There are lots of reasons to live frugally, and whatever yours are, you can rest assured they are good ones. Everyone follows their own frugal living path, some of us living more frugally and some of us less. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. But it is helpful to know WHY you’re doing it. Here are three of my reasons:
- To build savings to prepare for emergencies. Life happens and sometimes things go wrong. And when things do go wrong, very often… in fact, I would venture to say most of the time… it costs money to make them right again. Just recently we had this fun and expensive car problem and I was very, very thankful we had the money to pay for the repairs. The repair wiped out a big chunk of our savings, though, and we need to build it back up ASAP.
- To have the money to occasionally buy things we truly want. Living frugally isn’t about never buying anything. It’s about saving money to buy the things that really mean something to you, rather than spending money willy nilly on things that don’t bring you any particular happiness. Since we’ve moved, we’ve bought things like this table and chair set…
(Okay, so that’s just the chairs with Beto in them. But gratuitous pictures of Beto are more interesting than tables and chairs.) That was a bigger purchase, but savings is for smaller purchases too, like these amazingly great priced mirrors, also for the dining room.
In the interest of saving for emergencies, these purchases of things we truly want can’t happen too often, but when we work to save money, we’re able to enjoy a little bit of it now and then. And yes, maybe it would be better if we lived a little more frugally, but for us it’s worth it to buy these things for the happiness they bring.
- And lastly, living frugally is better for the planet.
Rampant consumerism is not only costly to our wallets, it’s costly to the Earth. In a disposable world, many things end up in landfills. By using everything we buy, we keep, and by buying used, we keep things in circulation. Not to mention that buying used saves money and saves the energy and materials it would take to produce the item new. Also buying in bulk is cheaper, and comes with less landfill-filling packaging.
Living frugally isn’t easy. And sometimes I’m not great at it. Getting takeout is always easier than cooking, and a trip to the consignment store sounds like a lot of fun, even when I don’t need any new clothes. I’m pretty good at thwarting myself from the consignment store with a simple reminder that I’m saving for more important things, but the takeout issue is still a work in progress. I’m MAKING progress, though, and that’s the most important part. Both for my psyche and for my wallet.
What are your reasons for living frugally?