Frugal living has received more negative comments than positive ones. Many even associated it with unflattering terms such as cheap, boring, poor — the list goes on. But in reality, this kind of lifestyle has helped many individuals and families overcome their wellness and money struggles and even surpass their financial goals.
If you’re currently searching for a lifestyle that works for you, know that there will always be people, especially on social media, who have a habit of attacking those who pick unusual ones. So whether you’re already into frugal living or still considering starting it out, we hope you won’t be discouraged by people who are attacking different lifestyles. After all, you always have the freedom to choose the lifestyle you want. Let’s now get into the five inaccurate assumptions about frugality.
Assumption #1: For poor people
It’s quite interesting that many assume frugal living is just for poor people when its entire point is to make sure you won’t be one. Being frugal and being poor are two different things. Being frugal means being a smart steward of your finances, while being poor means having almost nothing. In fact, some of the wealthiest individuals got to where they are because they live frugally. Think about this, how can you expect yourself to save or have the money to achieve financial freedom if you are not wise with your money in the first place? Simple logic.
Assumption #2: Living cheap
You read it right. Having a frugal lifestyle is not the same as being cheap. The goal here is to be mindful and smart with your financial choices, from knowing what to save to learn where to spend money. This lifestyle is meant to help you reach your financial goals much faster.
On the other hand, living cheap is mainly about spending as little money as possible just for its sake. Typically done at the expense of functionality or practicality. Some examples are getting the cheapest meal at the same of your health and purchasing poor quality items to save a few bucks. That’s being ‘cheap’ and not being ‘frugal.’
Frugality means: Doing smart meal planning and choosing the best quality food, shopping around before availing of services, purchasing the best quality items so you can stay within your budget. Does your garage door need repair? Shop around for reputable residential and commercial garage door repair contractors first. Is the bookshelf you want to buy doesn’t fit your budget? Maybe you can find a similar one with good quality in a clearance sale or wait for seasonal discounts? It’s about making conscious and wise purchasing choices.
Assumption #3: No fun and adventure
Let’s get things straight here. Who doesn’t want to live a boring and burdensome life, right? Living frugally does not necessarily mean you can’t experience new things or go on adventures to live the best of your life. Even with traveling, which is typically expensive, you can be frugal without sacrificing fun. For instance, instead of purchasing tickets on a whim, find dates in advance and take advantage of early booking discounts.
Furthermore, this lifestyle also promotes a new and simpler definition of adventure. You don’t actually have to spend that amount of money to enjoy life. You have to appreciate what you have. Have a backyard barbecue party with your friends, go for a morning walk at the park with the family, or chat up with relatives — whatever!
Assumption #4: Tough to maintain
Any lifestyle would be hard to maintain if you don’t have clear goals and self-discipline. And just like others, a frugal lifestyle can take months or years to practice. It can even be more challenging for people who are used to making regular purchases due to advertisements they see online. But as you initiate this lifestyle with a clear purpose and discipline, living with less will come easy. The cuts will require less effort, the spending will become more mindful, and your choices will focus on essentials.
Learning the basics of frugal spending can be hard at the start, but the maintenance won’t be. You need to remind yourself what motivates you in the first place and what you can get at the end of the tunnel.
By being aware of how frugal living really works, you can help fight the misconceptions and start your own journey without fear. Having a frugal lifestyle will never hinder you from having fun or enjoying your life. It’s actually a stepping stone to help you achieve your dream life and goals in a faster yet cautious way. As most people say, if you’re looking to immensely change your life for the better, you need to make significant changes too.