Here’s Why I Like My Relatively-Frugal Lifestyle

Dawn over at Frugal For Life has a meme going on about the Joys of Frugal Living, where she asks people to list why they like a frugal lifestyle. I have written several articles that talk about the "how to’s" of the frugal lifestyle, but never really pondered about the "why" question. So I decided to take a moment and think about it. Here's the list I came up with for liking my relatively-frugal lifestyle.

I like being in control
With a frugal lifestyle, I am not run by my urges, whims or fancies. Most of the time, I consciously decide if and how my money is spent. I like that feeling of being in control. A certain level of discipline and frugality is needed for that.

I am a sucker for a good deal
I grew up watching my mom and grandma bargain for everything from vegetables to clothes. It’s a culture far removed from the one here in the US. When we came home with our purchases, there was a sense of victory, since we believed we had obtained the best price possible. At that time, it was mostly out of need. Being from the middle class, finding the best bargain meant having more money for other things. That itch for finding the most value for the dollar is ingrained in me, and I always want to stretch the dollar just a little further.

I love the challenge of saving the most money while not compromising our lifestyle
During my childhood and later during my college, it was the need that forced me to be frugal. But now, both the better half and I have decent jobs, and it is now a matter of choice. We want to maintain a decent lifestyle and yet, save as much as we possibly can. A few frugal choices in every day habits allow us the freedom to make other more expensive choices when necessary, without compromising our savings goals. It’s quite challenging to maintain the balance, and I love it!

I am beginning to enjoy the simplicity of a frugal lifestyle
With more money comes more wants. Our desires always chase the next thing that seems just out of our reach. It is a continuous cycle of yearning that never lets you be happy. Simple living on the other hand brings contentment and satisfaction with what you have, which lasts much longer than the transient pleasures of owning things. I am beginning to appreciate that. A frugal lifestyle helps me exercise some simplicity in my life.

More peace at home :)
There are two types of frugal people – some that are happy by nature with the simple things in life and others that learn it slowly with practice. The better half is of the first type, naturally content with what he has. I on the other hand am more mortal and want more stuff :) By choosing to belong to the second category, ie, learn to be frugal with practice and discipline, there is a lot more peace and harmony at home and in our relationship. I think its well worth the effort!

So there you go. My reasons for choosing a frugal lifestyle. What are yours? If you write about them, be sure to leave a comment here or on Dawn’s blog so we can collect it all in one place and reinforce each other’s choice for practicing a frugal lifestyle.

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~Dawn said...

Great list!
Control is a big factor for myself as well.

GradGirl said...

Great reasons. Like Dawn, I'm big on the control one myself. I also agree about simplicity.

It's funny: I grew up in a home that had everything we needed and then some. Often, sadly, things were wasted or unused. I remember visiting a friend, during college, and her family lived with *just enough*. They used up their milk before buying more, they bought one salad dressing at a time, they enjoyed what they already had. And I envied them! So much can be said for simplicity.

Zachary said...

It's very freeing to be totally in control on your finances. I'm workin' on it myself.

ispf said...

Dawn: Thanks!

Grad girl: Our home is very much like the friend's home you mentioned. We started by consciously trying to avoid wasting food, and now it is becoming a sub-conscious part of our habits.

Zachary: You are so right - it is very freeing to be in control of finances. I am always working on it too.

Maggie said...

I like to be frugal but I also like to shop. The more I save on the items I need the more I have for items I want. Although I want to pay down debt more then much else right now.