For years now we’ve stressed the importance of a budget, the various ways to save money on pretty much everything really, and even the times it doesn’t make sense to be frugal. Lately though we’ve come to understand an entirely different side of being frugal – the surprising benefits of budgeting. Most of us focus on the bottom line of our finances when it comes to pinching pennies. But guess what? We’ve also started to see how being frugal makes you a better person. Hmmm, how’s that?
So glad you asked! Here are 4 ways being frugal makes you a better person:
Frugal = confidence
Once budgeting becomes second nature, it’s amazing how quickly the stress starts to fade away. Oh, not that you won’t ever worry about money again. It’s just that you understand where the money goes. Too many of us struggle with anxiety about living check to check, feeling “squeezed” and overwhelmed by financial uncertainty. Yet, after committing to a frugal lifestyle a lot of that pressure is relieved. It’s incredible what living below your means does for your overall mentality. It brings confidence because it puts financial control back in your hands. So, you are less reactive and more proactive. Hello, confidence!
Frugal = creativity
Quick- your child has to bring a teacher gift in to the classroom next week. You only have $10 for this, what can you give? How about these ideas or maybe these or even these? And every one of these gifts has an element of creativity to them. Being frugal often means learning to think outside the box for situations involving money. Want date night ideas that are practically free? What about a fabulous family vacation that won’t cost a fortune? Yep – all of them involve some creative thinking. A little practice and you might just find your creative juices flowing all the time and you may be surprised at how much you like it.
Frugal = contentment
Talk to enough people who budget and you’ll notice they all seem to have mastered contentment. They understand that buying the next, newer thing being sold doesn’t necessarily translate into a happier state of being. In fact, buying more sometimes just creates a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. Frugal people learn to be content with what they have already while saving for the next purchase. Here’s an example: before sticking to a budget, a trip to Target would often end up costing double what it should. Why? Because the cart was suddenly overflowing with impulse buys that were not needed. I would end up frustrated at the money spent, frustrated at my own lack of self-control and never did what I purchased lead to a deep sense of satisfaction. Since becoming more frugal, I breeze by the temptations with ease and focus on what I came to get. When I leave, my budget and my self-control are intact and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction about that!
Frugal = conscientious
There are a number of documentaries and books ( like this one) that discuss the high cost of cheap goods. When a person becomes more frugal, more thought goes into an item before purchasing it. This drastically cuts back on the number of unused items that wind up going to landfills or the dump. Also, becoming frugal does NOT mean being cheap. A common argument is that frugal shoppers wouldn’t pay the price of an item from a socially conscious company. But that’s not true. A frugal person would recognize that buying one quality item that will last several years is far more financially savvy than buying a cheaply made item that will wear out in half the time. Not sure how to start with being a conscious shopper? Here’s one guide for getting going.
The truth is, we love being consumers! We just enjoy these unexpected benefits that come with using a frugal approach to all our shopping. Being frugal won’t make you better than another person but it can make YOU a better person.