10 Reasons I Love Living a Frugal Lifestyle

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For some crazy reason, it seems that frugality is often associated with deprivation and being cheap. In my opinion, true frugality is anything but this. Frugality is about having more experiences. It’s about living more on a little less. Every since first discovering the world of personal finance blogging about 4 years ago, I’ve become totally fascinated by the power of frugality. It’s a lifestyle I’ve learned to embrace. Here are ten reasons I love living a frugal lifestyle:

1) I save money – I suppose this is the whole reason most people take interest in the idea of frugality in the first place. Part of being frugal is indeed learning how to save money. I’ve learned how to use coupons. How to buy used. How to save on groceries. It feels great to save money.

2) Helps me focus on my priorities – If you are going to commit to being frugal, it’s important to identify your motivation for embracing the lifestyle. Why am I willing to forgo a shopping trip to the mall? Oh yeah, because I’m trying to pay off my student loans by next year! Frugality inspires me to constantly evaluate the choices I’m making. Will this decision/purchase bring me closer to reaching my goals? What are my short-term and long-term goals?

3) Learn new skills – While trying to live frugally, I’ve picked up some new skills. I’m a pro at saving money while shopping. I’ve learned about how to use extra care bucks at CVS  to score us free personal care items like toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo. I also save money on almost all of my online by using Ebates to earn cash-back.

4) Enjoy Splurging – This was an interesting (and unexpected) byproduct of frugality. Contrary to what some people might expect, we do still spend money. We buy cloths, entertainment and yes, we go out to eat. While we may not do these things as often as we used to (before we got serious about being frugal), I find that we enjoy splurging much more. We appreciate these experiences now that we don’t indulge all the time.

5) Finding New Entertainment – Maybe the title of this should really  be re-discovering fun games. When was the last time you played a good card game or put together a puzzle? There are so many great ways to have fun without spending money. I’m always surprised by how much fun my husband and I have when we start playing card games.

6) Sustainability – I’m more conscious of our carbon foot print. We look for ways to reuse things before throwing them away. Re-purposing your stuff is a great way to save money. For example, I will re-use the same plastic zip-lock bag to bring crackers to work several times a week. When the bags can’t be used for food anymore, they are saved for future non-food use. Whenever a piece of clothing becomes too worn to wear, we cut it up into rags for house cleaning instead of throwing away.

7) Get Outside – Did you know that spending time outside can be a 100% free activity? It’s also good for your health. We spent much more time exploring bike paths and taking walks by the lake this summer. It was both fun and relaxing.

8) Less stuff – Now that we embrace frugality, we try not to buy unnecessary stuff. Doesn’t happen all the time, but we try. It turns out that there are a ton of benefits to owning less stuff. For starters, you’re saving money by buying less. You’ll space in your house and time cleaning and caring for your stuff. Less really is more.

9) New Recipes – In attempting to save money, we try to eat out less. Cooking from scratch can save a lot of money. We’ve tried making a lot of great food that we would normally just buy from the grocery store. We really enjoy making bread, pizza and pie crust, Chipotle burrito bowls, and desserts from scratch. We rarely purchase pre-made food or instant foods.

10) I live a richer life – Frugality is all about cutting the non-value adding crap out of your life and making room for what’s really important. We balance our long-term goals with having fun today and enjoying each moment. Our frugal lifestyle has taught us that you don’t need to spend money to be happy.

 Do you live a frugal lifestyle? What frugal habit do you have that you are most proud of? What is your favorite frugality trick?

Comments

  1. My favorite frugal habit is probably walking and using public transit. I hate driving so living in a city where I can walk everywhere is both great for my wallet and my peace of mind. Second is probably cooking which is very relaxing and most of the time I like the food I make over restaurants too!
    Taylor Lee recently posted…More Affordable Condo-Buying Tips: Beware Insufficient HOA ReservesMy Profile

    • Taylor, when my husband and I lived in the city we only had one car that we really didn’t use much. I really miss being able to rely on public transportation! Between the const of insurance, gas, and car payments we were saving a ton of money living in the city!

  2. My favorite frugal habits 1. eating out and getting take out FAR less. We wasted so much money on take out in our 20’s! 2. not being caught up in having the nicest/biggest/fastest car…again a mistake of our 20’s!
    Kara recently posted…A Day in the LifeMy Profile

    • Yeah we struggle with eating out. It’s fun and we love restaurants. I would hate to see how much we’ve spent on restaurants over the last 5 years!

  3. I do live a frugal life. For me, the biggest thing I overcame was saying yes to eating out all the time. I loved it and spending time with friends, so I had to learn to find another way to do that. I also don’t like a lot of “stuff” in my apt either, so I have no problem getting rid of things.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Answering the Question: Why Am I Really Doing This?My Profile

    • I’ve been struggling with saying yes too. Now that the holidays are here, it seems like there are even more things to say yes to! It is going to be a busy holiday season.

  4. I love number 5! Whenever my husband and I go head to head it gets really competitive and that’s really surprising for us, and super fun!

    And was the magic word deprivation? That’s a tough thesaurus challenge!
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…6 Excuses for Unused Gift CardsMy Profile

  5. This is a great list! For me, I love the frugal lifestyle because it gives me breathing room to handle the ups and downs that naturally happen in life. When you live less frugally, you definitely stress about money much more.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Investing Mistakes – EP 08My Profile

    • I should have added this one to my list. Giving yourself a cushion really does help plan for the unexpected. We had a really expensive summer with Ruby’s vet bills. Luckily we don’t spend all of our income each month. So, we were able to find some extra money to pay for the vet bills.

  6. I can definitely relate to your list. I would say that points 2 and 4 are ones that I really connect with often. I appreciate when we do splurge and enjoy some treats because it’s not an every day occurrence. I also feel good about the sound financial choices that we do make in order fuel our short and long term goals.
    Kassandra recently posted…5 Sure Signs of a Shady Financial CompanyMy Profile

    • totally agree Kassandra. It’s really empowering when you feel like you are making decisions that will positively impact your goals.

  7. I think the biggest thing my wife and I do that relates to frugality is always trying to use coupons and always looking to do projects and things ourselves. We’ve saved thousands over the past couple years from those two things alone and we definitely have learned a lot in the process.

    • Coupons are great. I think some people feel embarassed to use them or feel like they are too big of a hassle. Not me!

  8. We have ziplock bags in both cars with coupons BOGO MEALS, free items @ Harbor Freight, we’re plant based so we’re watching adds for deals for fresh produce. I’m a Home Health Nurse so I travel a lot! Always comparing fuel costs in the 3 states I cover. We bought kayaks & bikes for exercise & entertainment. It’s a good life being frugal!

    • That is so smart to carry coupons in the car for food. I know we’ve found ourselves hungry and on the road between errands. Would be so nice to at least save a few bucks if we have to eat out!

  9. This is a wonderful list! I’m right there with you. I think the by-products of frugality are awesome! It really forces you to focus in on what’s most important in life. The expensive distractions seriously just melt away once you’ve honed your vision of what you want your life to be!
    P.S. Mr. FW and I love cards too! What card games do you and your husband play? We’re always looking for good 2-person games. Our fave is Canasta, but it requires 4 players… good when we have guests!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Many Woots of GratitudeMy Profile

  10. Excellent list! I’m a hardcore minimalist, so I totally agree on the benefits. We started playing cribbage, backgammon, checkers and chess last year when we cut the cable. It really is lots more fun and we have more time to talk about things that are important to us. 🙂
    kay ~ lifestylevoices.com recently posted…LIFE LESSON #2: When I Was 23 It Was A Very Good Year, But Boy Was I DUMB! 😛My Profile

  11. These are all great reasons to embrace being frugal! The frugal habit I’ve always had was questioning whether or not a purchase is really a need. It’s helped me save a lot, and it also reduces clutter! I love playing games, too, though we usually go for video games over board games when it’s just the two of us.
    Erin @ Journey to Saving recently posted…Being Grateful: Fifty-First EditionMy Profile

  12. I like living a frugal lifestyle so that I save money and do not have to worry. I hated the time I had no savings and would worry when an emergency came and I could not solve it without getting into debt.

  13. I enjoying of spending modestly and saving much money. My frugal habit is carrying out a list of items I need.That definitely makes me stick to my budget.
    Amos recently posted…A Review of The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin GrahamMy Profile

  14. I love a frugal lifestyle because I tend to get what I want, to travel more often, and enjoy life more. It feels great that everything I plan is on track and I don’t get stressed over debt and bills.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…We’ve almost sold our houseMy Profile

  15. My favorite and simplest frugality trick is ordering service water when eating out 🙂

  16. Numbers one and two are huge for me. Saving money (1) and time (2) via prioritizing is huge. It’s funny – when you’re not shopping at all, you get your time back! This is coming from someone who used to make a habit out of shopping! And I’ve found ways to still be current / trendy while not spending my money. I like fashion and being feminine but that doesn’t mean my money has to pay for it! The feeling of having money is so much nicer than the feeling of having material items.

  17. Mr. Money Mustache made an excellent post today on this. He was asked the question on an interview whether he gets annoyed when the kids ask to go to Disneyland and he can’t afford it because he’s being frugal.

    This, understandably, sent him pretty wild!! Being frugal isn’t about doing without, its about making sure you do with the things that mean the most to you in life and not wasting money on the stuff that doesn’t matter. Your list sums this up pretty nicely!
    moneystepper recently posted…Is It Worth Going To University In 2015?My Profile

  18. This is a great list! I agree with all of your reasons. For me, it just gives my life more purpose since I am always working towards the goal of financial independence.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Frugal Travel: Where Would You Go for Five Days?My Profile

  19. I’m big on frugality and like to spend more on “experiences” rather than “stuff.” Though I love nice shoes, I haven’t purchased a single pair this year.

    I went to Paris for 8 days a few weeks back. No worries about paying for the trip at all. I save money so I can do stuff like that.