There’s Nothing Wrong About Being Frugal With Money

being frugal with money
being frugal with money
Photo by: Sabine Peters

I have always hated being called “frugal.” To me, the name has always just had a bad rep. It’s like being called out by others for what they perceive to be a flaw, meanwhile, to you it’s simply a lifestyle. There is no right or wrong way to live. Just as long as you’re happy, that’s all that truly matters. 

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a frugal person. I mean, any time that I can save money, why not? But there is this misconception that if you are frugal, then you aren’t happy. Okay, maybe it’s the misconception that in order to be happy then you have to spend money. 

For somebody who is frugal, such as myself, this is a terrible way to look at happiness. Don’t get me wrong, money can help to provide happiness in many ways, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out and blow all of your hard-earned money just for the sake of spending it. 

Let’s be realistic for a moment. I guess I can only speak for myself, but I would rather be frugal and choose what to spend my money on than to have to deal with the stress and anxiety of having no money and being in an overwhelming amount of debt. I would rather be able to make decisions knowing that if all else fails, I have something to fall back on instead of having the fear of going absolutely broke. 

Frugal People Can Still Have Fun

Another misconception about being frugal is that you don’t have fun. To this, yes, I will admit that there was a time in my life where my fear of losing money did prevent me from having fun and creating memories with those who matter most. But just like with everything in life, balance is key. While I am still a frugal person, I have also learned to prioritize my wants and needs from things that I don’t want or need. 

What do I mean by this? 

Well, one of my priorities in life is to travel. I love traveling and there is this sense of freedom that I get from it. So when the opportunity to travel presents itself, you better believe that I am going to jump on it. In the meantime, however, I am going to do my best to save my money so that when the opportunity to travel presents itself, I am able to take advantage of it. 

Would I love to eat out more than I do? Yes. Would I love to buy the latest pair of sneakers? Sure. Would I love to go shopping and spend an entire paycheck on a new wardrobe? I mean, I wouldn’t mind it, but none of these things are going to help lead me towards living the life that I envision for myself, and that’s where I think everybody misinterprets the word “frugal.” 

I’m Frugal and I am Happier Than Ever

Sometimes in life, less is more. At least for me, I am happier when I have nothing but a suitcase in my hands, I am happier when I have less to stress about, and I am happier when I’m not trying to fit ten pounds of crap into a five-pound bag. In all of these instances, less is better than more. 

It has taken me twenty-five years to realize this, but right now in my life, I am the happiest I have ever been. The funny thing is, I have more money saved up than I ever had. Sure, I could go out and blow my entire bank account to look happy in the eyes of others, but that’s just not what being happy means to me.

I don’t need to spend my money on designer duffle bags, fast sports cars, or a $300 pair of sneakers in order to be happy. I am happy because I know what’s important in my life, and when the time comes where an opportunity presents itself, I will be able to take full advantage of it. 

Being Frugal With Money

Whether you are twenty years old or fifty years old, don’t waste your money. At the same time though, don’t pass up opportunities because you are worried about spending your money. Find that happy balance and save when you can so that you can create experiences when you want. 

There is absolutely no reason to go out and blow your money on things that are unnecessary. Who cares if you don’t have a closet full of Gucci, or a Mercedes-Benz in your driveway, or the latest iPhone. None of those things determine who you are as an individual anyways. Find ways to save your money (even if they are miniscule), and trust me, over time, it will add up to a substantial amount. 

Being Frugal Is My Choice

I don’t expect to understand the choices that I make in life just like I don’t understand some of the choices that others make in life. 

I’m the type of person who would be happy living in a camper and traveling the world. For some, that’s never going to be a reality. There are some people who strive to live in a mansion one day and think that will bring them the happiness that they have searched for in life. For me, that isn’t necessary. 

The point is, there isn’t one right way to live. Everybody is different, everybody has different dreams, and everybody has different wants and desires. Don’t live a certain way of life just because you think you have to. Live your life doing what is going to make you happy. For me, being frugal is my choice, and it is a choice that makes me happy.

Michael Bonnell

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