F is for Frugality

“Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.” ~Samuel Johnson

Frugal: economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving; not wasteful

Frugal living is freedom from the pressure of consumerism. You do not need TV commercials and fancy Madison Avenue advertisements to entice you to participate in a better life. You get to determine what is best for you and your family, and choosing a frugal lifestyle may suits you just fine. Yes, frugality is a lifestyle choice whereby you recognize that what you have is enough. Being content with the possessions you have leads to more choices in all aspects of life. Living frugally is living free from the burden of too much stuff and too many commitments.

Embracing a frugal lifestyle is not about sacrifice and deprivation; it’s about living smarter so that you can afford to live the life that you want to live. With that said, frugal living requires smart money management—smart spending and smart saving. Let’s take a look at some areas of choice that may be holding you back from the lifestyle you are seeking:

  1. Your home: Is it too big for your income?
  2. Your possessions: Are you working at a job you don’t like just to pay for the upkeep of possessions you don’t have time to use?
  3. Your reading material: Are there piles of magazines and books on the night stand or next to your lounging chair waiting for you to find the time to read?
  4. Your expenditures: Are you carrying balances on several credit cards while hoping that someday you will be debt free?
  5. Your diet: Are convenience foods your steady diet because of time constraints?
  6. Your health: When was the last time you relaxed and de-stressed?

The heart of frugal living is being conscious of what you genuinely need and being cognizant of the differences between wants and needs. Let’s face it, everything you bring into your home and every commitment you make becomes a responsibility. You have to care for it, maintain it, and ultimately, dispose of it.

The challenge is to be a responsible steward of your own well-being, your financial situation, and your environment. When you are in debt, it is hard to find a reason to be joyful.

Learning to be frugal makes good sense. The goal is to be debt-free and relieved of the excess weight of unused, unloved possessions. For many people embracing the voluntary simplicity movement, minimalism or essentialism is financial, mental, spatial and energy freedom. If living a simpler life is something you really want to do, then do it! It is a choice, your choice.

Frugal living is avoiding waste!