Living frugally can feel frustrating at times. Choosing to cut back can sometimes feel like you are giving up or missing out on things, but frugality can be a positive thing if you shift your mindset.
Whether you’ve chosen to live frugally because you need to make some changes to your financial situation or just because you have realized you can live with much less, it is an adjustment. This article will explore ways to put a positive spin on frugality.
1. Saving Money
A positive aspect of living frugally is the fact that you can save money. If you reduce your overall expenses and continue to bring in the same amount of money, you will have more money in your pocket at the end of the month.
This extra money can be invested or saved for a rainy day or a big purchase you have planned, like a home renovation or a car.
Having an extra financial cushion always feels good. However, it’s much more gratifying to see your money stack up in savings or work for you in an investment portfolio than any quick hit of dopamine that you get from a Target run or shopping online.
2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
A considerable benefit of frugality is that it can help lessen feelings of stress and anxiety. When you are in a place of financial lack, where you are either living paycheck to paycheck or scraping up funds to pay your bills each month, you are living in a constant state of stress.
Whether you are aware of it or not, money stress is one of the most persistent and all-consuming types of stress. Even if you are not naturally predisposed to stress and anxiety, money worries tend to bring it out in everyone.
If you live frugally, you will know exactly where you stand financially and what is within your realm for spending. This takes stress away because you aren’t constantly tallying in your head whether you can afford to buy something.
Knowledge is power when it comes to your finances. By making some simple changes to live more frugally, you will take control of your financial situation and reduce the stress that comes from worrying about money.
3. Reach Financial Goals Earlier
If you are committed to frugal living, you will quickly find that you are left with more money to put toward important things.
A frugal lifestyle will help you carve out more money to save for big things like new homes, renovations, cars, vacations, college funds, retirement savings, and more. By cutting back a little bit (or a lot) now, you have a chance to reach your savings goals earlier than you may have expected or in a more significant way.
Maybe you can retire a few years earlier because you got aggressive with your retirement accounts. What if you were able to pay for all your kids to go to college and avoid taking out loans? What if that Disney trip could happen next year instead of in five years?
Having money gives you options and helps you get where you want to go faster. Although it can’t buy happiness, it can certainly make the path to getting there a bit sweeter.
4. Focus on Things That Matter
When you free up the mental space that money stress and future planning stress take up, you have much more energy for the things that matter to you. Imagine not having to worry about how you will pay your bills or stressing about whether you’ll be able to retire on time.
With a frugal lifestyle, your focus is less on “things” and more on experiences and living your life. You know that you have enough to pay your bills, cover expenses, and save so that you can focus on your family, your work, hobbies, and more.
Frugality shifts your focus away from worrying about whether you can afford trendy new things and focuses you on seeing money as a vehicle for achieving goals and doing what you want. That is a powerful feeling.
5. Strengthen Relationships
The positive aspects of frugality aren’t only financial. One of the significant areas of your life that living frugally can positively impact is your relationships. It may come as a surprise but being frugal can help your relationships with family and friends in many ways.
The most obvious way frugality helps relationships is that when you are less stressed about money, you have the time and energy to show up as a better partner, parent, son or daughter, friend, and more. When you are a better version of yourself, you are better for everyone else.
Another unexpected way that frugality can help strengthen your relationships is that you may find yourself relying on or working together with those you love more. Frugality makes you get creative in finding ways to do things like home repairs or childcare on a budget, and you usually know someone who can help!
People are hard-wired to want to help people they care about, so when you ask if your mom can babysit or hire a friend to do a project, it means so much.
6. More Money to Give
If you find yourself with more money in your bank account than ever before, thanks to living frugally, you may be relieved to feel like you’re able to give back finally. Whether you’re just increasing the amount of money you’re giving to a charity you love or donating for the first time, it feels so good.
You have the opportunity to make a difference when you can help causes and people that are important to you without feeling overburdened.
It’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be a large donation to be impactful. So, when you start to notice your frugality paying off and you have some extra money lying around, start allocating some money to a charity (or even a few) that means something to you.
Do some research on important causes and make sure you select a good organization that transparently allocates donations and makes a habit of giving! Stay connected with the organizations you donate to so you can see where your hard-earned money is going.
7. Less Pressure to “Keep Up”
When you shift your focus towards living a more frugal lifestyle, you stop focusing on the mentality that you must keep up with your peers. You’ll probably notice:
- You won’t focus on whether you have this season’s trendy clothes or a nicer house than your friend, because your goals are more important.
- You spend your money on the important things and ignore the rest (this can be so freeing if you’ve been spending your time trying to live according to a confident lifestyle expectation).
When you stop comparing your situation to others and focus on just living for yourself and the important things in your life, your life begins.
8. Eliminate Clutter
Living frugally means you’re inevitably buying less stuff, which ultimately means less stuff in your home to clutter things up. Never underestimate the power of a living in a space that is free of clutter. When everything in your home has a purpose and isn’t cluttered with junk, you will feel so much better. There are apps, such as Decluttr, where you can sell the items, you declutter.
It’s like walking into a room you just tidied up for the first time. Closets, basements, and extra bedrooms are no longer places to hide from each other. Everything has its place and makes sense, and there aren’t piles of junk or unused things taking up space.
Without the shadow of clutter in your home, your home can be a place where you can truly relax, recharge, and make memories.
9. Practice Resourcefulness
Living frugally means sometimes having to develop creative solutions to get things done. This is where resourcefulness will come into play. You’d be surprised at how many resources you have at your fingertips when you are focused on getting things done on a budget.
You might find yourself getting creative and doing DIY projects with the help of YouTube tutorials. Or maybe you will tap into your network and discover that you have connections who can help with things you need to be done. You are so much more capable than you give yourself credit for being.
Another way that resourcefulness comes out of a frugal lifestyle is that you will often find different uses for things around your home so that you can extend their shelf life. If your focus is on buying less stuff, usually the things you buy are high quality and multi-purpose or will be used for a long time.
10. Work to Live Instead of Living to Work
This one might be the best. It is so ingrained in modern culture to work hard so you can afford the next big thing, whether it’s a bigger house, a fancier car, a nicer handbag, a private school, expensive vacations, etc. As a result, we almost forget to ask ourselves if we want those things.
The great thing about living frugally is that your attention shifts away from all those types of things. You don’t have to worry about burning the candle at both ends trying to get to the next best thing. Instead, you will settle into a more balanced lifestyle with what you need and nothing more.
Image by [Alliance Images] via [Shutterstock.com]