Everyone can embrace the practice of living frugally. A couple of years ago, I started paying closer attention to my reckless spending, as well as the places I could live life more economically. Sure, I still have to remind myself being attentive to my finances doesn’t mean I’m cheap. I have friends who don’t seem to mind paying full price for every household good, and clothing item they need, seemingly indifferent to the wealth of deals available online. Despite what they might think, clipping coupons and living by a budget isn’t a fad. It’s made a difference in my life. I plan to continue living this way.
Seeds of a frugal lifestyle change
Planted early on in childhood: the seeds of living FRUGALLY. On vacation with my family, we would often stay in campgrounds to keep our lodging costs low. We’d take our meals at rest stops instead of dining in restaurants; lounging at park benches with our picnics. As a kid, all I wanted were themed hotels, fast food meals, and plastic toys. I didn’t realize how smart my parents were.
It took time to understand the sage advice I was indirectly being given. As an adult, I’m glad I remember those times and remember them fondly. It’s why I pack food on road trips, and appreciate getting a little dirty while pitching my tent for the night. I plan to pass those lessons on to my future children.
Never live paycheck to paycheck
Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to live well within your means, and not have to survive paycheck to paycheck. While great deals and coupons have long been available, cost-saving methods are more prevalent now with access to the Internet and sites that distribute daily deals. It’s difficult – if not outright impossible – not to encounter ways to save anywhere you go, whether it’s:
- a restaurant offering a two-for-one special
- clothing store offering printable coupons via their website, or direct mail
Living frugally has also been made ‘acceptable’ by financial advisers like Suze Orman, almost as though society needs permission to save their hard-earned money. No matter how people arrive at their savings destinations, the door is always open.
In the midst of a tough economy, living frugally is wise and sometimes necessary. Doing so can help you appreciate what you have, and see anew the areas of your life where you’ve been able to cut back without sacrifice. For instance, I began borrowing DVDs from the library instead of paying brick-and-mortar video stores for my Friday evening entertainment. It’s a move that has enabled me to apply the money I was needlessly spending to larger concerns, like student loan debt.
One small frugal gesture has moved me much closer to financial freedom, just as buying in bulk and learning how to make lattes at home have helped me breathe a sigh of financial relief. What starts as pennies becomes a noticeable gain without much effort. Economic sagacity has paid off – literally – and is certainly a lifelong lesson I will pass on to friends and family.
Author bio: Holly Watson. She’s a full time student and TA studying towards her Doctorate in literature and writing. She is an avid runner, blogger and fashionista who enjoys sharing her experiences and faith.