Here Are Some Great Benefits of Frugal Living!
Are you interested in frugal living? Maybe you’ve already taken steps to becoming more frugal like we have. Whatever the case, there are loads of benefits to frugal living that aren’t necessarily related to money and the environment.
It should be noted that frugal doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. However, some people very well may see it that way. Personally, we have no problem spending money on things that bring us long-term value and that we need at that time. Being cheap means not spending that money at all or cutting corners to find an alternative (that can often cause you to spend more money in the long-run by not making the correct initial assessment/investment of needs).
In any case, there are loads of articles out there on frugal living tips and ideas – but not too many about people’s actual experience of trying to live more frugally. That’s why we wanted to write this article. We’re on the road to becoming more frugal and to live simpler – and we are quite happy with how it’s going so far. So, here are some benefits to frugal living that we have experienced. Maybe you can relate to them, too!
Makes Saving Money Easier
Of course, one of the first benefits that come to mind when we think of frugal living is saving money. And, yeah, that would be correct – but we think there’s more to it. Frugal living isn’t just about the money you are saving by the choices you make – it’s also about reducing your spending in the first place.
Some of you might say: “Well, aren’t those the same thing?”. And you could certainly argue that – but we think they are different. We like to think of it this way: Imagine you are at the grocery store and there was a food product you sometimes use on sale. If you decided to buy it, you would be saving money on that product because you did, in fact, save money compared to the regular price. So, great job – but there’s more to it.
We like to look at that product and think “Do we really need it in the first place?” and if the answer isn’t “absolutely yes” it doesn’t get purchased. Sure, you saved money but you did it by reducing spending in the first place – which is more of a mindset than simply finding a great deal on an item. Does that make sense?
You can save all the money you like on sales products but if you don’t use them, you just literally threw away the money used to purchase them anyways. Frugal living for sure saves you money – because you generally make it a lifestyle habit to reduce your overall spending.
We think that’s the difference – reduced spending not out of cheapness, but out of understanding our needs and defined use for a certain item. We don’t have any use for it? Then we won’t buy it (at least not at that moment)!
Reduces Our Consumption
Another benefit of frugal living is that you can greatly reduce your consumption. When we mean consumption, we are referring to “stuff” – from the food we buy at the grocery store to other products like clothes, shoes, etc.
Our view of frugality is largely to reject the overly-consumerist nature of society these days. We only buy what we need when we need it. Period. We do not view shopping as a past-time – and we hope that more and more people will change that given the detrimental impacts consumerism (as a whole) has on the earth.
As a result of reducing our personal levels of unnecessary consumption (both food and materials goods), we inevitably have a better carbon footprint because we don’t use extra packaging, materials to make goods, etc. When we grocery shop for produce, we bring our own mesh veggie bags and try as best we can to avoid veggies wrapped in plastic. It’s not always possible – but one step at a time, right?
Read Next: How to reduce plastic waste at home
When it comes to larger items, like furniture, we have a mindset that we wish to up-cycle things when we have our next base (read: our first permanent home together). We find value in items often discarded and this also has good effects on the environment since a couple of fewer pieces of junk head for the landfill.
That said, it’s important not to hoard things thinking everything has value because that can create clutter and kind of goes against simple living and having less stuff, in general.
Lowers Feelings Of Stress
One of the things that we have found with living more frugally (and generally, living more simply) is that it can come with a reduction in overall stress. In this case, we are talking about the stress that comes from having “stuff” and/or too much of it.
Having less gives us a sense of clarity because most of the things we own have a purpose and a need to be there. In a way, it’s literally less stuff to have to worry about – and this has actually been studied. Our home is far less cluttered than most – although we are definitely still working on reducing our belongings to just own what we need to be safe, happy, and comfortable.
Helps Us Be (More) Disaster Resistant
Another benefit of living frugally is that it can help make you more resistant to change and/or disaster. We are actually writing this post in a time of a pandemic so this is no truer now than ever before in our lifetime.
Essentially, we live simply, generally put away money, didn’t regularly eat out, and usually buy food items that are basic/staples/useful for many different recipes. So, now that things have changed and we have to watch our spending due to the current situation, we don’t have to change our lifestyle all that much.
We don’t generally live an extravagant lifestyle of consumption so we really don’t have to change our lives and our personal patterns as much as others may have to in these drastic and harder times.
Complements A Simple Lifestyle
This is something we have eluded to above but can address more directly here. Frugal living is definitely a mindset that complements many of the ideas included in “living a simple lifestyle”. The one that comes to mind most often is the minimalism movement and living with less (and that would be totally right).
We’ve found that as we get more interested in one – such as minimalism – we kind of end up incorporating a frugal mindset of consuming out of need and use, not want and blind desire. We think that asking ourselves “does this bring us value?” is an important question to ask of every item in the home.
That said, you can be frugal and not necessarily be a minimalist – and that’s absolutely fine. We wouldn’t describe ourselves as minimalists either. We just like not having loads of clutter around the house – and some would argue that’s just a clean house and not necessarily minimalism. However, depending on how you acquired your items, it might have been frugally. See? Sometimes they do overlap and we have definitely seen that!
Reduces Feelings Of Envy
Another benefit that can occur when you live frugally is related to the fact that frugal people often have a clearer vision and focus on what they want in life and what is important to them. Basically, they don’t care about other people’s different lifestyles AND don’t care about what their own lifestyle might look like to others.
If you are confident in your lifestyle choice and sticking to it then you will be far less likely to look at what others are doing with comparisons eyes or even envy. Your neighbors got another new car? Great for them. Your extended family is spending money on electronics? Well, that’s for them to enjoy. Do you care? No. Do you judge? Also, no. You just focus on you.
Aids In Reaching Financial Freedom
For us, one of the biggest benefits of living frugally is the idea of gaining “financial freedom” or the ability to grow our savings and have the choice of doing what we want in life with the money we have. For many, this is interpreted as saving money to retire early so one can enjoy life – but this isn’t necessarily the aim/goal for us.
Living frugally saves money but it’s also about living simply. It’s about living the way we want (in such a way that has a generally positive impact on the world) and having the financial freedom to make the best decisions for us when the time is right. We might raise a family, keep working when older, focus on passion projects, etc. – but we want to make these decisions by looking at considerations beyond the financial.
The point is, we don’t want to work a job we absolutely hate and only do it for the money until we are old, then relax for a bit and die. That’s a cycle we are trying to avoid – and living frugally can help us gain the financial cushion to get there. The sooner you save, the sooner you have more, the more you have later. Math pending, it’s that simple.
Helps Develop Self-Sufficiency
Lastly, this is one benefit of living frugally that we really like! Frugal living has definitely helped us to gain a better sense of self-sufficiency. We have learned lots of new skills like baking our own bread, making our own hummus, or using a sewing machine.
To be fair, these are things that our grandparents just did and many people nowadays just don’t do anymore. In some ways, our generation – and that of our parents for that matter – has gotten too used to convenience and the “throwaway culture”. Only now do we as a society slowly remember that not everything has to bought “ready-made” or be thrown away when it has a small problem – things can be repaired, upcycled etc.
We don’t purchase unnecessary things, pay attention to what we spend, generally cook cheap but healthy meals from whole ingredients and not pre-made things – we make our own spaghetti sauce, for example. When we buy items, we buy with usage and quality in mind or we make things ourselves. This is not because we don’t have the money – but because we can create the equivalent and that’s a neat feeling of self-sufficiency we think is important going forward.
The same can be said for our free-time activities. We can – and seldom do – go to movies but we can just as easily watch a movie at home and make our own popcorn on the stove (which is awesome and way better than in the microwave if you have never done it). We don’t rely on a restaurant for a fancy outing when we can have a lovely picnic in nature just the same.
Basically, for us becoming self-sufficient means that we rely less and less on other things/services/people to live our life. Oh, and we do splurge – but not often and only when we see great value in it.
And there you have it – a few benefits of frugal living that we have noticed on our journey towards living a simpler life. We aren’t perfect – but we definitely have developed a better sense of what we need versus what we want! Are there any more benefits you can think of? How is your journey going? Get in touch and let us know!
As always, Keep It Simple,
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