Here’s How you can make Frugality your new Lifestyle:
“Frugality includes all the other virtues”. — Cicero
Frugality is worthwhile. But each holds a unique perspective towards frugality. For some, it’s like an encroachment on their freedom to spend. For others, it’s a means to achieve their ends. Across the globe, frugality has been regarded a vital trait towards goal accomplishment. Ever thought if it was possible to save without relinquishing something?
If yes, then life would have been quite simpler. But the reality is stark opposite to fantasy. You cannot have everything; you have got a resource constraint. You need to attain both the necessities and luxuries from that limited basket.
Your choices determine your destiny. If you are a true believer of flamboyance, then it may impact other facets. Likelihood of squandering money on the inappropriate things may increase manifold. You might end up channelizing your resources away from the productive purposes.
Frugality facilitates you to be vigilant of your habits. It brings about a positive transformation in individuals. You begin to pay close attention to your buying behaviour. You become thoughtful of your requirements in life. You realise how much it is important to spend each rupee wisely.
Here, it would be beneficial to look into various interpretations of frugality. The literary meaning of frugality is being economical. It refers to saving one’s hard earned money. Frugality implies that an individual conducts prudent expenditure. That; he does not indulge in wasteful expenditure.
In frugality, individual underscores the significance of putting a check on his consumption activities. He is mindful of what he wants and what he doesn’t want. He can apply his wisdom to make intelligent choices in life. He abstains from those expenditures which don’t result in value-addition.
Under the influence of frugality, an individual can appreciate money and money’s worth. He perceives money as a means to empower himself. He knows that money is a good servant but a bad master.
Followers of frugality are often evolved individuals compared to rest of the world. They can demarcate the necessities and luxuries with ample clarity. They refrain from the exploitative use of money. For them, money is a means and not an end in itself.
Now you may wonder “Is frugality all about being a miser?”
Of course not!
Misers are those who give excessive emphasis on the accumulation of wealth even at the cost of renouncing the basics. I am not propagating the idea to become a monk. It has been the biggest misinterpretation of frugality.
By carrying this misconception in mind, individuals put themselves in vulnerable positions. They spend all of their money on sedans, penthouses, designer apparel, gourmet meals, exotic vacations…the list is endless. They try to seek solace in extravaganza till such time they ain’t left with anymore to spend.
Some get so much addicted to impulsive spending that they just can’t come out of it. For them, shopping becomes a way to derive happiness. At times, it’s also a way to vent out anger and frustration. They can’t stop themselves from buying. This habit continues to become an obsession. Time comes when they just can’t decide whether thing is even required or not. Eventually, they tend to accumulate a lot of paraphernalia around them.
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At the end of all this drama, they wonder what prevented them from achieving the financial goals. They are simply unable to figure out what went wrong. In spite of being resourceful, why they couldn’t climb the goal ladder. They lament on their inability to fulfil their goals. They may even attribute their failure to bad luck.
But they simply don’t realise that it’s high time to switch to frugality.
Frugality can open doors to a whole new way of life. It can work wonders in your messed up life. It can make you a better person than you were before. Unless you start practising frugality, you can’t experience its virtues.
Frugality is the first step towards a peaceful life. It shifts your attention from the big things to smaller pleasures of life. Once you embark on the path of frugality, you will become a transformed individual. You will be much more satisfied than the one that you were before.
Are you ready to experience the happier you?
How can I achieve Frugality?
1. The “Importance” Dilemma
Ask yourself repeatedly “What’s important in life?” Having clarity regarding “Who am I” & “What I want” helps to make wise choices. Differentiate between what is relevant and what is irrelevant. Impulsive shopping is so juvenile.
Behave like a mature individual who’s aware of his needs and requirements. It’s good to save money on things about which you don’t care. Spend that money on essentials.
The next time you step into a departmental store, take a shopping list with you. Before buying an extra fancy coffee mug or decorative cushion, ask yourself: “Do I need this?” You might already have a dozen mugs/cushions at your home.
Gradually, you need to move from the impulsive attitude to composure. You will realise that you’ve got more money now than before. You can channelize this to achieve your crucial life goals.
2. De-clutter your life
“Have you noticed the mess around yourself lately?”
Each day life throws a lot of rubbish at you. If you keep storing all the mess, then you might land in trouble. Excessive stress makes you vulnerable to bad habits which are anti-frugality.
You may resume smoking or become alcoholic. A few try to ward off tension by over-eating or using chocolates. These habits erode not only your wealth but also your health. Then, you might have to shell out on hospital bills to restore well-being.
Arise, awake and de-clutter your life. Invest in yourself. It’s the best investment one can make. Frame your life goals and pursue interests. Get into a fitness programme. Go trekking and explore the natural beauty.
Ultimately, do something which keeps you happy.
3. Go debt-free
You might have accumulated a lot of debt due to your extravaganza. Your salary going into credit card interest payment is such a waste. Inculcate habit to use the credit card for emergency spending.
If you have got money, then pay for the purchase right now. In case there’s a cash crunch, defer your consumption. Suppose you want to buy the Smartphone but haven’t got cash. Instead of drowning in EMI debt, postpone the purchase. Save money and then go for it.
Make it a point! As soon as you get the paycheck, defray outstanding debts first. Then allocate for other recreational expenses. Build contingency fund to avoid taking loans.
As far as possible, keep yourself away from falling into a debt trap.
4. Being with the Frugal
Frugality is indeed contagious. What you see, you tend to imitate that behaviour.
If you are in the company of the spendthrifts, then get a reality check. Ask yourself “Are these friends helping me out in anyway?” If they are pushing you towards wasteful spending, it’s better to severe the relationship. It will help you in the long run.
Start hanging out with the frugal people. You will not only feel at ease but also enriched. Those who practice frugality have a mature psychology and clear thinking. They condemn materialism and shun possessions.
5. Leap from Ostentation to Utility
“When was the last time you made a utility-based purchase?”
The social media and ad business have instilled a lot of consumerism. People don’t buy things because they need it. Ostentation needs drive most of the purchases.
If you too were following the order of the day, then take a break. The fashionista attitude and constant show-off might be drilling a hole in your wallet. Stop chasing trends. Get a life.
Trends come and go. But you are here to stay. And you have got financial goals to achieve. Think about retirement planning. Who’s going to pay for that?
Be a smart shopper. C’mon, you can manage with the normal phone or the home-cooked food. No one’s forcing you to go for the high-end Smartphone or the sumptuous meal.