Updated: July 29, 2023
I consider myself frugal.
While I do splurge on things occasionally, I only do it when I know I can afford it. And most of the time, I consciously avoid spending on unnecessary things.
There is a thin line between being frugal and being cheap (take the test here), and I choose to stay as close as possible to that line without crossing over.
Why? Because being as frugal as I can be has allowed me to “afford happiness.”
Here are some of the reasons why I say this…
Because I consciously avoid buying on impulse, I am able to save money and instantly buy the things I actually need when I need them – I recently had a flat tire that needed to be replaced. Instead of scrimping on cheap secondhand, I was able to immediately buy new ones.
Because I don’t spend on the unnecessary, I have more money to spend on the essentials and can afford the best quality (and often more expensive) brands – like the running shoes I bought with all the “tech features” that will help me avoid injuries and run better.
Because I have a frugal mindset, I don’t feel pressured to keep up with fads and trends, and I no longer feel envious when my friends have the latest gadgets – I’m simply happy for them and don’t feel stressed about “missing out.”
Because I like going to bargain stores, yard sales, and buying second-hand stuff online, I get to meet sellers who are mostly very interesting people – like a guy who plays the ukelele and a girl who reads tarot cards; how else can you meet these kinds of people given your current set of friends?
Because I’d rather fix broken stuff first myself before bringing them to the repair shop or buying a new one, I am able to learn useful skills – and this is the reason why I know how to fix a broken umbrella, which my friends find really awesome.
I could go on and on, but as you can see, being frugal has given me the opportunity to see life in a different way than most people can.
A life that’s simpler yet more challenging at the same time. A life that’s more rewarding because it’s focused only on the necessities – and there’s much less stuff that does nothing but give a false sense of happiness within us.
A friend was recently reassigned to a new department at work. Unfortunately, he didn’t like his new boss and how much company politics there was in his new branch.
Because he had enough savings and lived way below his means – he decided to quit his job and look for a new one where he could be happier and work more efficiently.
If you think about it, his frugality allowed him to afford to make that decision.
Being frugal is not just about saving money and spending less. It’s also about having the freedom to pursue what’s essentially important to us.
In the end, I can say that frugality is really about discovering that happiness is finding contentment in living a simple life.