There are many negative words associated with frugality: tightwad, spend thrift, stingy, miser –and a few less than flattering monikers to top those off. Yet, do frugal folks get a bad rap? They might. In fact, being frugal pays off and you do not need to be a modern-day Scrooge to do it. There are plenty of ways to enjoy your life, have fun and never overspend in the process.
1. Stop throwing money away
Frugal people never pay to use their own money. Think about your average car loan. If you bought a car for $15,000 and financed that car for 72 months at 10 percent APR, you threw away over $5,000 in interest payments. That is money you could have been saving and investing to buy that same car in cash, in less than 72 months. Rinse and repeat savings versus financing a few times, and you are paying yourself thousands of dollars, versus paying the bank thousands of dollars.
2. Cash back
Frugal folks never miss an opportunity to earn cash back. Earning cash back on purchases using credit and debit reward programs makes even the sweetest deal, even sweeter; and it is just one more way that frugal living pays dividends.
3. Dividends and investments
Money frugal people do not spend, is money they typically save and invest. Their money works for them and pays them back around the clock instead of the other way around.
4. Finding your hidden talents
Frugality can also be a powerful life tool, helping you discover your inner carpenter, jewelry repairperson or dog trainer. With the internet readily available in most homes, saving money by learning how to do things yourself pays off in more than just dollars.
When you are frugal, you are not obsessed with shopping. You do not “want” as many things as your neighbor down the block, so you ultimately spend less time comparison-shopping; you never waste time “just browsing”. Instead, you can go for a hike and enjoy life outside of the mall, paying you back in good mental and physical health to boot.
6. Mental health
Frugal people are happy and content, because they do not need to chase after trends, fads and run after mindless pursuits of things designed to waste both time and money. Spendthrifts are usually very happy folks.
7. Less clutter
Frugal people have less clutter; they tend to sell or give away what they don’t need instead of amassing piles of junk, less to clean and less to wash, meaning that even a frugal person’s utility bills are frugal.
Yes, there are many negative words used to describe frugal folks, but once you see how many ways a frugal lifestyle pays back, it is the economically prudent among us who get the last laugh; and they are laughing all the way to the bank.