If you’ve never heard of the Frugal Movement, you’re not alone, but it’s very real and growing quickly.
Being frugal is more than just making ends meet when you’re short on cash; it’s about being able to buy options later in life rather than spending everything you earn now. The Frugal Movement teaches us all valuable lessons.
Let’s look at four of them.
Fugal Mindset #1: Buy Less Stuff
First and foremost, buy less stuff. The world’s advertisers all want you to buy and then rebuy their product over their competitors. The big question for you is whether you even need to buy it.
Alternatives include the sharing economy, eBay, and simply going without. And if you think you’re already frugal with your money, here’s a great way to commit to the buy less stuff mantra.
Consider all of the holidays that occur throughout the year and make a concerted effort to celebrate them without purchasing all of the associated merchandise.
Fugal Mindset #2: Live in a Smaller Space
Second, live in a smaller space.
We often fall in love with neighborhoods and homes without considering the financial commitment they will require. Before making a decision, compare the cost differences between options in the short and long term.
First, consider the total cost of purchasing versus renting, followed by the ongoing costs of furnishing, heating, cooling, insuring, and maintaining various homes.
Spoiler alert: smaller is better, and after decades of building bigger and bigger homes, the trend is now shifting to downsizing new developments to reduce operating costs. The Tiny House Movement is the most extreme example of downsizing.
I recommend conducting a search to see how entire families live happily in homes the size of the average American kitchen. Their inventiveness and dedication are astounding. If you don’t want to buy less or downsize, the least you can do is recycle everything.
Fugal Mindest #3: Spend Less Money on High-quality Products
The Frugal Movement is all about spending less money on higher-quality goods. Nobody needs a wardrobe makeover every season; instead, take pride in making things last or exchanging them with family and friends for the items you require.
Fugal Mindset #4: Live Within Your Financial Means
Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a myth.
It’s extremely difficult to truly understand another person’s financial situation, but there’s a good chance it’s not the same as yours, no matter how much you think you share. Take pride in living within your means and understand that every new car in your neighbor’s driveway is more than likely an extra bill that they are incurring.
Spending money to imitate others is a dangerous slippery slope. You must accept that everyone else in the world has more or less money than you, and we must become comfortable making decisions based on our financial circumstances and values.
Remember, you don’t have to live in a tiny house or weave your own shoes to benefit both your wallet and the environment. Best of all, every dollar you don’t send out into the world today is available to you to invest, giving your future self more money and more options.