Simple, Frugal Living
How to be Frugal and Live Simply
at the Same Time
Though the benefits of simple, frugal living are clear, living a simple life is not necessarily the same as living frugally. Finding the right balance between a frugal lifestyle and voluntary simplicity can be a challenge, but it is definitely worth the effort.
What is frugal living? It all about stretching your money in order to get the best value for the least cost. By learning how to live frugally, you can spend less money without feeling as though you are sacrificing too much.
What is simple living? Living a simple life starts by first identifying the possessions, work, and activities that demand your time but bring no real value to your life. Once identified, you can reduce or eliminate these things in order to better focus on what is meaningful to you.
Simple, frugal living shifts the focus away from the busyness that is driven by materialism and replaces it with true contentment.
Simple Living vs. Frugal Living?
Sometimes, simple living and frugal living are at odds with each other. Let me give you some examples.
I knew a woman who lived frugally but not simply. Although she was wealthy, she did not spend a penny frivolously. Her depression-era upbringing taught her never to throw out anything that could be used again.
A trip to her basement revealed an assortment of twist ties, aluminum foil, bread bags, and plastic containers. She didn’t just keep a few items to use again; her basement was full of them! Managing clutter is not part of simple living.
Meal preparation is an area where many of us choose simplicity over frugality. Although preparing frozen, convenience meals is much easier than fixing cheap, healthy food, it is also much more expensive.
The same principle is true whenever you choose to pay someone to do a task that you can do yourself. Whether it is painting your house or doing your taxes, hiring out a task is simple but certainly not frugal.
Simple, Frugal Living-
Joining Simple and Frugal
As the examples above illustrate, there is often a tradeoff between living simply and living frugally. In those cases, you need to find a compromise between the extremes that work best for your situation.
But there are also many choices in life that can lead to greater simplicity and save you money at the same time. Here are some examples of things you can do to make your life simple while being frugal.
Downsize your home. A smaller home is usually less costly to purchase and maintain than a larger home. It also takes much less time to clean it, maintain the yard, and keep things running properly.
Keep in shape, but do it intelligently. By eating properly and exercising regularly, you can make an investment in your health that will reduce your medical expenses for the long term.
A great way to practice simple, frugal living is to take a daily walk rather than joining a health club. You’ll save by not paying for a membership and not driving your car to and from the club.
Reduce your possessions. The average American family owns two or more cars. It can be expensive to own a car. In addition to the initial purchase price, expenses like maintenance, repairs, insurance, licensing, and car payments all put a constant drain on a budget.
A car also requires time and energy to maintain, whether you do it yourself or take it to a mechanic to be done. By eliminating one or more cars, you take a step toward simple, frugal living.
The same can be true for any type of possession you own, whether it is large or small. In general, your life becomes more complicated as you acquire more things.
Assess your current lifestyle.Take some time to think about the activities in which you are currently involved. Are there some things you are involved with that are not worth the time or money you invest in them?
You may find it difficult to start making adjustments toward simple, frugal living. It is much different than the frenzied lifestyle that is normal for many of us. But, as you gradually adjust, you may find that you enjoy the more peaceful way of life.
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