Frugality Sucks

Lets be honest, not too many of us are naturally frugal people. I know that might seem a little strange at first but if you take a moment to think about it how many people do you know that are truly frugal? My guess would be very few. I was thinking about this myself and I could only come up with a couple examples out of the people that I know that are truly frugal. Being frugal isn’t fun and personally I think it sucks. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.

There are times in our lives when being frugal isn’t a choice but something that we simply have to do. When you have children and don’t make a lot of money you have no choice and you have to be frugal or meals won’t make it to the dinner table. When these times arise you simply do what needs to be done. I think this is one of those adaptabilities that humans posses. We do what we need to survive and what we need to do to protect our loved ones and offspring.

This leaves us with a great big gray area in my opinion. Most of us in debt look at our budgets and we cut back on the things we really don’t need to spend money on. We’ll cut our cost of entertainment or maybe trim down our food bills so that we’re living below our means. But we are being frugal by choice and often times this isn’t fun. This is the part of frugality that sucks. I’m in that boat right now. I’ve decided to cut back on my spending to make sure that I can make ends meet and really make them meet rather than fool myself into a false sense of belief.

Those of us out there that are naturally frugal simply won’t spend the extra money and as a result they would never need to cut back; at least not to the same extent as your average person who is in debt. In my efforts to get my finances under control I’ve stopped spending money on the things I thought I needed and really just wanted. I took a very hard look at what I was buying and why. But cutting those items down and in many cases out of my expenses I’ve been able to cut away the fat that didn’t need to be there. The net result for me has been a more simplistic approach to life in general.

Do I still want the big screen TV? Kind of but I know that it’s a want and not a need. I get enjoyment from watching movies with my wife but I know it’s not essential to my survival and that TV will do nothing but cost me money. If I had spare money I might purchase one but until that time arrives I can walk past them in the store and not think twice about buying one.

I am by no means perfect since I still want some things that I don’t need and worse still spend money on some things that are kind of pointless. For me this has been a process rather than a quick fix. I took a long time getting into debt and I want to make sure that when I’m out of debt that I don’t fall right back in. Finding a good balance between spending for want and for need will, I hope, help me live within my means. This is important to me because I do not enjoy being frugal and I don’t think many of us do. It’s simply something that needs to be done sometimes.

3 thoughts on “Frugality Sucks”

  1. I agree somewhat. Frugality can definitely not be fun.

    BUT, it is a mindset and a lifestyle choice. You have to reserve yourself to be content with what you’ve got. Teach yourself not to pine for that next iPod/cell phone/game system/whatever your “thing” is.

    It’s a choice to live a more simple, debt free life.

  2. I definitely agree. Life can feel very dull when I have to be frugal. I think it’s different if you are in a rural area, but living in NYC I’m constantly surrounded by temptation: good restaurants, concerts & plays, and museums (which cost about $20 now). Not many people here are frugal, and I often turn down social invitations because I don’t want to spend $200 for dinner and a play.

    But it does get easier over time. I’ve been frugal for about 8 months now, and find that my habits and wants have definitely changed. Watching my emergency funds grow and my debt shrink makes up for any sense of deprivation.

  3. Being frugal is something you have to be raised into. I don’t buy anything because every time my father saw me with a toy he lectured me on the fact that the packaging and advertising cost more than the actual plastic in the toy. I was given dustpans for gifts and always told we are out of money.

    Guess what? His frugality is so deeply a part of him that it is now part of me. He has millions of dollars in real estate but he’s never bought a new TV. I haven’t either.

    I guess I don’t think being frugal is hard because it’s such a part of who I am for so long. Most of my family is like my dad, mostly to a lesser extent, but my uncle likes to buy things now and then.

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