Frugality can seem like a lot of work. Some people have decided that it's simply not worth the effort. Maybe they haven't thought it through. Those of you who are frugal, know that you're not deprived and that it doesn't require a lot of extra time. The benefits of frugal living outweigh the sacrifices and time spent. For example, many families are staying home more often. They're cooking more meals and eating together, spending less money on entertainment, and getting back to the basics of sharing quality time. Cutting back is boosting appreciation for many things that were previously taken for granted. This isn't deprivation. This is the good life. Frugal living eventually gives you more options, which equals more freedom.
What benefits have you experienced through your frugality?
Here are a few more advantages to being frugal.
Frugal people are often well prepared. This means they're frugal before an emergency arises. This makes situations such as a major home or car repair, medical bills or job loss a bump in the road and not a major financial crisis. They are accustomed to living within and even below their means. One reader, Vail from Washington, shares: "My husband and I got to keep our lovely house (by the skin of our teeth) because we were frugal before he got laid off for 10 months! I don't think we could have made the switch to frugal and saving fast enough if we'd only started when there was a problem."
Most everyone buys brand-new retail products. Sometimes new products are inferior to their old-fashioned counterparts. Secondhand shopping can often yield high-quality, less-common vintage items that can become family heirlooms. It's the greener choice, too. So you save money and help reduce waste. As a bonus, secondhand shopping is fun!
Frugality is proactive living. Your free time isn't idle time. You add to your skill set on a regular basis. You enjoy lifelong learning to help yourself and others. Another reader, Liane shares: "There are many benefits to being frugal. Money in my pocket and no fear in the pit of my stomach. A car that I paid for sits in my driveway. My daughter can play sports and do activities. Our bills are all paid before they are due. Learning new skills that save so much money. Making detergent is saving me at least $150 a year. Having the means to stock up and share food with those in need. Growing our garden and getting to pick dinner in the backyard. This also keeps me out of the produce section for awhile. More free time to do what I want to do and not what I have to do. Being frugal does not just benefit me, it benefits my family and ultimately my community. We donate our time and food, and our footprint is smaller. People may laugh, but I am happy and free."
LESS IS MORE:
Less spending can mean more saving or paying off debt. Karen from Kansas has less "junk" to clutter her home and mind, and more appreciation for the things that "count." Less clothes/shoes means more space in your closet, along with a wardrobe that will last longer because you will make wise selections using classic styles rather than follow what's "in," she says. "Less disposable goods means more sustainable goods. Less expensive, highly processed foods means more inexpensive whole foods that are nutrient dense, higher in fiber and better for you. Less stress by not having to keep up with the 'Joneses' means more satisfaction keeping up with your own standards based on your needs, not necessarily yours or someone else's wants. Fewer things in your home that take a lot of special care, cleaning or attention means more free time because cleaning is now quick and easy to accomplish, and things stay clean longer. Less dependence on others means more dependence on yourself and your skills."
photo by woodleywonderworks