A frugal lifestyle is the way of life for millions of people — but how did they become so stingy? Why do so many dedicate their lives to saving money as often as possible? This question was posed in an online discussion recently, where real people gave honest feedback on why they became so frugal.
They Have No Choice
Whether they don’t get paid enough or their lifestyle insists on it, countless people reveal they don’t have a choice! Frugal isn’t an option; for these people, it’s the only plan of attack, despite their best efforts and intentions.
Fear of Being Broke Again
Many people who’ve dug themselves out of poverty or low-income situations have a prevailing fear that they’ll one day return to that lifestyle. It’s a harrowing prospect for millions of people, and their frugality comes from knowing where they came from — and hopefully prevent it from ever happening again.
The Desire to Travel More
Traveling the world is an enticing proposition for anyone, and the easiest way to accomplish that specific goal is to be a little more frugal with your money! Unless they’re blessed with a high income, many people save as much as possible and put everything towards an unforgettable adventure.
Being frugal isn’t a skill you’re born with. It’s something you learn along the way. “I was poor, so I learned to be frugal,” says one man. “Then I got a well-paid job and kept being mostly frugal. Now I’m poor again and can still survive okay because I didn’t let my lifestyle creep out of control.”
It Makes Sense in the Current Economic Climate
With inflation still at high levels and mortgage rates currently through the roof in 2023, it’s no surprise when people confess they’re riding this current negative wave of economic news.
“I’m frugal because I’m building a robust emergency fund,” says one man. “Life is highly unpredictable. The best case scenario is I have savings for a house if and when the market turns for the better for regular folk.”
It Leads to More Free Time
It’s simple math: You’ll make less if you work less. So, naturally, this makes you more frugal, translating into more free time. “Free time is a big one for me,” admits one man.
“I see free time as just as valuable as extra money. It’s also good for my mental health to decompress instead of letting stress build up. Plus, planning for expenses lessens stress and allows you to take care of problems before they become unmanageable, out-of-pocket emergencies.”
A Fixed Income
Whether they’re on a retirement income or are suffering from a disability, many people are on a fixed income. Being frugal isn’t an option for these people — it’s a way of life.
Spending Money Doesn’t Elicit Joy
Interestingly, a small subset of frugal people blame their physiology. “I’m frugal mostly because I don’t get any enjoyment from spending money,” says one man.
“I do it because I have to, but it doesn’t trigger an endorphin and dopamine release like others. What triggers those feelings is learning new skills and fixing problems at a lower cost.”
I Don’t Make Enough Money By Choice
Some people don’t want to work — it’s that simple. There’s nothing wrong with living paycheck to paycheck, especially if it means not having to work a job you despise.
Stuck in a Loop
Many people confess they get stuck in a frugality loop where penny-pinching is necessary due to their lack of discipline. When they make a lot of money, they spend a lot — often getting themselves into debt, necessitating being frugal. Then, once their debts are paid off, it’s back to spending money. It’s genuinely a vicious cycle.
Only Frugal With Certain Things
Some people are frugal only with certain purchases, mainly because it shores up extra money for the things they care about! “I’m frugal on most items to splurge on others. I’m not picky about cars, but I like a nice house.
I like to travel with some nice elements but mostly frugal,” reveals one woman. “I also have a medically fragile kid with an uncertain future, so I want plenty saved for her eventual possible needs. I don’t want to feel like my money was wasted.” Isn’t that what we all want?
Trying to Retire Early
Every penny counts as far as retirement income goes, and countless people admit they’d love to retire early, and being frugal isn’t the simplest way to accomplish that goal. After all, a little bit of saving earlier in life goes a long way to financial freedom in retirement.
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