Have 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.