Why be Frugal?

I read a lot of articles about being Frugal and what I have found is that a lot of the information I read isn’t new to me as I was raised in a frugal household.  When I was growing up my parents were raising seven children on one income so being frugal/conservative was a necessity!  I have to admit I hated it. I was embarrassed sometimes of my handmade clothes when the other kids at school had “store-bought”.  I hated only being able to use a teeny tiny piece of tape when wrapping Christmas gifts.  I hated when my parents were constantly saying “Turn off the lights! You’re wasting electricity!!” I wanted to just relax and be a consumer!!!

However, these practices came in super handy when I got out on my own as I already knew how to be frugal!  My parents taught me a special skill that everyone should know but most don’t.  Even if you feel like you are blessed enough that you don’t have to be frugal and you have plenty of money for the things you want and need……Here are some reasons you should practice frugality in every day life.

1.  To prepare for Emergency.

     Life brings unexpected stuff.  What if you lose your job? You may think that your job is secure but trust me, losing your job can happen.  What if you or someone in your family gets ill and you have to help care for them and miss work or have unexpected medical bills? What if your pet gets sick?  What if your furnace goes out?  What if your car breaks down?  I could go on and on but I will stop there.  We should all have some kind of savings set aside for emergencies, preferably 6 months of salary.

2.  To preserve our earth for our next generations

     Our earths resources aren’t going to last forever if we don’t conserve and replenish them.  So, by turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, recycling, repurposing and being more conservative in general we are saving the earth for our next generations!!  That’s a great feeling!!!

3.  To pay off debt

      Our goal should be to have as little debt as possible.  I used to have a lot of debt….I mean mounds of it!  I was taught to be frugal but I was not taught how to manage money.  I spent every penny I got my hands on and then some with credit!  I was a teenager and young adult in the 80’s when the mindset was “The Bigger The Better!”  I wanted ALL of the STUFF!!!  I didn’t understand about simple living then.  Instead of saving money and being conservative I was spending and trying to figure out how to get more money!  Long story short I ended up with nothing.  I lost a LOT!!  I spent my time working so hard and ended up with NOTHING!!!  Now, I avoid debt and still working hard to get my debts paid off by being frugal in my life and putting that money towards debt.

4.  To fulfill a dream

     Being frugal now means that I can achieve a dream later.  I still need to be frugal out of necessity but, since I have paid off a lot of my debts, I can start pursuing a dream!  My husband and I have always wanted to live on a houseboat.  For years we have talked about it and came pretty close a few years ago but it didn’t quite work out.  We have not given up on a dream of a different lifestyle.  Right now we are concentrating on getting our kids through college and getting more debt paid off.  Having a goal helps in being frugal.  It helps you get through a tough time when you really want those new shoes but you stop and think “Which is more important?  That new item or the dream?”

5. To make ends meet

       This is has been my reason for being frugal most of my life.  I am so glad I learned how to be frugal growing up.  We didn’t waste ANYTHING.  We made do with what we had.  We took care of the items we had and made them last.  We weren’t too proud to accept hand me downs.  Neighbors, friends and family did favors for eachother instead of hiring someone to do jobs around the house.  We cooked a lot of things from scratch.  We never ate out.

6.  To afford the things you really want

     You may only want to be frugal so you can afford the things that you really want and that is okay.  If it keeps you from using a credit card then that is good!  If you decide you want to eat really cheap at home for a month so you can afford something you really want like those new shoes or whatever your heart’s desire then I totally think you should do that!  I knew a girl that would keep her heat turned down in the winter and literally freeze so she could afford to go clothes shopping!!!!  I think that is CrAzY but I don’t judge!!!

There are many different reasons that people might want to be frugal.  I think being frugal is a fun challenge.  At times in my life it wasn’t so fun but, it helped me get through tough times when I needed to!!!

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                                          Peace and Love, Daphne

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