How Being Frugal Can Help You Live a Better Life

being frugal live a better life

frugal can live a better lifeHave you met Kevin yet? If you haven’t you are in for a treat. Actually, even if you have, you are in for a treat. Kevin is a personal finance blogger and the author of today’s post.

My name is Kevin Watts and I am the creator of Graduating from Debt. I was like millions of recent college graduates in heavy debt with very little hope. With the right attitude and discipline I took control of my financial picture and now I can say proudly that I am debt free.

A lot of Americans have fallen slave to debt. With the typical American owning at least 2 kinds of credit cards, it is no surprise that many people in this country are struggling to get out of debt while incurring more and more debt along the way. This is the reason why it is important to avoid debt in the first place.

However, in a culture of instant gratification, where people have this mindset of wanting to have the latest or the best in everything, avoiding debt may be harder than most people think. However, it doesn't mean that learning how to live frugally and within one's means is an impossible feat. Here's how being frugal can help you live a better life.

How Being Frugal Can Help You Live a Better Life

Principle 1: Frugal living can help you improve your quality of life.

Most people hold the misconception that you are lowering your quality of life if you live frugally. Nothing can be farther from the truth! A life of frugal living actually allows you to live the life you want to live. If you compare a life that consists of working hard just to pay off debts compared to a life of smart saving and spending which allows you to take that dream vacation or send the kids to a good school, which would you prefer? Having money saved can actually help you buy things of better quality, or take longer and nicer vacations, just because you have the money on hand.

Principle 2: Frugal living can help you eliminate your debts.

Experts always emphasize the importance of saving and wise spending as the most important tools for eliminating debt. No matter how large a debt is, you can make it smaller and smaller until it is fully gone just by spending within your means and saving. People who are facing huge amounts of debt should adopt the mindset of not being able to spend their money the way they use to and focus their energy on paying that debt. Adopting the principle of delayed gratification for a greater reward applies here, since a life free from worry about your debts is one life that most people would pay anything to have.

Principle 3: Frugal living allows you to exercise your creativity.

Frugality forces you to look for means to stretch that dollar. A lot of people actually derive a certain satisfaction from this, because it allows them to get the most value for their money. You exercise your creativity by looking for ways to use something for more than one purpose, by looking at cheaper alternatives for the products you use to buy, and for ways to reuse items instead of buying new ones. Not only does this practice help you become more creative, it saves you money and lowers your carbon footprint as well.

Principle 4: Frugal living helps you appreciate what you have.

In this day and age, it can be hard to appreciate what you have, since the rest of the world always seem to have more or better. Yet, learning to have an appreciation for what you have is a good thing, since it actually helps you see how good you have it. For example, being frugal means that you may not be able to buy the latest gadgets because you choose to put your money in the bank instead, but it also gives you the opportunity to appreciate and make the most of the gadgets that you already have.

Principle 5: Frugal living prepares you financially for emergencies.

A quality life is a peaceful, worry-free life. Experts say that anxiety stems from being unprepared so if you are unprepared for emergencies, there is a big likelihood that you will be anxious just by thinking about all the possible emergencies that could happen in the future especially if you have no money saved up and a mountain of debt to think about.

Being frugal helps you prepare for the rainy days so even if they come, you are not caught unprepared. Most emergencies require money--an unexpected illness, job layoffs, a family member who needs financial support. However, if you have a rainy day fund, you already have this area covered, and one less thing to worry about.

Frugality does not mean depriving yourself of your basic needs and even a few wants. Frugality simply means not spending beyond what you can afford, and ensuring that basic necessities are accounted for. You learn to appreciate the value of your money and the things you already have, you learn to exercise more control over your finances, and with lesser worries to think about, you get to enjoy your life more. That is the life that most people would pay anything to have, and the life you can have if you start living the frugal way.

 


Comments

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 05/23/2013 7:50 a.m. #

      I don't know many people who would disagree with you on this one. Living frugally can help you live better in many aspects, particularly finances.

      • Kevin Watts

        Kevin Watts 05/23/2013 5:32 p.m. #

        I couldn't agree. However in this country with the obsession in our culture to consume we are in the minority.

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 05/23/2013 10:10 a.m. #

      "Frugal living can help you improve your quality of life." So true! It's one of the biggest misperceptions I find and I'm glad you're helping bust that myth. I agree figuring out what you truly want and saving for it is a far more joyful way to live. Great post, Kevin!

      • Kevin Watts

        Kevin Watts 05/23/2013 5:33 p.m. #

        Thank you. It improves because it cuts out the unnecessary stuff in our lives.

    • shaunte mason

      shaunte mason 05/23/2013 12:02 p.m. #

      I wish I had this trait, but not to the point of being obnoxious. I believe most people want to get outof debt, but don't want to put in the foot work to make changes. Great post.

      • Kevin Watts

        Kevin Watts 05/23/2013 5:35 p.m. #

        Thank you. It's a dilemma we all face. Sometimes it is difficult to go against the grain in our society.

    • Christopher R Wills

      Christopher R Wills 05/23/2013 12:03 p.m. #

      It depends on an individuals circumstances, sometimes it is the only way and therefore the essential way to manage your finances.

      • Kevin Watts

        Kevin Watts 05/23/2013 5:36 p.m. #

        Yes it all depends on our circumstances. But it's funny a lot of the people who are wealthy and don't have to be frugal are frugal anyways!

    • Diane Comeau

      Diane Comeau 05/23/2013 12:10 p.m. #

      A great post. Thanks for making the idea of living frugally a good One! It always seems to have a negative connotation but you have managed to turn those thoughts around. So, thanks again, Kevin, I will enjoy reading more of your "frugal" posts!

      • Kevin Watts

        Kevin Watts 05/23/2013 5:37 p.m. #

        Thank you. It's not a negative connotation for the wealthy! Most of the wealthiest people in this country are some of the most frugal.

    • Anthony @ Thrifty Dad

      Anthony @ Thrifty Dad 05/24/2013 8:25 a.m. #

      It "helps you appreciate what you have". So true! There's many things much more important in life than the latest gadget or 'thing' that you fancy. It's important for all of us to keep perspective and be appreciative of what we have more than what our neighbour has. Nice post!

    • Mackenzie

      Mackenzie 05/24/2013 10:21 a.m. #

      I really like this post! I am frugal in some ways, but in others, I could use a bit more restraint ;) You are right in that frugal living definitely prepares you for emergencies!

    • DJ Rawls

      DJ Rawls 05/24/2013 6:11 p.m. #

      Wow, I couldn't agree more. It's literally biblical. "Borrower is slave to the lender" Great info, keep up the good work!

    • krantcents

      krantcents 05/25/2013 11:43 a.m. #

      I live a somewhat frugal life and never felt deprived. I avoided any consumer debt and was always careful how I spent money. The key was saving and investing early.

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 05/25/2013 2:28 p.m. #

      "Frugality simply means not spending beyond what you can afford, and ensuring that basic necessities are accounted for" this is a perfect way to describe it.

      When we had two incomes I never clipped coupons and I could buy what I wanted.

      The real wake up call was when we decided it was in our kid's best interest for me to stay home. We went from buying what we wanted to only getting what we needed.

      But you know it's taught me the value of a dollar that's for sure and now that my kids are young adults I can teach them how to make smart purchases to keep more money in their pockets.

      Great post!

    • Sarah Olney

      Sarah Olney 05/25/2013 3:56 p.m. #

      Absolutely agree. Teach children value of money.

    • Harold Gardner

      Harold Gardner 05/26/2013 5:21 a.m. #

      Someone said the key to a happy life is not by satisfying our wants, but by controlling them.

    • Leone Marziano

      Leone Marziano 05/28/2013 10:31 p.m. #

      I couldn't agree more Kevin, it is the same here in Australia where credit card debt is huge and it is so easy to obtain one. The rules were recently changed so that banks could not bombard you with offers of increased limits. I am currently in the process of looking for finance for the residual on my car, and the finance company questioned why I wasn't looking at buying a new one. Um, maybe because the one I have is more than satisfactory for my requirements!

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