Frugal Lifestyle Guide 1

Frugal- Is It Being Cheap or Wise?


As we look back on last year and see all the consumption that we have acquired in our lives, how does it make you feel? Blessed to have been given so much or been able to give so much? Or are you looking at everything that you have and feeling like it’s a lot more than you need?

If you are the latter than you can take a look at the new year through some frugal glasses and see what you might accomplish. Unfortunately being frugal most of the time is looked upon as something bad, it’s often associated with being cheap, but in reality it really means living with less, being more resourceful with what you have and most of the time, living a happier lifestyle.

Cutting back and looking at what you value

Being frugal allows you to look at what you value and put it into perspective. Take eating out or your weekly Starbucks habit. If you eat lunch out 4 times a week at an average of $10 per meal, that’s $40/week or an average of $160/month which equals $2080 a year. Add in a Starbucks habit 3 times a week at $5 each and you have another $780/year. What could you do with $2860 extra per year? Or if you don’t want to cut it out completely eat out once a week and enjoy Starbucks once a week…you still save $2080/year on average, that’s a lot of money if you look at it over 10 years and it’s all really for some food and drink.

What do you value? Do you want to retire comfortably, but don’t know how to do it. Take a look at some of your discretionary habits and then see what you can cut back on. Use that extra money to contribute to a 401k or Roth IRA…bonus if your employer has a match option, max it out, free money is free money!

Looking at what you have consumption wise

What about your clothes, food, possessions, stress or media? Do you have items that you just had to have, but now they are sitting in the closet and have not been worn in ages? You should take a look at Jen Hatmaker’s book “SEVEN”. It’s the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism and overindulgence. (Sins!) It’s a great read, that shows many areas of our lives that we could cut back in.

FIRE-Financially Independent to Retire Early

Another great option to look at for living a more simple lifestyle with a great end goal is FIRE or Financial Independence to Retire Early. It’s a great money management lifestyle, that allows you to work towards financial independence while looking at what’s really important to you. Take a look at some great options on how to create this lifestyle on Frugal Fire or another great article on how to get started by U.S. News.

No matter what your house or closets look like after this holiday season you always have the ability to start looking at options to become frugal and as most who have walked that path also say…more happy. Enjoy saving money and time this year. Let us know some great ways you have cut expenses or found what you value in the comments, we always love to hear from you.

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