Many times, people mistake the idea of being frugal with that of being cheap. Truth be told though, they are two completely different things – and you can definitely be frugal without being cheap in any way. How to do this? Here are some of the most important things to know about this:
Frugality – What Does It Actually Mean?
In order to understand the difference between being frugal and being cheap, you should first and foremost understand what “frugal” actually means. Put very shortly, being frugal means being someone who lives a simpler life. Some choose to push this as far as possible and move into the countryside to try and live in a self-sustained way. Others simply choose to remove complications from their lives and focus on the things that really matter. Either way, being “frugal” is not in any case the same thing as being “cheap”.
When to Save and When to Splurge
Being frugal does mean that you get to save money – but not on the items that truly need to be of a high quality. For instance, you can definitely splurge on a wide variety of dollar-store items (dish sponges, plastic containers and so on) – but there are other things you should never make a compromise on. For instance, most of the electrical appliances are actually much better for you in the long run when they are more expensive (because they will save more energy, it will be much less likely you need repairs, and so on). Also, you should make sure to invest in quality clothing too (especially when it comes to the “basics” you wear on a regular basis).
When it comes to making presents, make sure you don’t put “math” before anything else, especially if you truly care about the person to whom you are making the present. In the end, you are doing this because you want to show that person how much you appreciate him/her and not because you are obliged do. Offer beautiful, meaningful gifts and you will feel really amazing!
Learn Frugality Step by Step
If you haven’t been exactly frugal up to now, it will most likely be a bit more difficult to make the switch (but surely not impossible). To make sure you change to a simpler lifestyle in a gradual way, take things step by step. For instance, you may not be ready to cultivate your own food just yet – but you can use coupons and maximize their savings value as well.
Some other “beginner” things to do for the people who want to live frugally include making a financial plan for you (and for your family), paying attention to price trends at the grocery store, buying in bulk and cooking double (or even triple) quantities to refrigerate the leftovers, and so on.
With a bit of determination, anyone can change their lives and live happier, healthier and simpler too! Make sure you stick to your plan and soon enough you will be an inspiration for other people as well!