Does the word frugality make you think of the word deprivation?
To me, frugality brings to mind the the word freedom. Freedom from debt, freedom to spend my hard earned cash (I just try to chose wisely), and freedom from worry. It’s a lifestyle I’ve chosen to follow. I don’t feel deprived in the least! I may not buy brand new stuff all the time, but my needs are met! I’ve not always thought this way.
The following story is a part of my personal story about one of my life lessons that has shaped the frugal path I’m on today.
There was a time when I was leasing a car. It was brand new and a realistic dream car. I had plans to buy it out after the lease was over, which meant getting a loan. I loved the car so much that I was willing to take on debt. It was around the end of my lease contract that my mindset started to change. I knew I couldn’t go into debt over a car, something that decreases in value so quickly! I struggled with this decision for a while before I started looking at used cars. Looking back, that was the best decision I could have made. I paid cash that I had saved up, for a great older car! No payments, no debt. I didn’t need a brand new car!
Since that lesson, I have truly taken to frugality. I know where I need to spend more money and where I need to save my pennies. But…I’m not perfect and I’m still learning!
I have found that frugality makes me:
- Focus on the little things. I find much joy in a simple cup of tea or coffee, enjoyed in the quiet of my home. Or enjoying using my hands baking something. Or even watching the birds search for food in my back yard.
- Appreciate new purchases. Since I’m not buying something every time I go out, when I do buy something, it feels special! (and will feel special for a while!)
- Use creativity to come up with a less expensive way to do something. (outdoor/indoor activities, re purposing…etc)
- Do it myself. Why pay someone to do something that I can do myself? I want a new purse but since I can sew, I have no excuse to buy a new one. I love doing stuff myself, it makes it more fun! I also believe that there is a time and a place to hire someone though, I don’t want to hoard my money.
- Sleep better at night. I don’t spend my nights tossing and turning worrying about where the money for the next bill is going to come from.
- Look for a deal. If I need something in particular, why would I pay full price if I don’t have to?
Does frugality mean deprivation to you? Care to share part of your story that led you down the path of frugality?