“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” ― Elise Boulding

Frugal Living… Worth It?

Whether or not you take advantage of the huge benefits of frugality is all a matter of perspective. If you spend your time looking at just the short term, I’d agree that many frugal tips aren’t big savers. Quite often, a given tactic saves you just some pocket change or a dollar or two once. That’s an incredibly shortsighted perspective to have.

Somehow frugality has become almost synonymous with deprivation and denial, and understandably, this kind of negative frugality turns most people off. It turns me off too…

The good news is that true frugality isn’t like that. When frugality is based on your own values and what YOU want out of life, it can only be a positive influence. It’s also important to remember that true frugality isn’t just about spending less money… how you choose to spend your time and how you choose to conserve other resources should all be a part of the total equation.

How Frugality Is So Liberating?

Even if you don’t care a lick about saving money, frugality comes with benefits that extend beyond your pocketbook and personal life.

Cut down on waste

We throw precious little into the trash around here. One of the ways we keep our grocery bill so low is by rarely wasting food. We eat everything we buy, which is good for both the pocketbook and the environment. Food waste is a significant problem in landfills these days, and it’s a simple thing we can do to be more conscious of the world we live in.

Everything we own gets used until it’s either tattered beyond repair or it’s time to pass it on to someone else. We don’t throw stuff out because we want newer stuff or need to clear things out of the house.

Being environmentally friendly

Being environmentally friendly simply means having a lifestyle that are better for the environment. Its all about taking small steps towards mother earth so as to make this planet a better place for our communities and generations to come. A good way would be to start with conserving water, driving less and walking more, consuming less energy, buying recycled products, eating locally grown vegetables, joining environmental groups to combat air pollution, creating less waste, planting more trees and many more.

So the frugal life is almost always the environmentally friendly life. Nearly every frugal strategy doubles as an environmental boon: driving less, rarely buying new things, not wasting food…

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash in 2012, with only about 87 million tons of that material making its way to the recycling bin. That means that, on average, each American created approximately 4.38 pounds of waste or trash per day – which is, quite frankly, rather alarming.

Although frugality can’t solve every environmental problem that modern society has created, it’s a start. The little things add up.

Being Frugal Can Mean Less Stress

Frugality brings peace and simplicity into your life.

Need proof? An annual study on stress and health from the American Psychological Association has revealed money issues as the top stressor for Americans every year since the study’s inception in 2007. This year’s survey, which polled 3,068 adults in August 2014, found that 72% of Americans felt stressed about money during the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the majority of Americans polled, 64%, reported that money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress on an ongoing basis.

Also, without the pressure to conform to social norms of spending, appearance, and conventional metrics of success, our lives are increasingly less stressful. Also see what is happiness?

Evaluate your priorities

Remember this: frugality isn’t just about spending less money… how you choose to spend your time and how you choose to conserve other resources should all be a part of the total equation.

John Ruskin, an art critic in the 19th century, once wrote, “Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.” He was right.

Living frugally means deciding what is most important to you and directing your energy and money towards getting more of whatever this is in your life.  It is NOT doing without! In fact, it means getting more of the things that really matter to you in your life.

We’ll never be bored.

One thing I can absolutely guarantee is that, if we live the life of the extremely frugal, you’ll never be bored. There’s simply no time or space for it. Constantly employing our creativity, exploring free events around town, cooking new recipes from scratch–frugality entails living a very real, very tactile existence. We use our hands a lot. We don’t pay for easy solutions. And we find humor in nearly everything we do. Also you can read article about living a simple life.

Ways to Nourish Yourself Without Spending a Lot of Money

They say “the best things in life are not things”. Rather than spending money on things, spend time in natural surroundings, take a walk, and get together with friends and cook at home rather than going out to a restaurant. Read to your children or take them hiking, listen to music or create art together.

Being frugal may mean that we are giving up some material things, but it can also mean we find abundance in other ways such as spending quality time with friends and family members and finding out what is most meaningful in our lives.

Also daily meditation – being mindful is a great way to nourish ourself and enrich our frugal living style.

Frugal living isn’t a tactic, it’s a mindset and a joyful lifestyle. Sure, frugality is about saving money, financial freedom and creating the longterm life you want. But it’s also about opening up an entire world of simplified, honest, fun living, the personal accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from learning new skills, fixing things, and relishing all of the gifts we already have. It’s about being content without the junk marketers tell us we need to buy. It’s about being your own person and not the person society says you’re supposed to be.

Responses

  1. Dr. Andrea Dinardo

    Yes yes yes!! I couldn’t agree more. The less you spend = The more freedom you have to make choices when it truly counts. Our family philosopy is “Small House, Big Life.” Thank for your wonderful post. Inspirational AND Informational. 💫💫

  2. puzzlesofthesoul

    A great article, shows how having less is actually creating space for more in your life. Being frugal is an inspiring way of living, makes you focus on what is real and important.

  3. Real Life With Pets

    I especially love the paragraph about never being bored: “….. creativity, exploring free events around town, cooking new recipes from scratch–frugality entails living a very real, very tactile existence. We use our hands a lot. We don’t pay for easy solutions…..”

  4. From the Penny Jar

    Great post. I completely agree, being frugal is often seen as short term, negative and difficult. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Being frugal, not buying everything that catches your eye whether or not you need it, allows you to use your money on the things that are important to you. Nut best of all, instead of working more and more, always trying to earn more money, it allows you to spend less time chasing money and more time actually enjoying your life.

  5. jozumwalt

    Enjoyed this post. An anonymous saying on my bulletin board says, “Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.”

  6. liveyounique

    The truth in this is so important. Society needs to focus on the abundant things that don’t produce waste – regret, physical trash, emotional scars, etc. Loved this post!

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