Frugal living has been a popular trend for quite some time.
Many people choose to live frugally to save money, pay off debt, or simply live a simpler life.
However, after years of practicing frugal living, I have decided to quit.
> Click here to watch Why I Quit Frugal Living | Raw & Honest | Money Fights
What is frugal living?
Before we talk about WHY I quit frugal living, let’s talk about what frugal living is.
Frugal living involves being mindful of every penny spent, cutting back on expenses wherever possible, and making sacrifices to reach financial goals.
Are you frugal or cheap?
I have documented my frugal living lifestyle since April 2016 on my YouTube channel.
I started out pinching every possible penny which helped me reach my financial goals very quickly.
Am I still frugal?
I think this depends on who you ask.
If you ask my husband… he would say “YES!!!” because he is the spender in the relationship.
If you ask my OG YouTube audience… they would say “NO!!” because I enjoy a good Starbucks iced coffee.
At first, I embraced frugal living with enthusiasm. I felt empowered by my ability to save money, and I enjoyed the challenge of finding creative ways to cut costs.
I scoured the internet for money-saving tips, and I was proud of the money I was able to save. I packed my lunches, bought generic brands, and avoided eating out at restaurants. I was on a mission to save as much money as possible.
Frugal living led to marriage fights
There are two big fights that my husband, Jayme, and I would have over my frugal living mindset.
(Keep in mind we are debt free)
The first fight we would have is how we viewed saving for retirement.
I viewed it as… let’s invest a ton of money each month for retirement, that way we won’t have to stress about it when we get there and have to rely on social security.
He viewed it as… let’s invest in retirement but still really enjoy our life now. Let’s still do big vacations and eat out a lot.
The second fight we would have would be how we used gift cards, specifically eating out gift cards.
I viewed them as… free meal!
He viewed them as… let’s splurge! Let’s get drinks, appitizers, desserts, and not the cheapest thing on the menu…
Which resulted in us spending more than we would even if we didn’t give the gift card.
Both of these fights took compromise!
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Getting out of the scarcity mindset
For years, I lived with a scarcity mindset when it came to my income. I had a limiting belief that I could never make enough money, and my financial situation would never improve.
However, through various experiences and efforts, I changed my mindset and began to grow my income. In this article, I will share my journey and the strategies that helped me shift my mindset.
My journey began with acknowledging the scarcity mindset that I had. I realized that I was constantly worried about not having enough money, which led me to believe that I could never make more.
This mindset was limiting my potential, and I knew I needed to change it. The first step in changing my mindset was to identify the root cause of my limiting belief.
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When to spend money
Ramit Sethi, the author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, has a quote that I resonate with so well.
This is exactly how I view and manage my money now.
I have no problem dropping $10,000 on an Alaskan cruise (and I did, watch here), but I can afford to do that because I cut costs on things that don’t matter a lot to me, like buying workout clothes at Goodwill.
A budget helps you save money
Having a budget is a crucial tool in managing your money and saving effectively. A budget helps you track your income and expenses, so you can see exactly where your money is going each month.
By creating a budget, you can identify areas where you may be overspending and make changes to your spending habits.
A budget gives you control over your money
By creating a budget, you’ll have a clear understanding of your financial situation. You’ll know how much money is coming in and going out each month, and this information can help you make informed decisions about how to manage your money.
A budget helps you prioritize your spending
A budget forces you to think about where your money is going, and you can use this information to prioritize your spending. For example, you might decide that saving for an emergency fund or paying off debt is more important than buying expensive coffee or eating out regularly.
A budget avoids overspending
When you have a budget, you’ll know your limits, and this will help you avoid overspending. You’ll have a better idea of what you can afford to spend money on, and you can use this information to make smart financial choices.
A budget encourages saving
When you have a budget, you can set aside money for specific goals, like saving for a down payment on a home, investing for retirement, or building an emergency fund. By creating a budget and allocating money towards these goals, you’ll be able to save more effectively.
A budget increases financial awareness
Having a budget forces you to take a closer look at your spending habits and make adjustments as needed. By being more financially aware, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to save and manage your money.
I lost friends because of frugal living
Frugal living also put a strain on my relationships. I found myself turning down invitations from friends and family because I didn’t want to spend money.
I stopped going out to eat with my partner, and we stopped doing the things we enjoyed together because I was so focused on saving money.
I realized that my pursuit of frugality was isolating me from the people I loved, and I didn’t want to live that way anymore.
Frugal living caused me to be cheap
Another issue I had with frugal living was that it often meant sacrificing quality for the sake of saving money. I would buy cheap, low-quality products that would break easily, and I found myself constantly replacing things.
I also found myself denying myself basic necessities like new clothes or a haircut because I didn’t want to spend the money.
I realized that this approach wasn’t sustainable in the long run, and I wanted to invest in quality products that would last.
Is frugal living worth it?
In conclusion, while frugal living can be an effective way to save money, it isn’t for everyone.
After years of practicing frugality, I realized that it wasn’t bringing me the happiness and fulfillment I had hoped for. I was sacrificing my mental health and my relationships for the sake of saving money, and I wasn’t willing to continue living that way.
I wanted to find a better balance between saving money and enjoying my life. If you’re considering frugal living, I encourage you to think carefully about whether it’s right for you. While it can be a great way to save money, it’s important to remember that money isn’t everything, and there’s more to life than just being frugal.
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