8 Ways Frugality Will Make Your Life More Simple
A best-selling book entitled “The Millionaire Next Door”, released in 1996, ruffled some feathers. In contrast to the preconceived notions of the opulent millionaire lifestyle, this book revealed that most millionaires live frugal lives, shop for bargains, purchase their suits at JC penny, and even buy used cars. These “epitome of extravagant” people feel no need to let the world know that they can afford better lifestyles than the folk next doors. If that was alarming, consider this: Millennials are becoming minimalists!
Of the myriad impacts of recession, the bearing on Millennial shopping behaviors and attitudes may be more long lasting than some may believe. The result is a generation that is inclined towards frugality, and actively reconsidering the role of career, sustainability, and material possessions in their lives.
The rising wave of frugal living is taking this generation by the storm. People who are just getting to grips with budgeting and making smart consumer decisions in order to pursue a frugal life, might have difficulty adopting minimalism at first. However, once you get over the initial hump of learning to manage your finances, you’ll see how frugal living liberates you of your burdens and lets you live more freely and simply.
1. Makes you Appreciate Your Life
Living in a thriving country has its own disgraces; it makes you grow up with a severely distorted world view. When you have nothing but excess to look at, it’s easy to put the sufferings of the world at the back of your mind and resort to a disposable lifestyle.
Living the frugal life makes you truly appreciate what you have to be thankful for. Not only do you feel the utmost gratitude for the life you live, but you learn to make the best of your resources. Rather than turning green with envy over your neighbor’s shiny new car, you overcome the petty meanness and drive your old, dusty car for years, while you save every hard-earned penny towards avoiding going into debt when you do decide to upgrade to a savvier version.
Instead of rampantly disposing off your possessions when you have no use for them, you put two and two together and re purpose them. Worn out clothes can be diligently cut up and sewn into exquisite quilts, and baby food jars can be reworked into beautiful spice jars. Sky is the limit! When you are grateful for what you have and mindful of the hard work and efforts invested on your part to acquire it all, you let little go to waste. You would automatically shy away from flash-in-the-pan trends and more inclined towards more durable purchases that would last you for years to come.
2. Helps Pay Off Debt
While some people merely adopt the frugal living to pay off debt or make it through a time of financial crises, frugality is hard to shake off even after the last credit card payment is made and the sword is no longer hanging over the head.
To strip it clean of all pretenses, debt is simply a staggering burden that ties down even the free souls to locations and jobs they loathe, simply because the bills have to be paid and the hearth burning. A sound life insurance policy and less debt means fewer bills, less tossing and turning at night in apprehension, and the ultimate freedom to live the life you had aspired for.
3. Benefits the Environment
Just when you felt like nothing can surprise you anymore, you get hit by a bombshell again. The unstinted lifestyle of the days gone by has wreaked irrevocable repercussions on the environment. Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash in 2012 alone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, with only about 87 million tons of all that waste finding its way to the recycling bin. This translates into approximately 4.38 pounds of trash or waste per day per person, which is incredulous!!
For all the Eco-conscious people, frugal living is the ultimate way to protect the environment. When people learn to re-purpose and reuse their possessions, they use less disposable products, which creates less trash overall. You will be more mindful of your utilities, use less electricity, and carpool when adopting a frugal lifestyle not just because you want to cut down on costs, but also to avoid becoming one more blow to the environment.
4. Allows you to Have More Leisure Time
Perhaps the biggest benefit of adopting a frugal lifestyle is that you are bothered by smaller and less cumbersome bills to pay when you are not saddled with debt. If you don’t want to fall into a mundane 80 hour a workweek humdrum like many people, the good news is that you don’t have to!
Opting out of the prevalent consumer culture frees up your calendar. With lesser demands on your paycheck, you can garner more free time to spend on your leisurely pursuits and cultivate new hobbies, spend time with your family and people who matter, or simply relax. It could be anything that feeds your passion. Really!
Extravagant people might balk at the idea of not throwing away money at the slightest whims of their fancy, but the gist of the matter is that losing that burden can be the most amazing and liberating feeling in the world. Since frugal people attempt to make do with what they have, instead of always sprinting to shop around for something new, they can concentrate on the more important things in life.
5. Makes you Generous
While it’s true that a frugal lifestyle makes a positive impact on your family budget, it runs deeper than that. According to my friend Emma who works for ClothingRIC.com — An apparel only coupon code database for online fashion stores, “When it comes to helping others, frugal people are quite philanthropic. By saving money with coupons and cutting down your own expenses, you are able to help others and chip in for the social causes that you support.” After all its proven that putting a smile on somebody’s face could be one of the most rewarding things on earth. Remember that generosity always comes around.
6. Permits the Luxury of Early Retirement
Not many people wish to work laboriously late into their 60’s and god forbid, 70’s! Unfortunately, it’s the average retirement age for most working individuals who have trouble making ends meet. Rather than whiling away the golden years of your life bent over a work table, you could be delving in to gardening, bonding with your grandchildren, travelling, or any number of more gratifying things that you never had the time for.
Being a smart spender today lets you put boatloads of money on the side for retirement. This helps you attain a financially comfortable retirement level many years before your peers. In addition, since you won’t be encumbered by the trouble of maintaining a profligate lifestyle when you are older, you can contentedly live on less and still be satiated, instead of pining for the good old days.
7. Let’s you Fend for Your Children
While every parent worries about being able to fend for their children after they have passed on, few are able to accomplish this feat. This is because the mountainous expenditures of spendthrifts leave no room for investments and savings for a rainy day. On the other hand, a frugal person finds ways to stash away some money even on a stringy purse. Knowing that your children will be taken care of if something happened to you gives you enormous peace of mind and lets you enjoy life more fully.
8. Frugality Alleviates Day-to-Day Stress
American Psychological Association published an annual study on stress and health, listing financial troubles as a major stress affecting the lives of all Americans.
Makes it hard to imagine a world where you never have to worry about money, doesn’t it! How incredible would it feel to have a sturdy plan for an early retirement, no debts to chain you under, and having a healthy nest egg in the bank! Would you believe that such a world is real, and experienced by people who are not even plastic surgeons, day traders, or CEO's of fortune 500 firms?
Most of these people would tell you that the key to their happiness and stability is living within their means and investing the rest to cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs. And when your financial matters are sorted out, peace and tranquility comes naturally.