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Why you have the Wrong Idea About Frugality

Here are a few things that frugality is not. Stinginess, Going for the cheaper alternative, Risking your health for money and a few more.

When people hear the word “frugality,” they have a tendency to envision themselves is ragged clothes, eating rice and beans three times a day (on the days that they actually GET three meals a day), and finding simple means of entertainment, like stacking rocks in your backyard.   But this is far from the truth.   You can live a happy, satisfying life while you save money to get out of debt.

Here are a few things that frugality is not.

Stinginess -  When you turn to a more frugal lifestyle as a means of reducing your debt, no one suggest that you should turn into Ebenezer Scrooge.  Frugality doesn’t mean that you will never be able to head down to the public park because you will have to put a few quarters in the parking meter.  Or not driving to see your friends because it’s a waste of gas.  It’s about identifying the elements of your life that are costing you the most amount of money needlessly, and cutting them out.

Going for the Cheaper Alternative – Money really isn’t everything, and something should be said for quality.  Frugality as a tactic to get out of debt doesn’t mean that you should purchase the rattiest clothes at the thrift store.  It more means giving equal weight to your budget and the quality that you are receiving for your money.  By honestly assessing what you can actually afford, you can make the best use of your resources to live, and therefore get out of debt a lot faster.

Constantly Obsessing Over Money - People get deep into debt for a variety or reasons.  But one of the most common reasons is because they simply didn’t think enough about their money.  They charged a little here and there, and didn’t consider how that debt was going to compound and add up over time. So obviously, in order to live more frugally and get out of debt faster, you are going to think a little bit more about how money comes in and out of your bank account.  But this doesn’t mean that money will have to be the prime focus of your life.  You won’t spend all of your free time pouring over spreadsheets making sure you are stretching every penny to its limit.  If you even spend a little time each week thinking about your money and smart ways to budget, you are already a ahead of most people in terms of being responsible with your finances.

Risking Your Health for Money - If you feel a little ill, don’t put off a doctor’s visit just to save a few bucks.  And don’t cut off your health insurance with the hope that you will use that money to pay off your debt.  Your health is important, and obviously a vital investment.

Instead, living frugally is all about living, and living joyfully, within your means. By just breaking a few bad financial habits and adding on a few good ones, you can pay off your debt much more quickly than you might have thought.

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