What comes to mind when you hear the words frugal living? Do you imagine someone living by candle light, with no TV or internet access, eating only canned beans never going out or having any fun? Or someone making themselves suffer just to save a few dollars every month?
That mental image of a frugal lifestyle is very common. However, it simply is not true. In fact, frugal living is not about depriving yourself from the things you truly love so that you can save a dollar or two. It is however about making smart decisions on how you spend and save your money. The goal is to be money smart so that you can live a life that you love without having to go into debt or work two jobs to just to stay afloat.
What Does A Frugal Lifestyle Look Like?
Simply put you are making an effort to be smarter when it comes to spending and saving. You are making a commitment to buying less and using what you have. You become more of a conscious consumer and in return are given the financial freedom that so many people only dream about.
Let’s take a closer look…
Frugal living means you take the time to learn when the best time to buy a product is. Learning what the rock bottom price of a product should be, who is offering the best price and then be willing to wait for it. By learning and committing to doing these three things means you will be spending smarter and avoid paying the full price for things you want. Preplanning your purchases on things you need and then using coupon and rebates can save you even more money.
Stockpiling food and other house hold items to use when things are not on sale is also part of living a frugal lifestyle. Building a stockpile is simpler than you may think. Buying extra when things are at a great discount and slowly adding them to your pantry will save you money in the long run. The food and household items you have stored away can also come in very handy in an emergency rather it is a blizzard, a layoff or even a job loss you will be glad you have the extra on hand.
The frugal living lifestyle closely resembles the minimalist mindset. Both frugalists and minimalists avoid senseless consumerism and the accumulation of unnecessary stuff. Instead of buy, use, toss, replace the way our modern throw away consumerist friends do, frugalists encourage repairing, cleaning, and reusing. By taking care of the things we have, we give the item a longer useful life which saves us money and saves our environment.
Frugal living often encourages us to be better consumers. When we look at the value of an item, we must also take into account its quality. You must the decide if it is worth the extra expense to purchase something that is a higher quality item vs saving a few dollars and purchasing something that isn’t made as well. More often than not spending a little extra on an item that is made better will save you down the line.
Once you have adjusted to this new way of thinking, and this new lifestyle you will begin seeing the savings roll in without a lot of effort on your part. If you are smart with the money you are saving you will use it to pay off your existing debts, and pave the way towards financial freedom. Being in control of your finances will allow you to live a more secure and fulfilling life.
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