Frugal living is a lifestyle that involves careful planning and spending as well as avoiding waste. Some people may choose this lifestyle out of desire and some may incorporate such a lifestyle out of necessity. It’s not about being cheap; it’s really about being practical and making the most of available resources through various methods of saving money, reusing existing items instead of buying new ones, and finding bargains and good deals. The premise is that a person shouldn’t pay more for something if he or she doesn’t have to.
People who incorporate the concepts of frugal living into their daily lives generally adopt a strict budget and try very hard to stick to it. They tend to purchase the most inexpensive products if those products are a good value. Many frugal families also take advantage of sales and use coupons. They recycle, revamp, trade and find other innovative ways to get as much as possible out of what they have and what they earn.
Frugal living and simple living often go hand in hand, although it isn’t necessary to “live off the land” in order to adopt a frugal lifestyle. It may simply be a matter of cutting out excesses and learning to put the extra money away instead of spending it on impulsive or indulgent purchases. Living frugally also means comparison shopping, making smart choices, lowering the cost of bills, and doing what you can to avoid debt.
Many people think that frugal living means doing without, but more often than not it entails spending within your means as well as waiting to make large purchases instead of buying on credit. Seasonal sales tend to offer huge savings, which means that big-ticket items can be purchased out of season, often for as much as 50% off. Finance charges are also avoided. Living frugally may require more effort, but it allows many families to live well on less money.
Couples with children frequently adopt frugal living ideas in order to live on one income, so that one parent can be at home with the children. Avoiding the high cost of daycare is a huge money saver but also provides peace of mind. Other families may utilize certain frugal concepts in order to save money for a new car, a new house, or a great vacation. Some will also choose frugal living now so they can save for retirement.