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Making the Choice to Be Frugal

Updated on December 13, 2011

Has the unstable economy caused you to sit down and seriously think about the way you spend your money?

Do you know what it means to be frugal?

Do you have what it takes to be frugal?

Do you worry about your financial future and wonder if you will ever be able to retire comfortably?

If you have pondered any one of these issues, it might be a good time to start thinking about making the choice to be frugal.

When making the choice to live a frugal lifestyle, you must also consider realistic ways for how you will build wealth for your future.

If you want to take control of your finances, and actually come out on top when it is time for you to retire, you might want to take action as soon as possible - the sooner, the better.

What Exactly does Being "Frugal" Mean?

According to, Frugal is defined as an adjective that means economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving; not wasteful.

The word frugal is synonymous with thrifty, prudent, penny-wise and even miserly. In a nutshell, frugality is the direct opposite of being wasteful.

For the average person, when it comes to money, the last thing we should aspire to be is "wasteful."

But yet, when I look over my own finances I have noticed how wasteful and careless I have been with my money - to the point where it almost makes me nauseated.

I am sure that I am not alone in this realization, but I have decided to embark upon a frugal path in order to get a hold of my finances. I have also realized that I need to also embark upon a solid plan to build wealth for my future.

Keep reading if you would like to make similar choices.

What Does It Take to be Frugal?

You should first realize that being frugal is not just an action, but rather, it is a lifestyle choice.

You also need to be in the right mindset - you will have to be totally committed to your plan of making a better future for yourself. You have to be mentally "ready" to change.

Sometimes your commitment might mean making drastic changes to the way that you live your life, but if you are serious about choosing to be frugal, you will have to make the hard changes.

Learn from Financial Experts

The best way to learn about money, frugality, and building wealth, is by listening to the advice of financial experts.

Financial advisers and financial planners are professionals whose job is to help build wealth for their clients.

Because these professionals know what to do to build money, they also know what not to do as well (the basis of being frugal) - it goes hand in hand.

For many of us, when we think about financial planners, we tend to think that they are only for people who have already amassed wealth - there is a reason for that.

If you sit down and think about it, financial planners would be better a better fit for those of us with "Average" bank accounts and for those of us who struggle with our finances.

People who have already built wealth do not need their advice, but us "Average" and "Struggling" people would greatly benefit from the benefit of having our own personal financial expert.

The Financial Expert Paradox for the Average Person

The problem here is that personal financial advisers and planners do not consider it a wise financial choice for them to assist us if we have less than $50,000 in the bank.

Granted, not all personal financial experts feel this way, but most of them do. Think about it, they earn their living off of the amount of wealth their clients accumulate, it only makes sense that they need to have a sensible monetary starting point.

But, take heart, because all is not lost for those of us who do not have a lot of money to attract the attention of personal financial experts.

There are accessible financial experts from whom we can learn a lot about frugality and how to build wealth..

Suze Orman

If you are planing on making the choice to be frugal, you must become a devotee of Suze Orman.

Ok, I'm half kidding here, but most people like really do like and trust Suze, and she is currently the country's leading authority figure on all things involving money.

Suze Orman is a financial adviser who has had her own show for the past 10 years or so, she has authored many bestselling books, and there are many tools and helpful articles on her website.

Also, if you miss her weekly show, you can download her free full show podcasts for free via iTunes - It just doesn't get much better than free.

We like Suze Orman because she delivers the hard facts along with hard truths about how to change out spending habits.

Not only is she a well renowned financial expert, but she can identify with the average person, because she was once reduced to living out of her van when she was young.

Anyone who is serious about making the choice to be frugal will learn valuable lessons from Suze.

Michelle Singletary

If you have every picked up a copy of the Washington Post, you will surely know Michelle Singletary.

She is a financial expert who pens a financial adivice column that is carried in 100 of the biggest newspapers across the country.

Singletary has written many books, she has appeared on numerous television shows, she had her own satellite radio show, and she is popular keynote speaker.

Michelle Singletary stands out because her advice is delivered in a friendly and down to earth manner.

She is noted for the statement "Big Mamma used to say it's not how much money you make that matters, but how you make do with what you have." It doesn't get any more down to earth than that...

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is the host of a nationally syndicated talk show (The Dave Ramsay Show).

Ramsey has appeared on national television spots and he is the owner of a financial counseling company called The Lampo Group.

He is also the author of several books about how to manage your finances.

Dave Ramsey stands out because he offers his advice with a Christian slant, he has even created a biblically based financial counseling video series called "Financial Peace University" that is aimed at both adults and teens.

Dave Ramsey's main appeal is the fact that he lays out his financial advice on a "Here's how to do it" type of format, and he does not hold anything back. He's also a pretty funny guy.

J.D. Roth

J.D. Roth makes it a point to make it well known that he is not a financial professional.

Roth is an average Joe who simply found himself buried deep in debt one day.

As his story goes, he tried to find fast solutions to his money problems, only to discover that very few people truly get rich in a hurry.

On the flip side of that discovery, he also found that just about anyone can get rich slowly.And thus, his blog "Get Rich Slowly" was born in 2006. is a blog that you should aspire to make time to read on at least a bi-weekly basis.

It is loaded with financial tips that can be of real help if you are making the choice to be frugal.

Plus, the fact that he is not a financial professional contributes to his knack for making tough financial concepts seem easy to understand.

Realistic Wealth Building Ideas

Remember, the goal in making the choice to be frugal, is to save money. By saving money, we are building wealth. Just as J.D. Roth always says, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race."

While we are being frugal, we also need to focus our minds and activities on the bottom line. Here are a couple of realistic things we can do to work toward financial security:

  • Make Sure Our Savings Are Earning Us The Most Money Possible - consider other financial instruments besides bank accounts to store your money.
  • Do Not Use Your Checking Account To Save Your Money - even a savings account would be better, other types of financial instruments might bring you a better return on your money.
  • Start a Low Start Up Cost Home Based Business - please , none of that "Get Rich Quick" nonsense, it just doesn't work.
  • Get a Part Time Job - if you go this route, make sure you pursue something you enjoy, it makes no sense to be tired and miserable - just remember to save 100% of your earnings.
  • Write Online Content And Get Paid - Join Hubpages Now, and save 100% of you earnings.
  • Read Investopedia and bone up on your personal financial education.

In Conclusion

Remember, the only true way to accumulate wealth is to save more money than you spend. And, the only way to save more money than you spend is to choose to be frugal.

It seems like a simple enough concept, but we all know how hard it is to do.

Making the choice to be frugal now will set the overall tone of your future. And if we are focusing on building wealth while being frugal, our future will be much brighter.

Being poor and old is not a pretty predicament and it is something I am determined not to experience - hopefully you feel the same way.

True enough, money is not everything, but the whole world seems like a far better place when money is not an overwhelming concern.


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    • ilymsvicky profile image


      7 years ago from Long Beach

      Unfortunately becoming frugal was not by choice but by circumstance. After being laid off from my job my family had to make some drastic changes in our spending. I learned the true definition of "needs" and "wants" (unfortunately I'm children are still not so Your article has some very sound advice. Starting to save, whatever you can, is the first start in securing a better financial future.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      A great Hub, and so very important. How you manage your money has an enormous impact on what you're able to do with your life. Being responsible with money was something I was fortunate to be taught by my parents, and I plan on teaching it to my kids, too.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Rachelle, What a logical, practical, straightfoward summary of the ways and results of being frugal! In particular, I like your list of money matter authorities as well as emphasis on cutting corners and setting aside.

      Thank you for sharing, etc.,


    • Rachelle Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachelle Williams 

      7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      @ Cogerson - thank you for the compliment. My parents never taught me anything about money, so kudos to your mom for introducing you to Suze Orman.

      @ Somethingblue - nope, I missed your hub on the same topic.

      I watched my grandmother work all of her life (well...all of my life), then when she got old and sick she still had to work and it completely broke her. She really needed to be able to retire.

      But, if a person is still able-bodied, and they love what they do, they should keep on keeping on.

      I'm off to check out your hub right now...

    • somethgblue profile image


      7 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee


      Have you been reading my hubs again, although I didn't see any links to my award winning hub on Living Frugal . . . A Way of Life, so maybe not!

      I'm not convinced retirement is anything to aspire to as keeping active, keeps the heart young and ones perspective fresh.

      I live a very frugal existence, however it is not for the weak hearted and I embrace it rather than see it as any sacrifice.

      I enjoyed your hub and give you permission to link your hub to mine!

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      Awesome information in this hub. I think all the financial advisers that you mention offer many great things. I think the one I like the best and it came from a suggestion from my mother is Suze Orman. At my house we have had to learn on how to become we are a one income family of 7. Thanks for posting such a useful hub. Voted up and awesome.


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