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Why Frugality is the Key to Living Your Dream Life

Why Frugality is the Key to Living Your Dream Life

Frugality has started to become more of a trend and I’m so happy to see more and more people make the switch from being careless with their money, to being much more cautious.

Just because you’re frugal, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Whenever I am talking about frugality with someone, I almost always get an eye roll and I know they’re thinking “yeah right, I’m not going to suffer through that!”. And I wish I could just shake those people and get them to wake up and see the bigger picture.

If you live a frugal lifestyle, that doesn’t have to mean you have turned into a Scrooge and are no longer fun. Most frugal people that I know (myself included) order takeout, buy new things, and go on vacations. You can still do everything you want in life if you’re frugal. You just have to have a plan.

Why You Should be Frugal

Our philosophy here at MapleMoney is that frugal living should be easy. Frugality doesn’t have to be hard, boring, or make you miserable. When done correctly, frugal living can actually become fun. Seriously!

When you’re living life in the frugal lane, you can expect to:

Say Goodbye to Financial Stress

You know where your money is, where it’s going, and when you’re getting more. You know how to save for your future and anything fun you want to do in the meantime.

Enjoy the More Simple Things in Life

Spending time with your family, going for walks and enjoying the scenery, sleeping in (yes, sleeping in!), spending more time outdoors, and really just having more down time. When you’re not stressed out about money, it’s easy to relax and just enjoy life.

Buy What You Want to Buy

A common misconception about frugal living is that you never get to buy anything, which is simply not true. Frugality means that you know how to save money by cutting back on things that aren’t important. If you’re frugal, you can save up to buy the things you want instead of putting those items on credit.

Easy Ways to Make Frugality Part of Your Life

If you haven’t yet crossed over into the lovely land of frugal living, here are 3 easy ways to get started. They are easy and painless, I promise!

Start Clipping Coupons

I’ve said this time and time again, but I feel so strongly about it that I must repeat myself once more: clipping coupons is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries.

You don’t have to be an extreme couponer, you don’t need to carry a coupon binder with you when you go shopping. You just have to clip and few coupons and save a few dollars. Even if you only save $5 every week, that’s $20 a month, or $240 each year that you can put towards something important to you.

Start Cooking More Meals at Home

Like I mentioned earlier, my husband and I still get takeout and still go out to eat every once in a while (at least once per month), so I am not telling you that you have to cook every single one of your meals at home – just most of them.

If you can commit to cooking your meals at home (cooking from scratch is best, but not mandatory) for at least 5 days per week, that would be a substantial amount of money saved, as opposed to eating out multiple times each month.

Buy Second Hand Whenever Possible

With so many resources for buying second hand (Craigslist, Kijiji, eBay, thrift stores, yard sales, consignment shops), you’re downright crazy if you’re not taking advantage of this simple way to save money.

As The Duggar’s say: Buy used, save the difference!

Just because you’re buying something that’s second-hand doesn’t even mean that it’s been used, necessarily. I have seen brand new, unopened items for sale many times – at a fraction of the original price.

Frugality really is the key to living the life of your dreams. If you do it correctly (meaning you go “all in” and don’t give up when things may seem hopeless), you can live the life you want.

My motto has always been “sacrifice now, to live big later”. What that means to me is that if I can sacrifice just a little bit right now (though, to be honest, it doesn’t often feel like I’m sacrificing anything because I find frugality to be fun and exciting), I will be able to live the life of my dreams later.

If you want to start living the life of your dreams, you’d better start preparing – and living more frugally can help. A lot.

Do you consider yourself to be frugal?

Comments

  1. Teresa

    YEP! and enjoy it too!

  2. Stephanie F

    Cassie, what a great article! It’s too bad more people don’t feel this way. Some of my friends think I’m cheap. In reality it them who don’t know how to spend wisely. They are willing to spend $100 on dinner ONLY for themselves, when I have trouble spending $12! No wonder they struggle to pay their monthly bills. What they don’t realize is that my frugality is enabling me to save a large amount of money for a down payment on a home. As you said “Frugality really is the key to living the life of your dreams”. Thanks for the article

    • Cassie Howard

      So glad you liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Catherine

    Loved your article, our family stopped years ago exchanging gifts for birthdays and christmas and started enjoying each other’s company then worrying about spending money,and what to buy except for our grandchildren, but we set a limit when they were born But lets hope there is some snow for Christmas too use the sled!

  4. We have a man who drives around our apartment building in a brand new shiny Cadillac escalade. Every time I see him coming I think, “Yep, he’s broke”.

    • Peggy

      That might not necessarily be true. About 6 years ago, my husband and I decided to become debt free, so we could buy a bigger house. It was a challenge, especially with 3 young children and I was a Stay at home Mom…but we did it. We now have a bigger home, I drive a nice SUV, my husband has a Mustang for his summer car, and drives the old van in the winter….and it’s all because we are frugal. We cut back on things that aren’t necessary…we rarely eat out, I buy alot of second hand things, I use coupons whenever possible and watch for sales (thanks to Mrs.J) and therefore we are able to have a nice home and nice vehicles and not be broke.

    • open minded

      ” That might not necessarily be true”; I concur
      Invest in quality; complete research on product(s) you wish to purchase, save up the funds for purchase.
      Also, people have different priorities, thus in order to attempt to save up the funds for a ” major” purchase, other wants are not obtained

      Not to sound snarky, there is an expression/meaning attached to making an assumption

      We all come from different life experiences….
      Enjoy reading all the comments

  5. KD

    I started being more frugal a couple years ago, and it has made all the difference. I use coupons regularly, I maximize my rewards cards, and I love it. I travel a lot for work, so eating out has lost all of its appeal. Each year, we do a food drive through our office for the Veteran’s Food Bank. While others are bringing in one or two items, I fill boxes full of items – all from my stockpile that I paid little or nothing for. Feels great!

  6. Carrie H

    I think alot of people don’t like the word frugal they look at it like being cheap (dumpster diving – or the new tlc show cheapest person) – like the word diet – living smart with your money sounds so much better and it just makes sence.

  7. Julie

    I agree. The way I usually express it is as “living below our means” (so not above or even just “within”).

    Over the past couple of years, as dh and I have encountered some challenging situations that meant some financial challenges too, we were more grateful than ever that we have always chosen to live this way. The situations we encountered would have plummeted many Canadian families into debt, while for us it meant cutting back on spending (austerity measures is what I called it) and not being able to contribute to our savings for about a year. But no debt was acquired during that time. And we are able to contribute significantly to my stepdaugther’s university education.

  8. lauren

    cassie I wondered what your goals were ( long term) you mention being able to live big later on and wonder what your long term goals were? I know you mentioned buying a house ( which I would still love to read about) but what are your other goals?
    What leads you to continue down this frugal path? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cassie Howard

      My ultimate goal is to travel the world. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. jessielyn

    Very helpful i love it. And youre right Cassie,being frugal is fun.Really fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Poor Fat Chick

    I love being frugal and for me its something that is fun. I just watch my money and cut back on things I really don’t need. My boyfriend is starting to see the rewards of being frugal but his friends/peers like to make fun of him because he is not out with them every weekend drinking and eating their money away. Sometimes I does bow down to the pressure and spends but he is getting better at not doing that. We always get the last laugh though. We love to travel and having my boyfriend tell his friends/peers that we are about to go to Cuba AND its completely paid for (without credit) then whose laughing now. And we always get the same response from those people who made fun of us… “I wish I could travel more”.. then the start complaining how they can’t pay their rent (after spending their money at the pub)
    Yes I love the frugal lifestyle.. doesn’t mean I am cheap just means I have other plans with my money then piss-farting it away

  11. JoAnne

    I consider myself very frugal, but some might consider me just plain Cheap. That is just fine with me, because in the long run, I have my house paid off, two vehicles paid off, and money in the bank every month after paying bills. This is all on one budget, as I am a stay-at-home mom. I definitely make sacrifices, like only buying a French Vanilla at Tim Hortons when they are on sale for $1, but not when they are regular priced!! I figure the calories I save are worth it, so that is a big motivator.

    • Carrie H

      I love saving calories.

  12. Brianne

    My family is frugal out of necessity with my husband’s wage being cut by 80% over the last 4 years due to going on disability. We don’t feel deprived other than wishing we could put more away to buy our house with minimal debt sooner but it will come.

    We are also frugal because we enjoy the quality time we spend as a family because we keep things simple and just do what we can, when we can, and we enjoy all the family time we have together without spending a bunch of money. Yesterday we raked leaves and with a two year old, that is one fun activity! We had a blast taking pictures and making piles over and over…plus it was a free workout1! The smiles were priceless ๐Ÿ™‚

    I also love being frugal because I like games. It is a game to me to stay on budget, find new meals to make at home so we don’t get bored eating the same thing every week (and be tempted to eat out all the time), and make sure there’s enough to put in the bank for savings. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t like to lose at games so I know I will always make it work somehow and will always have fun finding news deals and coupons to help with the savings each month ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Sabrina

    Thank you for this article, it was well written and an enjoyable read! Plus it mirrors how I choose to live my life, I couldn’t have said it better.

  14. alisa

    Yes, I consider myself to be frugal, but there are misconceptions that frugal means cheap. I assure you they are NOT one-in-the-same! If you watch the show Extreme Cheapskates you’ll see people who pull 2 ply toilet paper apart or take other people’s leftover 1/2 eaten food from restaurants and I would never, ever do that and to me, that’s just disgusting!

  15. Heather

    I do consider myself frugal. It almost pains me to pay full price for something, its going to go on sale eventually. I love clipping coupons, price matching (Walmart rocks for this) and watching the sales. My husband is starting to come around. He is an “I want it now I’m going to buy now” kind of guy. Luckily for us, I do most of the shopping. Recently he started to ask if something he wanted was a good price when we go to Walmart to pick up a few things we need. A definite improvement. He is coming around which I belive will help us out a bunch financially in the long run.

  16. Angela

    Frugal – that’s me. I love saving money and using coupons has been a way of shopping for me. It has become a challenge. I have never believed in paying full price for anything. Being a stay at home mom, frugal is a good thing. I once had someone tell me that she would be embrassed to use coupons. I just looked at her and responded what was wrong with saving money. Frugal dosen’t mean you are cheap, to me it means being smart with money and your future.

  17. Nicole

    I am a closet frugalist. I was open about it to some friends & family and it just didn’t go over well & I don’t like confrontation or to be picked on. So I don’t talk about it. We live on 1 income & I’m a stay-at-home-mom. My kids go to activities such as preschool, music & swimming. I contest too, so that gives us a lot of great family activities to do for free from my wins as well as saving toys for my kids birthdays & Christmas. Some friends have asked how we afford to live on one income & I just say that we do just fine.

  18. Louise

    I think your point about buying what you want to buy is key. We use coupons, price match, buy second hand and priortize purchases so that we can buy the things we love without sacrificing the things we need. Some of the things we buy wouldn’t be another frugal person’s choice, but they are ours and we make room for them in the budget by saving elsewhere.

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