There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about living a frugal life.
None of them, however, are bigger than the myth that frugality means pinching pennies across the board – never indulging, never splurging, and never purchasing anything that isn’t available at a rock-bottom price or available at a steal.
No, those living abundant frugal lives are as far from misers as you can imagine. While they are intelligent with their money and look for ways to strategically cut costs whenever possible, they redirect those funds to make sure that they can live the kind of comfortable, safe, secure, and carefree life that only comes from having your money situation totally under control.
For more information about how to live with this new vision of frugality — and what it looks like — you’ll want to check out the rest of the quick guide below.
The New Frugal
The number one reason that people rebel against leading a frugal life is that we have an ingrained societal view of what frugality must look like – pinching pennies, cutting costs, and micromanaging every single aspect of your budget while your friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors spend freely and seemingly enjoy themselves all whole lot more.
At the end of the day, the new frugal outlook couldn’t be any further from that kind of approach.
Today’s new frugal people are focused on paying themselves first — before doing anything else —socking away money into their savings and investment accounts and then handling all the rest of life’s expenses.
This approach radically shifts the mindset of money, turns it from a resource that needs to be paid out left and right – something that changes hands just assumes it hits yours – and transforms it into a wealth-building asset that grows, multiplies, and lets you live a life of abundance.
Living the New Frugal Lifestyle
As highlighted above, there are a couple of mindset shifts you need to make about money if you’re going to be living this new frugal lifestyle, if you’re going to have more control and power over your money (not vice versa).
Here are a couple of places to start.
Saving and Investing Rather than Spending
One of the most important distinctions you can make about money that you have coming in is to stop thinking about it in terms of what you can spend (even if that means finding ways to spend less) and instead are thinking about in terms of what you can save and what you can invest.
All wealthy people, not just those at the top of the billionaire list but those that are living comfortably in the upper-middle-class and above brackets, use their money to make more money so that they become more financially secure even while they sleep.
This kind of frugality can only be possible when you start thinking of each dollar as an individual asset and resource you’ll use to gain the kind of financial freedom you are hoping for. Every dollar needs a job, a task, and a mission that should revolve around either saving money or investing money.
Long Term Goals
The new frugal people of the world are also taking a longer-term look at their money, finding ways to avoid making short-term decisions with their cash and capital that could take their long-term financial decisions.
This does not necessarily mean that you have to give up your Starbucks coffee just to be able to retire in 20 years, either.
Sure, you might want to scale back on drinking Starbucks every single day (maybe splurging a couple of times a week) but this is more about making smarter long-term decisions about big expenses – car purchases or leases, renting and buying homes, investing, etc. – that will make or break where you end up financially later down the line.
As long as your short-term financial decisions are made with an idea towards how they are going to impact your life in the long-term you’ll be able to lead a life of frugality that doesn’t feel uncomfortable, that doesn’t feel limiting or like a prison of your creation, and will instead provide you with a lifetime of freedom, control, and certainty you wouldn’t have been able to enjoy otherwise.