So which are you: Prudent? Economical? Sparing? Thrifty? Or simply frugal? If you practice frugality, you’re very likely all these things and more.
Frugality is the quality or concept of being frugal, and being frugal means using restraint when acquiring goods and services.
In other words, if you’re frugal you think about what you’re spending and only spend when necessary. When you do spend money, you work to find ways to spend as little as possible and get as much as you can for it.
People who practice frugality don’t require lavishness in their food, clothing, possessions or experiences. Frugal people may also use their time just as sparingly as they use their money, focusing on creating quality experiences with family and friends that don’t cost much money.
Frugal people, as it turns out, are easily satisfied and manage to be quite happy with quite a lot less than most people.
Implementing Frugality In Your Life
Frugality is a practice that is usually implemented with the idea of cutting expenses to make more money available for other things. Some people voluntarily choose a simple lifestyle as a way of learning restraint or as a spiritual or religious practice while others must simplify their spending because they don’t make enough to make ends meet.
Some of the steps people take to increase their frugality include:
- Choosing free or low-cost entertainment options over paid-for choices whenever possible
- Changing expensive habits like eating out or drinking at a club
- Reducing waste by eliminating unnecessary over-purchasing of food, clothing or supplies
- Resisting the “instant gratification” urge by waiting before making any purchases
These are only some of the most common steps people take as they move toward frugality; there are many other things you can do if you want to become frugal. The idea is to limit spending and carefully consider every decision that involves using money.
Why Else Do People Choose Frugality?
As I said, many people turn to frugality because they want to save money — or need to.
There are some people who feel the need to be frugal for other reasons.
Some of these people were raised with very little money and have always perceived that they do not have enough of some things. For that reason, they conserve even if they don’t have to.
These people often become frugal hoarders — refusing to spend money and refusing to throw away anything that they might need later. While some hoarders spend money to try to fill a void in their lives, frugal hoarders do it because they’ve never had very much and want to hold on to everything they get.
Some environmentalists also promote frugality because every item that isn’t bought is an item that’s never made and never finishes its life in a landfill.
A Few More Thoughts
People turn to frugality for a variety of reasons, but saving money, resources and being more disciplined are the primary ones.
While frugality is closely related to minimalist living and other forms of simple living, frugality is most closely associated with saving money and resources and not with achieving a desired level of simplicity. Still, it’s hard to create a life that’s less based on money than the average life without finding that it’s simpler and saner too.
Frugality may not be for everyone, but the world and the people in it could benefit if a few more people tried it.