Whether your thriftiness is by choice or necessity, watching your spending can help you feel invested in your best life.
“Without frugality none can be rich,” wrote the 18th century poet Samuel Johnson, “and with it very few would be poor.”
Of course, despite this inspiring message, not everyone who chooses to live frugally does so intentionally. Life circumstances can make frugality a necessity rather than an option. But whatever your reason for minimizing your spending, frugal living can be part of living a positive life.
Here are three unexpected benefits of living a frugal life:
1) Frugality Is Earth-Conscious
A frugal mindset leaves a smaller carbon footprint than one in which buying new is the go-to way to get needed items. From clothing to natural resources like water and electricity to home decor, making frugal choices gives us daily opportunities to protect our environment rather than endlessly asking it to provide for us.
2) Frugal Living Helps Us Set Priorities
Liz “Frugalwoods,” whose blog chronicles her family’s frugal lifestyle, says her frugality helps her discern what is most worthy of her time, attention and money. “There’s a whole lot that I don’t do and don’t spend money on simply because it doesn’t rise to the level of priority in my life,” she writes. “I know that my time and money are both limited so why fritter either away on stuff that doesn’t bring me happiness?" Frugal living can be a process of elimination of meaningless spending, as well as an investment in a satisfying, meaningful life.
3) Frugality Is the Opposite of Perfectionism
Letting go of perfectionism is a challenge for many of us. If we’re prioritizing frugal living, though, we simply can’t expect perfection, because “perfect” so often means “new.” As Liz quips about her funky turquoise end table, claimed from an online swap group, “I love it! It doesn’t exactly match anything else, it’s kind of an odd shape, and I’m not sure why it’s on wheels, but none of this bothers me in the least…. Stuff is not a stand-in for human emotions, and it doesn’t exist to make you happy. It exists to serve a function. As a recovering perfectionist, I find it liberating to accept—at the outset—that things aren’t always going to work out quite right.”
How does frugal living help you cultivate a positive attitude?