When it comes to improving your finances, there are two basic ways to go about that. You can either increase the amount of income you bring in or you can lower the amount of money you’re dishing out. Today, let’s talk about being frugal: the art of extreme money-saving and a great way to lower the amount of money you send out.
In short, frugal living is the art of living well below your means in a very intentional and enjoyable manner.
However, don’t mistake frugality for being a cheapskate. The goal of living in frugality is to purposefully choose where your hard-earned money is spent. Being cheap, on the other hand, comes at the expense of others.
A cheapskate is selfish, only worrying about their one goal of not spending their own money. It’s that “friend” that always wants to grab drinks but never seems to have his/her own money to cover his/her own drinks. They’re the types of friends you don’t want to have.
But anyway, back to frugality. Whether you’re struggling with debt, hoping to build your savings, or just want to live with more financial intention, frugality is the way to go. Here’s how to be more frugal.
Understand what frugality is actually about.
As mentioned earlier, frugality is a way of living that calls for intentionally living below your means with the hopes of improving your finances. Basically, frugality is about cutting out the fluff and wasteful habits of spending without real need.
Because frugal people tend to have more money saved and fewer monthly expenses, they tend to have more freedom. They have the means to travel more, experience more, do more, and enjoy life on their own terms.
Prioritize needs over wants.
No, you don’t need those shoes that come out on the 1st. What you do need, however, is food (but not too much), water, shelter, and just enough clothing. Everything else in life that you might try to convince yourself is a need is simply something that you want. But remember, there are only four true needs that your money should go toward.
Just remember to not go overboard with food or clothing.
Be grateful for all that you do have.
In today’s gluttonous society, people tend to focus more on how to add more to their lives, rather than paying attention to the things — the blessings — that they already have. We see these people on Instagram. You know, with their fancy clothes, cars, and experiences, and we want that for ourselves. We become jealous, so we never actually take a moment to reflect on what we should be thankful for.
Instead of being gluttonous or jealous, or trying to keep up with the Joneses, try practicing a bit of gratitude. By being thankful and mindful of the things you already have in your life, you can live more frugally and understand that you don’t need all the glitz and glam.
Stop trying to impress other people. Do what’s best for you.
Thanks to social media, people are more worried than ever about the opinions of others. In an attempt to look cool or be accepted by others around you, you might feel the need to buy all sorts of luxurious and materialistic — and unnecessary — stuff. However, these things are only surface-level and have no real benefit for your well-being or growth.
Rather than buying things to impress other people, why not use your hard-earned money to buy things that make you happy instead? If you’ve been wanting to learn how to play guitar, it wouldn’t be a bad use of your money to buy a guitar. Or, you can put that money toward paying off debt. It’s a much better investment in yourself than, say, buying a Gucci wallet because all your friends have one.