Roads that lead to frugality
Frugal living is different for everyone. It’s interesting to know what starts people on the frugal path. Some people stumble onto frugality by accident, have had a specific experience, such as unemployment, that pushed them into frugality, or were born with a natural tendency to waste less.
If you live a frugal lifestyle, tell me what made you start. Here are a few additional reasons people find frugality.
BORN INTO IT: Many people are raised by frugal parents and have never lived any other way. Siebrie from The Netherlands learned the value of money and earning it as a child. “My parents were poor — not dirt poor, but they had to watch the pennies, and there wasn’t room for many extras. We did go on a camping holiday each year, because they thought the experience was more important than anything else they could give us,” she says. “If I wanted anything extra, I had to earn the money. Not by doing chores for them because they could not afford to hire me, but by babysitting, cleaning and newspaper rounds for others.”
ASSIMILATION: Some spendthrifts marry a frugal spouse. They might have been unaware of how their choices impacted their lives. Or they were reluctant to change their overspending ways for years, but then something clicked and they hopped onto the frugal wagon.
LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE: Some people find frugality because they divorce, transition from a career to being an at-home parent, or have a loss of income or medical bills. They might start out thinking they’ll be frugal temporarily until their finances improve, but it becomes a way of life that they are happy with.
PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE: The economic downturn was a wakeup call for many, so they’re paring down to have a backup plan because they can no longer say confidently that unemployment can’t or won’t ever happen to them.
WORK TOWARD GOALS: Frugality is often a way to save money for goals such as building a home, vacations, paying for a wedding, being debt-free or saving for college for their children. Another reader, Lora from New Jersey, is saving for early retirement. “I realized if I were frugal I wouldn’t have to go to work anymore,” she says. “I read a line in the Tightwad Gazette book that said, “I buy my freedom with my frugality,” and a light bulb went off in my head. I thought, I can do that, and have never regretted the choice I made.”
SIMPLICITY: Having a deep desire to slow things down and do the least possible damage to the planet often goes hand in hand with frugality. It’s not only penny-pinching. Frugal living helps you make the best use of your resources and allows you to live a purposeful, priority-driven life while wasting less.
photo by asha susan