On top of your regular salary. Imagine putting an extra $400 per month towards your financial goals!
When you’d rather not work extra hours at your job, consider starting a side hustle. Here’s a list of the best side hustle ideas that will enable you to make $1,000 per month or more.
10. Do Free Activities
It’s important to have quality time with your friends and family. However, who says that has to be expensive? Instead of going out to eat, go picnic in the park. Instead of buying new books every month, visit the library.
Think of the cost of the activity versus the benefits.
11. Be Mindful Of Your Time
Things like social media, email, and specific people can take our precious time away. When you are living stingy with time, that means you’re not meeting with friends to watch television or Netflix. You’re meeting friends and family for some quality time.
Being stingy with your time improves your work-life balance and enables you to pursue other valuable things.
12. Pay Yourself First
Living stingy means, you have to pay yourself first. For you to achieve financial freedom, it is best to save first before you spend.
Once you can set aside money for yourself, you would have added to your nest egg and secured part of your goal for your future. When this payment is safe, the remaining amount is free for you to use at the moment. This gives balance to your needs for the future and your needs now. It’s a perfect balance to your budget.
All In All – Living Stingy
Stingy living habits are great to free up time and money for your goals. It will make you think about what brings you joy. It will help you become mindful of your spending. You will know what is important and is a necessity in your life while bearing in mind your goals for your future.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to live stingy for the rest of your life. Do what fits your financial situation best at any given moment. Know yourself first and the state of your finances to know the best course of action you need to take.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing my bank account grow. It motivates me to continue the stingy lifestyle. Knowing and understanding the big picture makes this more bearable and logical.
You will not look at what you are doing as a stingy routine but rather a lifestyle choice geared towards living your best years ahead of you. Understanding your end goal always justifies how you take in securing your plans.
Have you embraced living stingy?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.