5 Myths About Frugal Living
Frugality or frugal living is one of the most misconceived ideas in the society. While various aspects related to living standards may ultimately equate to frugal living, frugal living does not necessarily have to be related to them.
Frugal living is much about choice than it is about consequence. Nonetheless, some people find themselves leading a life of frugality due to circumstances beyond their control. This is why; it is easy for those who choose to lead a frugal life to be labeled as cheap, miserly, or tightwads.
All these terms point to the type of person who would do anything to avoid unnecessary expenditures while at the same time capitalizing on promotional products and coupons, such as, online bill payment coupons, checking account coupons, as well as, online shopping coupon codes, among others.
However, for those who choose to lead a frugal life by choice, some of these adjectives and other phrases frequently associated with frugal living are nothing more but myths. Here, I am going to demystify five of the most common myths about frugal living.
Frugal Living means being Miserly, Mean, and Cheap
While all these synonyms can result in one being frugal, frugality is not about these words. Being frugal does not mean that you must live a cheap life. People who choose to be frugal have a prioritized list of sometimes very expensive things that they tend to do on a periodic basis.
For instance, a frugal person may choose not to pay over-the-odds for a lunch date, but instead, take their partner on a Caribbean cruise in the summer. The initial action makes such a person look miserly whereas the latter justifies the meaning of frugality.
Frugality is down to circumstances, not choice
While I can’t fully disagree with this, the whole idea of frugality is being able to make the choice yourself. True is the fact that some people find themselves in this situation due to circumstances beyond their control. However, most people who lead a frugal life are actually able to live an expensive life. They just don’t see the need of living extravagantly for the sake of it.
People who make the choice to live a frugal life are mostly good at managing finances. For instance, if you prefer taking your time to identify the best savings accounts in terms of interest, this does not mean that you are poor. Even the best investors seek for high returns.
Good money managers also tend to separate their savings to suit their desired purpose. For instance, someone would open health savings account separate from their retirement savings account. This is not down to circumstance, but rather it is a choice and a good one for that matter.
In contrast, most people who are forced to living a frugal life are not good at managing finances and that’s why probably they find themselves in situations where they are unable to spend enough on certain products and services.
It’s impossible to choose a frugal life today
With the consumer price index spiraling up every year, families are becoming smaller by the day and capitalism is deeply sinking into people’s mindsets, it is harder to lead a frugal life today than it was a few decades ago. Small families mean that it is probably harder to enjoy quantity discounts while our capitalistic mindsets tend to set people to living classy and extravagant lives.
However, even with extreme circumstances such as the ones we see today, frugality can never go missing. Frugality is all about innovation and creativity, and with people being as creative as they are, it is always possible to find opportunities where one can be frugal while at the same time leading a classy life. I have not come across one billionaire investor who prefers to buy stocks when they are expensive and sell when they are cheap.
They all try to identify the best investment stocks regardless of the market situation which would allow them to save on purchase cost while promising decent returns in the future. Isn’t that some bit of frugality?
Frugal people lack style, class, and taste
This is not true at all. Real frugality is ordered, prioritized and it demonstrates some level of self-awareness. While spending every penny on every new design in a fashion line may appear to showcase class and taste, it actually demonstrates the opposite.
Frugal people choose their moments, they just do not spend on a new item because it’s on sale, but they will spend on an item if it makes sense to their lifestyle. This is the difference between a stylish, ordered person, and a jumbled spender.
Being the person who likes to capitalize on festive season coupon codes and online bill payment coupons does not imply that you go for the cheap stuff that has no class. The richest people in the world always target buying things at a discount from an investing perspective. So what’s wrong with buying consumer goods at a discount? It’s all the same because it saves you money.
Frugality requires sacrifice and denial
Many will agree with this school of thought but it’s not entirely true. Rather than sacrifice, frugality requires commitment. It’s hard at first but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature. Actually, most frugal people find it hard to spend extravagantly without purpose.
Frugality has nothing to do with denying yourself a better life as some would enthuse. Rather, frugality is about making your life better. There is nothing better than living a debt-free life, having enough savings for your retirement and finally paying for that mortgage. All this can be easily achieved if you prioritize your spending. This is one of the pillars of frugal living. Prioritizing expenditure is not equal to not spending at all.