Living a frugal lifestyle, and why it's a wise choice.
Learning to tighten up the belt when it comes to our finances has become a common theme.
It's a well known fact that the global economy has been unsettling for a few years now. The financial crisis that struck the United States of America back in late 2007, provided a shock and awe affect to many Americans. Many people who were used to a certain standard of living had to face tough choices. Suddenly things weren't about buying the most expensive clothing, or driving around in luxury vehicles. For some it was merely about surviving on a month to month basis. Many Americans have had to start living more frugally. I'm going to discuss why adopting a frugal lifestyle is beneficial to all. Please read on.
What is "frugality"?
Frugality is defined as, " the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance". In other words it basically means doing more with less, and living within your means. I personally believe this is something that we as a people should have been doing from the start. Living frugally is becoming a more popular and talked about subject these days. It's mainly gaining popularity because so many people don't have a choice in adopting this way of life. It's either live within your means now, or suffer on a monthly basis. If you think about it, the United States wouldn't be in this financial mess right now if we lived frugally from the start. This means our government and it's out of control spending as well.
The "American Dream" and it's misused definition.
When people think of the term the "American Dream", people assume it means becoming successful financially. In some ways this is a true statement. America is supposed to be the place where a person can start at the bottom, and work their way towards a greater livelihood. However, somewhere in our history we lost the meaning of what it means to be successful in America. Success in America has become purchasing the biggest house, even if you can't afford it. It has become charging up credit cards and not being able to pay them back. Financing an expensive car that we can't afford, but purchasing it to impress others seems to be what the American Dream is about. This is what a good majority of Americans do. Now I'm not saying that there is nothing wrong with the finer things in life. However, I feel that these things should only be purchased if we can afford them, and it fits within our budgets. This is something that Americans in general have gotten away from.
Ways to live frugally.
The ways to live a frugal lifestyle are very straightforward. Just making an attempt to live within your means is the first start. Getting out of any debts that you have is also a key element in making an attempt to live within your means. If you can't afford something, don't buy it. If it is possible, save up your money to purchase bigger priced items. This beats having monthly notes and payments to make on them. When it comes to food most generic brands are just as good as the name brands. If you have a big family, buying things in bulk can help you save. If you eat a lot, cutting back on your eating habits can help you save money. A lot of times we eat when we aren't even hungry. The truth is that we don't need as much food as we consume. Finally, cut down on monthly bills if possible. I wrote an article titled "Watching your favorite TV shows online". Cutting out your cable and using your computer to watch television is a way to save money. Getting rid of the home phone and using a cellphone is another way to save a few bucks. All of the small steps in saving definitely add up. We as a people think too big at times. Small steps towards bigger goals work more effectively.
We can greatly improve our lives if we can learn to live with less. Making an effort to live frugally can benefits our lives greatly. Remember that if we can do more with less, we will most likely get better results. I still believe in the American Dream, and that being successful is possible. Buying the biggest houses, cars, and other material items doesn't have to define success. Living smarter and more fulfilling lives is the true meaning of success in my eyes. Thanks for reading.