I consider myself a frugal person. I try not to waste time, energy, money, or other resources because I know that everything we have on this earth is limited and I don’t want to waste it. But I’m also not so jaded that I think everyone else feels that way.
Reasons for living frugally
I was thinking about frugal living the other day and it struck that people are frugal for different reasons. For some people, such as myself, frugality is a voluntary way of life. However, people are motivated by different things. For some people, frugality is a game – a way to beat the system to find the cheapest deal possible. For others, frugality is a necessity. The need to save money stems from the need to put food on their table and have a roof over their head. There is no right or wrong for any of these motivating factors, but I thought I would examine them to learn more about myself and my motivations.
Frugality is a way of life. In many cases I can afford to spend more money on certain things, but I choose not to. Instead, I prefer to seek out deals, find ways to earn more money, or do without expensive luxuries if I don’t need them. This extends into other aspects of my life as well. I try to conserve electricity and other resources, recycle waste, and in general consume less. In fact, I think conservation and frugal living have a lot in common.
For some people frugality is a game. There are many people who treat saving money as a game. Google the term “coupon game” or “grocery store game” and you will find multiple websites with tips on how to best use coupons for making strategic money saving purchases. There is nothing wrong with finding ways to save a lot of money, and turning it into a game can make it fun and more rewarding. However, this can be detrimental when one unnecessarily spends money buying things they don’t need in order to “save money,” or if they spend too much time trying to find methods of saving a few cents. There is a definite ROI factor when playing this game.
For others, frugal living is a necessity. Finally, some people have no choice but to be frugal. I understand this completely. I have gone several months between jobs before, and I know it is not fun. I had enough money in my emergency fund to hold me over and I had income from unemployment insurance, but I didn’t have spare money lying around either. Every monetary decision I made was based on whether or not it was the most frugal option available to me.
So my question to you today is this: Are you a frugal person, and if so, what is your motive? Is frugality a way of life for you, is it a game, or is it a necessity? Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, but I am curious to read your responses.
Reader Poll: What is your motivation for being frugal?
- All of the above. (35%, 310 Votes)
- Being frugal is a necessity. (29%, 256 Votes)
- Being frugal is a way of life. (26%, 229 Votes)
- Being frugal is a game. (10%, 101 Votes)
Total Voters: 896 (poll closed – thanks for participating!)