It’s up to you how you want to live. Do you choose to remain forever trapped in the vicious circle of work, consume, work more, and consume more? Or do you choose to live frugally, settle for a frugal life, and thus retire years earlier? The choice is yours. You often hear people say that they want to enjoy life to the fullest today. They don’t want to lack anything by living frugally. But the mistake these people make is that they think their happiness depends on how much money they spend. That’s an illusion. Money does not make you happy. Not in that way, at least.
Economical life is a happy life
A frugal life is a simple life. A simpler life is not a dull life. On the contrary – a simpler life is a richer life, without stress and worries, with more time and energy for important things. Family, friends, and hobbies. Consumption does not belong on that list. To live frugally means to stop spending money on unnecessary things. We are constantly stimulated by advertisements to spend more money. But no one has ever been happy with more stuff. A frugal life is a life without stress, worries, and distractions. This means more time for the beautiful things in life. The things that add value to your life.
Economical living in two easy steps
There are essentially only two steps to frugal living.
That’s the simple version. The economical version. But it’s easier said than done – especially in step 1. How do you determine what is really important in your life? We have become so used to our luxuries that we think we can no longer do without them. There’s even a term for this: the hedonic adjustment effect.
How people adapt to everything
In short, it means we adapt to our new circumstances – whether they get better or worse. This is good and bad news for people who want a frugal living. It’s bad news because we now see things that we used to see as luxuries as normal. That means it’s hard to save on stuff we could do without.
Before you had a car you could use a bicycle or public transport, but now it is difficult to imagine a life without a car. It’s the same with your smartphone, widescreen TV, or three-room apartment. But it’s also good news. It means that your happiness level will not go down by living frugally. You adapt. In fact – you will see that your happiness will increase with frugal living.
The harmful myth of frugal living
Many people think that frugal living means not being able to enjoy life, but this is a myth perpetuated by advertising culture. Living frugally does not mean constantly worrying about the smallest expenses. Economical living is not starving yourself to save on food. Living frugally isn’t about canceling the important things in your life just to spend less. Economical living means less stress, fewer worries, and more time for valuable things. This is how you do that:
Economical living in more than 2 steps
Economical living is a mindset, and you’re not the only one benefiting.
- You don’t just turn off the lights at night to save money, but also to save the environment.
- You cycle to work not only to save gas, but also because it is healthy.
- You don’t just turn off the television to reduce costs, it gives you the chance to have a good conversation with your wife and children.
Here are some steps to living more frugally. Apply them to your own life, and it’s not just your wallet that benefits – your whole life will benefit.
- Make a list – Write down the things that add value to your life, and the things that only cost you time, energy, and money. Some things we really can’t live without. We hold onto other things because they are nice to have around. Your car is a good example of this. And then there are the things you better get rid of. These things just cost us tons of money. Make a list of all the things in your life that you could save on. You will realize that you are spending a lot more on unnecessary costs than you think.
- Eliminate the unnecessary costs – The second step is simple. Stop all costs that don’t add value to your life. It is these unnecessary expenses that lead to clutter in your life. Be honest and strict with yourself. In a few weeks, you will thank yourself.
- Experiment with more savings – After the first round of savings, it’s time to experiment with an even more frugal life. Leave the car at home for 30 days. Don’t watch TV for three weeks. Set the temperature in the house 2 degrees colder. You will see that living frugally doesn’t make you unhappy, and it will save you a lot of money.
- Give Your Stuff Away – Do a deep clean in and around your home. Over the years we collect a lot of unnecessary stuff. We no longer need most of it. But there are plenty of people who need your stuff more than you. Donate your clothes to charity. Give your favorite book to a friend or colleague. It may be difficult in the beginning. But it is also very satisfying. A frugal life not only makes you happy – but also the people around you.
- Save and invest the difference for later – Living frugally has one more big advantage: you have more money left to invest for later. Saving and investing are essential components of financial success. With a frugal life and a good financial plan, you can retire years earlier. If that’s not a reason to live simpler…
The benefits of frugal living
A frugal life is not a dull life. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy life to the fullest. It’s dangerous to believe that stuff makes you happy. The more stuff you have, the more you have to lose. With a frugal life, you don’t need the stuff to be happy. You are also happy without it. You have more time for important things.
Things that really matter. A frugal life is also better for the environment, your health, and your relationships. Economical living is a mindset that brings happiness. Determine what is important in your life. Stop everything else. Invest the difference for later. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.