Emerging Frugality and Happiness
Being frugal is one of the traditional characteristics in the Chinese culture. Flaunting wealth is something that the newest generations cultivates because of the exploding growth rate of millionaires and billionaires. But ironic as it is, authentically wealthy people never lay bare of their bank accounts.
I remember living frugally like yesterday. It was the time when I was working for one of my former employers, paying rent for an apartment located in one of the priciest areas and doing a sport that not many can afford. I was literally counting every cent by the end of the month. When I finally had it, after a couple of years of excruciation which led to an urge to figure out my phantom expenses. And to be honest, I have always known the hidden costs induced by my disequilibrium lifestyle.
So, it began. I started the accounting of every cent that came in and out of my bank account. Gathering all the information regarding compulsory and redundant expenditures, and the results plunked my psyche - 35% of my expenses were totally unavailing. To win the war of pointless supplying of things I didn’t need, I started to make endless amounts of notes of my daily purchases and the system worked. Still, unequivocally, there was not enough money to spend on my hobby which I maintained in a very serious manner, so it gave me no choice, but to recall the modus operandi that my parents used to integrate into my hippocampus.
What I am going to tell you next is what I used to do from time to time when budget was tight. Paradoxically it has always given me exuberance and contentment although life tasted a bit of like a hungry kid dipping the face into a raw fruit. Jolly and acrid.
Price tags of foods and beverages have shot up multiple times in the past ten years. Not everyone has opportunities to feed themselves with fresh ingredients. Because of my hobby, I was obligated to consume three to six meals a day beside dietary supplements to maintain strong tendons, ligaments and health in overall. Artificial supplements are actually not as expensive as many people think but let’s speculate that topic later.
Methods that I used daily to minimize expenditures were as small as like taking packaged spice or sauce whenever I ate out. Sometimes I even took straws because they are surprisingly expensive in a long run. Offices and gyms usually offer small fruits or other sustenance and nobody’s forbidding to take a banana with you after a long day.
Buying groceries only once a week is also a way to save money but try to avoid unplanned shopping trips otherwise you’d poke a hole in your wallet by (over)buying seductive sugaries. Potato chips and lemonades make my emotions disarray, so I bypass or pass through the territories eyes shut.
You can still have the perpetually uplifting restaurant moments with your friends and family if the endeavor of taking at least one-third of your meal home or not ordering desserts succeed. Actually, by eating less and shrinking your stomach brings levity into your life. You don’t only feel less bloated but also less tired after a meal.
This is a tricky one. I have managed to save a lot of money from bills of water usage and expenses of hygiene products. Have you ever considered showering at your gym? You only need to have a towel, a pair of flip flops and voilà, you have saved hundreds of dollars a year.
If there’s any way possible, sell your car. It’s a pure liability that dries up your bank account. If a vehicle is a necessity then you may want to try ask for a carpool. By giving little extra as a tip saves you a lot of other fees like car insurance and expensive gasoline.
Even better if you can travel by public transportations. You wouldn’t get stuck in traffic jams and can free up time to enjoy mundane activities like reading, listening to audiobooks, watching a movie or even having a nap. I have completed many conducive tasks during public transits.
And if you'd love to decrease at least a bit of emissions, riding a bike or hoverboarding are also great alternatives.
This is probably the last thing to think about when you’re short on cash unless you are a celebrity. But wait, there are unwealthy people who likes to look good as well, right? There’s a way to look good without having to spend a lot on pieces of garments.
Do you know why suits cost so much? Indeed, suits can enhance your power of status and make other people to take you more seriously, but in the trait of value, suits represent timeless fashion with an extra spice of transformable features – suits can be worn with dress shirts, polo shirts, t-shirts and even hoodies if you are having a blazer instead. The same strategy can be applied to sweatshirts, cardigans and knitwears. You can invest in a quality one (usually costs 100-400 dollars) and spend way less on clothes that are to be worn underneath.
This way you can look good and neat but still have extra money in your pocket.
I have many other ways to save money or cut costs as well, but I’d like to keep articles within certain length to keep the minds of my beloved audience refreshed. I will definitely keep writing more about minimizing expenditures and money management in the near future since this is one of the grounds I have landed on through priceless mistakes (well, they cost me a lot…pun intended).
Thanks for reading my article. See ya next time!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Davie Chen