So now that you have decided to give frugality a shot, are you wondering what you have committed to? What is frugal living for you? Is it all about deprivation and sacrifices? Does it mean dooming your life into a state of withdrawal just to save a few Euros here and there?
If you think that is what frugality is all about, you are wrong. Frugal living is not about deficiencies and sacrifices; it is about living your life smartly. It is the quality of being thrifty, sparing, economical and prudent in consuming resources like food, money and time, and efficiently avoiding lavishness, waste and extravagance.
How to live frugally?
To define frugality according to behavioural science, “it is the tendency to acquire goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourceful use of already owned economic goods and services, to achieve a longer term goal.” Thus, it is not all about sacrificing things and leading a life of deprivation and withdrawal. It is a strategy to reduce waste, curb costs, seek efficiency, suppress gratification with the aid of economic self-restraint, confronting costly social norms and accepting cost-free options.
So, if you are among those who want to cut expenses, get the most from your money and enjoy more economic freedom, you should know how to live frugality? Frugality does not mean depriving yourself from that exotic crystal chandelier or never indulging into mouth-watering Swiss chocolate; it means carefully handling your money so that you can afford more what you love. If it is not about living extravagant, it is also not about living dirt cheap. It is about living smartly.
Thus, if you are wondering what is frugal living, it is about efficiently preventing the “moneyleaks” and still having a more fulfilling and rewarded life. It requires a mindset of adjustment to achieve success in what you are aiming at. Therefore, it is often said that frugality is “not just a way of life, but also a state of mind.” Find the fun in saving money and that will help you live a frugal life more happily and at the same time, live well.
Difference between Cheap and Frugal
To be honest, if you are being cheap, you are not frugal because there is a huge difference between cheap and frugal. For instance, ordering wisely at a restaurant is how to live frugal, while eating like a king and then skimping on the tip is being cheap. Frugality is ordering less expensive appetizers or dishes as your main meal. Cheapness is to spend £100 in a steak and a glass of scotch and then skimping over the tip for a decent service. Frugality is using one car for the entire family; cheap is using all the two cars that you possess and then bargain shopping for discounts or coupons on fuel price.
On the other hand, cheap is also being depriving yourself of all fantasies and happiness of life…wearing the same t-shirt with holes in it! Frugal living is spending prudently, controlling your expenses and yet live the life you wish. Yes, it is not about going for a movie every weekend, but it isn’t also about forbidding yourself and your family from watching movies at all. A DVD on rent or perhaps one or two movies a month is good.
Both frugal and cheap people have the objective to save money, but the person who lives frugality will not do so at the expense of others. Cheapness considers price as the bottom line; frugality uses value as the bottom line. Frugal living is about measuring the bigger picture and prioritising simple money saving strategies. It is not about reaching a scenario of cheapness where you have to eat food from trash cans and dumpsters.
Tips for How to Live Frugality without Feeling Miserable
Frugal isn’t cheap! There is a huge difference between cheap and frugal (which I will discuss in the later part of this blog) and therefore, you do not have to feel miserable, deprived and withdrawn when you are living frugality.You can be frugal and at the same time, live the life you want. Here are some wonderful tips for you:
- Save Everyday:
When you save a little every day, it doesn’t sound miserable and at the same time, you can have a solid savings account. Find out ways in which you can save every day. Instead of buying designer clothes, spend in the ones that are stylish and affordable at the same time. Bargain hunting, including deals, coupons and freebies, can lead to huge saving. Rather than going to the movies, save the money by renting a DVD rather. The little you can save every day, put it in a jar and see how the cash adds in one week. And if you use a debit card instead of cash, take out some of the money from your account and keep it as your savings at the end of every week.
- List down your Goals:
Write down your goals such as commencing your own business, having a new home, re-modelling your office or investing in a luxury condo in Florida. When your priorities are exciting, you will automatically have the zeal and vigour to save and achieve the goals. Your approach should be broad rather than being short-term.
- Make a Savings Plan:
Besides saving little every day, start transferring a certain percentage of your pay cheque into the savings account. Initiate with 20% and gradually move up to see huge savings at the end of the year. Make sure that you save and forget!
- Become a Bargain Hunter:
To live frugality, be a bargain hunter. Shop for deals, coupons and vouchers that can help you save good money! Remember, every penny you save will contribute to be a huge saviour in the long term.
These essential tips on how to live frugal will definitely help you live prudent, smart and happy.