Living frugally is something that’s been on my mind lately. The typical go-to reason for living within your means ranges from saving money for a down payment on a house to making sure the lights stay on on a month-to-month basis.
But one of the things that’s been on my mind as of late is the importance of living frugally in preparation for the day (or month) that Murphy decides to become your roommate.
What do I mean and who is this Murphy I speak of? Murphy’s law is the idea that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” With this in mind – and for anyone who’s made it even to relative adulthood, you know this is true. This is why living frugally (within your means, maintaining even a semblance of a budget) is important. Because when that time of adversity comes, your budget and savings turn a disaster into an inconvenience.
So, let’s take a look at a few ways we can live frugally, keep that piggy bank intact, and have a good time doing it.
Travel in the Off-Season
Anyone who knows me knows I love to travel. But traveling isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. Even the cost of getting to the desired destination can be a lot. That’s why traveling in the off season is an excellent way to still get out and explore but not go broke doing it. Europe in the Winter is gorgeous, and Hawaii in the Fall will still be a really nice, warm island getaway for most people in the United States.
Okay, so you really want that new kitchen table…but does it really have to be the brand new one right out of the storefront? DIY Projects aren’t just a great way to save money on furniture (which is seldom a good idea to buy cheap) but it’s also a heck of a lot of fun and it’s a great way to teach yourself a skill set that really comes in handy. Spending a Saturday morning thrift shopping and finding that great old table (that you would otherwise look over) that just needs a bit of sanding and a nice new finish is a great way to save a good chunk of money in the long-run.
Spending Money on What Counts
Learning to buy the cheap thing, cut coupons, and look for sales are all great ways to save money on small things that can actually add up in the future. But when it comes to bigger purchases – like appliances, bed frames, automobiles – buying the higher quality option in those cases may actually save you money in the future. Why? Better stuff breaks less. And as counterintuitive as it may sound, spending more money on the things that count can actually save you money. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go buy all of this stuff new. Getting a great used car is, financially, a better investment than a brand new one. The difference we’re speaking of here is the clunker that’s “for sale by owner” and the nice used car at the local dealership you may be able to haggle a few bucks off of.
Ditch the Joneses
The most important step in living frugally is coming to terms with the person you see in the mirror (you). If you can get that person under control, then you can get your spending habits moving in a direction that works for and benefits you in the long run. Stop viewing money as a status symbol. Contentment is great gain, and the sooner you start realizing that the size of your bank account is more about provision and protection than it is trying to impress your neighbor, the happier and healthier you’ll be.
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. But these are some really nice things you may want to implement if living frugally has been something you’ve been thinking about recently.
Until next time, stay safe, stay frugal, and be blessed.