Being frugal is a term that is seen by diverse people in different ways. As for the public, it's a delightful way to get more benefit out of your capital. I will be outline ways to be frugal without being cheap in this article.
It carries a sense of cheapness or sacrifice but for yet some people, it’s simply a way of sustenance.
If you are reading this post, you likely have some concern about the idea of being frugal.
So, let’s begin right off by defining exactly what we mean by the term “frugality.”
Frugality is normally described as “the state of being economical with your resources and not being wasteful.”
In addition to that, people who exercise frugality tend to make the most utmost value for their money in all the stuff that they do.
It is a compelling plan for personal finance, regardless of what your goals seem like. Whether you are to pay off your debt more quickly, retire early, or reach your financial goal, then being frugal is one path that may help you realize it.
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Guide to determine if you are Being Frugal
Are you curious if you are really practicing frugality or if you are frugal? Determining if you are living frugally will help you make changes and help you. Ask yourself some questions to get a better idea of where you stand:
- Do you have a monthly budget?
- Do you track your spending habits and expenses?
- Do you start investing as soon as possible?
- Do you take your lunch to work?
- Do you make meals at home rather than eating out?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself as there are other questions. If you answered no to these, it is time to make changes to live a more frugal lifestyle.
What it means to be frugal
The distinction between being frugal and cheap is notable. Generally, cheap people are driven by saving money regardless of the cost; frugal people are driven by maximizing value, including their time.
Hence, a frugal person realizes that using more money on high-quality things can save him money in a long way.
Frugal people will also never see to save money at the account of others or basic life requirements.
To be frugal without being cheap, you should cut losses, spend money on investing, and formulate a business plan.
To become more frugal, you must be realistic with your spending and understand that frugality is a way of life.
Frugal vs Cheap
Frugality indicates that a person is not neglecting your internal desires and aspirations but understanding all of them.
You’re thinking about your spending, asking yourself what value you’re receiving out of them, and paying money when those things give you many values.
Being cheap reflects that you spend the ideal minimum amount of money maintaining the basics of life without conserving value.
Furthermore, one of the most important problems people have about frugality is that they recognize it as cheap.
It’s great to deem frugality and cheapness as a couple of very distinctive elements.
For instance, when you have friends over for dinner or any other purpose, you must try to make a meal that they would most probably enjoy while working to keep the costs minimal.
That requires studying thoroughly about the meal, buying thoughtfully for components, and making great food batches at a moderate cost. That is exactly known as frugality. Try for frugal, not cheap.
If anything is significant to you, get the best out of it while reducing costs, not about saving every penny. Always remember the difference between cheap vs frugal.
Is Living Frugally Worth It or only for Cheapskates?
Several personalities are frugal because they want a better prospect, and saving money now will provide for a better life in the future.
Frugal people pay money, particularly if they are getting something worthy and will be the test of experience.
Being a frugal person, you are prepared to perform small losses to help you live better and get outside of debt. But, if you are cheap, you will discover a way to get out of funding for things.
For illustration, the cheapskate skips out on giving his or her server a tip. Furthermore, if one is cheap, they will try to pay the most insignificant amount for everything, without paying heed to quality.
5 strategies to be frugal without being cheap
1. Reduce the cost of urgent and essential expenses
If you want to be more frugal and take control of your finances, then you will need to analyze your expenses.
All of us have the necessary regular bills that we must cover to secure our basic requirements. Shelter, meals, water, clothes, toiletries, electricity, security, a car, and place the internet to stay engaged.
You want those items, and it’s normally much clear what you require out of those elements. When you spend your rent or property taxes, you give it to have a roof over your head, isn't it?
- Housing: Are there less costly places that you could live, have your requirements met, and be satisfied? If you’re frugal, you would thoroughly think about what you value and need in a house. You don’t just pick the less expensive one without value.
- Car: Ditch that expensive car and get a less pricey car that fits the bill. Sometimes we all want to get the luxury of having the latest car but if you want to be frugal, get an affordable one. In this, staying frugal means buying a less expensive car or using transport systems that maximize your advantage of time and price.
- Insurance: Always shop around for coverage every two or three years. Obtain quotes from multiple insurers and then consulting with your modern insurance organization. Investigate bundling your different types of insurance as well and reflect thoughtfully. How much of a deductible you can get if you do have to use the insurance policy.
- Food and other household essentials: Are you eating meals you made yourself at the house? Are you ordering a lot of branded products? Are you doing practical meal preparation and grocery purchasing? You don’t have to buy food that you don’t like or is not nutritious to be frugal. Remember, you can still enjoy meals without spending more money than what’s in your food budget.
The best way is to track your expenses
2. Review the Value of splurges and upgrades
Have you ever thought about all the other expenses in life? The upgraded expenses, entertainment expenses, takeout, and tour expenses.
These expenses change so much from one person to another; it’s difficult to give each person good policies. Preferably, this is where a frugal approach pays off. Here’s how we can evaluate those expenses.
- Review your latest credit card bills, bank accounts, and store vouchers—question yourself which of those costs brought you enduring value out of the expenses. One can still enjoy the little things in life like great coffee and movie rentals if that is what you consider.
- Target to talk oneself out of things other than talking yourself into things. Many of us have a bad attitude of talking ourselves personally into spending unnecessarily. Nevertheless, if you want new work clothes, frugality should not become in the way of looking professional.
- Give attention to free and low-cost things, and search into things that you need to try. For instance, if you want to watch a movie on a streaming service you already have or to rent a movie. Opt for watching a movie or show on the streaming service you have instead of getting another one.
3. Invest your money for a better future
These frugal tactics sum up to one point: you spend less money while obtaining almost everything you consider important in life.
The important thing is that the money you save doesn’t go into unnecessary things. It goes into great things that will impact your life positively and influence your life.
Manage the money you’re keeping from saving to build an emergency fund, pay off your debts, and then start saving for retirement.
Think about your other important life purposes as well and begin actively saving for them too.
Do you require to own your own house? Do you desire to travel around the world? Begin a savings plan and start saving for them. These are the necessary but not important things, and they’re the actual outcome of the frugality tree.
When you start being frugal, you can think more about better uses for your money, and along with it comes success in your financial plans.
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4. Accept frugality and stop believing the myths
Most people consider being frugal cheap, boring, and even a bad person. People believe that happiness only comes when you spend money, but frugal people only spend money on things they value.
Money can help and improve your life in so many ways, but it will lead you into frustration if not managed well.
Furthermore, being frugal doesn’t mean you will live a boring or meaningless life, but you take caution in your spending habit. You can still find enjoyment and still be a frugal person and have fun and experience new things.
5. Being frugal is a lifestyle choice and life habit
Being frugal is a lifestyle and habit that people tend to exhibit and is not something they are born with.
Just like every habit, you need to build a routine in other to be frugal. Always challenge yourself and start working towards becoming a frugal person.
Having the right mindset will go a long way in being frugal; you can’t be frugal today and stop being one tomorrow.
Be content with what you have and don’t allow society to dictate for you.
Focus on the benefit of being frugal which include, financial freedom, doing what has value, and so on.
Embracing a frugal lifestyle isn’t declining all invitations to go out and catch some fun but spending money on what you value the most at that time.
It is plausible to be frugal without being cheap. Being frugal is not compatible with being cheap.
One can secure money and yet live life the way one wants. Being cheap only hurts you in the long run. However, frugal living is a method for a better and quality life.
In a nutshell, frugal living takes planning and actions along the way to make it work. Remember, when you have confidence in your dreams, they are always attainable.
Being frugal will help you learn more about spending less and saving long-term goals while living a comfortable life.
Are you a frugal freak? Do you think it’s negative? Let me know in the comment section.
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Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.