We often equate frugality with trade offs. Trading our time to save money, trading for alternatives, and trading instant satisfaction for future gratification. No wonder frugal living seems so tough.
You may wonder how great you life would be if you never had to make any financial sacrifices, but let’s imagine for a minute that you didn’t have to say no to spending. That whatever you wanted, you would just buy it. That iPhone? Already have it. What about a Gucci hand bag? Got three this month already.
How will your life be if you can’t even think of anything you wanted? Do you really think there is any fun in that? If you just bought whatever you wanted without much thought, does buying really make you happy anymore?
Now, take a trip back to memory lane to those times when you finally saved enough money to buy something you really wanted. That doll, that toy car, that video game and that first house. How excited were you? Quite a bit excited I bet.
Frugal living isn’t always a trade off. Actually, being frugal enables you to enjoy the purchase. It allows you to feel comfortable about the future, and it frees you from falsely believing that money and happiness has anything to do with each other.
My friend came to visit us for a week and just left. We had lots of fun, and I welcome him to come over any time. It was also stressful though. While he was here, we ate out almost every day. During that week, I almost bought a brand new Apple Macbook. It’s not that I will be in financial trouble if I fell into the spending trap, but it’s money spent accumulating stuff that I really didn’t need. I probably would somehow disagree with the following fact at the heat of the moment, but having two laptops just doesn’t make me more efficient.
I’m happy to be back to the simplicity of being in Emma’s arms watching a $1 movie we rented at Redbox. I’m excited seeing an email today that entitles everyone at our residence free ice cream from McDonalds. I fully enjoyed eating at home tonight with my lovely wife.
There are no trade offs. I love living frugally.
How about you? How do you enjoy being frugal?