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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why Frugal Living?

Tuesday's Tips Button

Why would anyone choose to live frugally when you can choose to live in the moment and have anything that comes your way?  All you need to do is keep up with the payments.  So why deny yourself?

#1 Reason - Freedom From Debt

As long as you can afford the payments, what's the problem?

The problem lies in when a hiccup occurs in life, and it will.  That hiccup can come in the form of an unexpected layoff, pay decrease, or a major life change, such as the birth of a child, loss of a loved one, etc.
What happens when you can no longer make the payments?  Stress occurs.

Back when the crash came on Wall Street which started the Great Depression, many men ended their lives because they could not handle the stress.  While this is an extreme example, it shows how much it can affect a person.  Stress can cause problems in your marriage, to your physical and mental health.  There is a freedom that is felt when there is no debt and you have an emergency fund.  A hiccup can happen and you are able to survive through it.   While there will be some stress, it will not be nearly so great.

Reason #2 - Great Gain

Living frugally allows you to succeed in other areas of your life.  Once you are debt free, it's wise to continue frugal living.  This doesn't mean being a miser, Frugal according to dictionary.com means: economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful, i.e. a frugal manager.  None of this means living on nothing so you can save, save, save with no end goal except having a pile of money.  It means you are not wasteful and that it would not be wise to blow every bit of income, even if you are debt free.  Yes, you do want to enjoy what's there, you only have one chance on this earth, so by all means spend a bit more, but also save as you go along for other more responsible areas such as retirement.

Reason #3 - Contentment

By living frugally we can learn self-control.  We don't buy it if it isn't in the budget.  We delay pleasure at times to be responsible and take care of our family and finances better.  The by-product of all of this is contentment.  We realize that we have all that we need and that God provides for our needs.

There are many more reasons for frugal living than I have listed here.  These are just 3 great reasons I give you to ponder.  So many times we feel once we're debt free, frugal living is done.  It's more than that, it's a lifetime journey.  True frugal living isn't just about how to spend the least amount possible, but to use the resources God has given us to the best of our abilities.  It also allows us to give more to those less fortunate.

Let's Hear from You!
What are your main reasons for living frugally.  Are you still trying to become debt free or get through a tough spot in your life?  Have you passed that and now you want to be the best manager of God's resources? 

If you're a blogger I'd love you to link a tip for the home, family, or money management.  Please link directly to your post so others can easily find your tip and put a link back here on your blog

Living a Frugal life Works For Me and is truly a Finer Thing for which I'm thankful for at Graituesday! Here's another slip for the  Tip Jar.  This post is linked to 30 Minute Blog Challenge, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Fridays, Thrifty Tip Tuesday and Tightwad Tuesday

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Amy said...

You have listed 3 great reasons why I choose to be frugal/wise with our money.

We are debt free but I continue to live a frugal life. I think we do need to be wise stewards of our money and be prepared to help others if God puts it on our heart.

As you can see from my site that being debt free also allows us to choose to do some fun splurges. It's nice to have that luxury, but ONLY if we can pay cash for it.

For those trying to get out of debt know that it's worth the effort you are putting into it. There will be an end and it will be worth it.

Jane (Frugal Fine Living) said...

These are great reasons! For our family, being content with what we have is key. Being frugal allows us to live a better life because our money goes further. We are able to take (frugal) vacations and enjoy life.


Olivia said...

We went through the Crown Financial series a few years back and really committed to paying off debt. I am happy to say that we just paid off our huge credit card debt this week! We used a raise of my hubby's to finish it off. Woo hoo! Just car and house to go!
I guess my only tip is that Crown idea of rewarding yourself when you meet a goal. For the hubby and me it's rewarding enough to just have that debt off our shoulders, but we're also going to buy a new dish washer (with cash) as a reward!

Mom2fur said...

I'm recently out of debt and I will never go back. I've learned so much and I'm so much older (ahem) and wiser. And I don't feel one iota deprived! I would rather be frugal where I have control (like using coupons at the grocery) so I can save up for what I want. We eat steak--I simply stock up when it is on sale. But we're more likely to eat burgers or chicken. It's fun when I can save 40% or better at the grocery, and those savings mean I can afford special things once in a while--like the iPod I hope to buy soon. To me, it's a game, and when something is fun, you never resent it!

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

I agree Amy it's good to have some splurges, it makes being frugal feel more worth it!

Jane, Yes, it's all about giving in one are to make room for the other areas!

Olivia, Great idea about rewarding yourself after each step. Our reward was going on vacation last year after having given them up for about 4 years!!!

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Mom2fur I agree making a game out of it makes it much easier. We are out of debt and I will NEVER return! However, our income went down again:( in the last 6 months and it can become rough at times to just keep going. But, I know in the long run it will be worth it. I need to get my game face back on!!!

Rebecca said...

We overcame a HUGE lot of debt a few years ago and we will never go back. LIving frugally is just a way to maintain happiness for our family without having to rely on using credit that we know we can't afford to use. I love this blog!

Christine (iDreamofClean) said...

Those are all fantastic reasons to live frugally! Even when life seems to be going great, you just never know when something out of your control is going to happen. I live in Nashville and last weekend there was a flood (something that hasn't happened in over 100 years!) and there are people who lost all of their earthly possessions. They don't have flood insurance (b/c it wasn't needed) so they'll basically be starting over...except automatically in a big hole. It's so sad. Another reason to be debt free and live below your means is to be able to give and help others in need. That's something that's really hard to do when we're worried about making the next "xyz" payment.

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

AWESOME Job Rebecca! That feels so good to get rid of the debt!

Christine, Great reminder, those unexpected events can wreck havoc on our lives as well and an Emergency Fund is great for that!

Mom2fur said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Lori. I'm going back to edit my post to include your 'carnival,' too. And good luck getting your game face on during tough times. I never thought things would turn around for us, but my husband recently got a promotion and I got a small raise at my job. So, hang in there--there is always hope for the future!

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Mom2fur, Thank you for the kind words!

corrin said...

We've gotten much better at saving money on the necessities, now we just need to learn to sock that money away instead of considering it fun money!

Like a Bubbling Brook said...

What a great post! We are a debt free, home educating famiy too... finally purchased our home cash in 2007. Love it! :o)

Jaime G @ Like a Bubbling Brook

Becky said...

We've always tried to live frugally. I think the greatest blessing is peace and contentment.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I left the link, and I guess it fits in with your post topic because having family celebrations at home instead of in restaurants is definitely frugal - and much more meaningful besides.

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Corrin, I think it's good to be able to splurge a bit in some areas since we are being frugal, it makes it worth it. But, you're right that we do need to not splurge it all.

Jamie, What an awesome job buying your home for cash!!! That has got to be the best! We've only got our house left and I would just love to be done, but it'll take a bit;)

Becky, The links don't all have to be frugal, just great tips to help us in our family. Of course it's great if they're frugal too;)

Jamie @ I Am A Money Magnet said...

Thanks for this post. It can be very hard to convice someone why they should save for a rainy and why they should live debt free and you've shared some great reasons! People are just plain funny when it comes to money!

robbie @ going green mama said...

We could use prayers. We had never overcome the debt accumulated from when my husband was out of work 3 years in the recession. We just don't have the funds to get ahead, and the debts are getting bigger.

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