There’s a lot to gain from frugal living. Things that money can’t buy.
“I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.”
― John Stuart Mill
Debt has taught me a lot of things and to be honest, I wouldn’t have gone to writing were it not for debt. You see before I started my blog, I was really down and out. I was hopeless and I wasn’t sure if there was ever a way out of it. We were having all sorts of financial problems because we didn’t spend our money wisely until we just realized that all our debt has piled up in front of our faces.
It was a stressful sight to see the disappointment in my wife’s face every time she opens one of our credit card bills and it’s always a pain to talk about how we’re supposed to get out of all these debt.
We’re still in the process of paying for all these debt as we speak but I’m glad to say that were are no longer as miserable as we were a few months ago. Instead of wallowing on self-pity, I decided to use this negative experience as a driving force to turn our lives around. I started listening to personal development audiobooks and podcasts until I rediscovered my passion for writing and so here we are.
I’ve learned a lot from reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I realized everything we did wrong and how to value the importance of money by living frugally. I’ve learned to sacrifice some of the things I wasted money on that wasn’t really a need but more of a want and I’ve shared this with my wife and kids too. Frugal living has brought us priceless benefits thus far and here are some of them:
1. Peace of Mind — when you are short on your finances, it’s almost impossible to relax. You’ll always be worrying at the back of your mind if you will still be able to send your kids to school or if you can still afford to pay your home mortgage. Living from paycheck-to-paycheck is not the life you want because there’s you have no assurance for tomorrow.
Having an emergency fund stashed somewhere or a savings account under your name gives you the assurance you need enough to take all the worries away and keep your happiness intact.
2. Happy Marriage — according to a 2013 article published in the Huffington Post, the top predictor of divorce is not because of children, sex, or anything else. It’s because of arguments about money.
Frugal living can save a lot of marriages because without the money problems, there’d be nothing to argue about wouldn’t it? It’s only when the money problem comes that the blame game begins and when this happens, separation or divorce would not be far behind.
3. Amazing Children — before we got into debt, we had what I can say, a luxurious lifestyle. We ate at fancy restaurants and we buy our children expensive toys and clothing. We used our credit cards with reckless abandon. We didn’t have discipline and we’ve learned our lesson the hard way.
I love my children and at their young age, I was really impressed with the maturity they showed in understanding our situation because after we got into debt, I talked to them and told them that we have to cut on the expenses. We won’t be going to Starbucks anytime soon, they won’t be owning expensive shoes for a while, and there’s a chance that they might change schools. I was expecting them to react negatively but I was surprised with hoe they responded.
“It’s okay Daddy, as long as we’re happy and together.”
I was proud and embarrassed of myself at the same time because I put them in this situation. I got even prouder as the months went by because every time they see a toy or a garment in the mall, the first thing they ask me and my wife is “can we afford this?” or “is this expensive?”
Frugal living can bring out the best in people, especially your children. They will grow to be simple, humble and responsible individuals.
4. Real Friends — Have you ever had fair weather friends? You know, people who are only there when they need you but are strangely missing in action when you are in need. I’m sure we all have our own stories to tell about similar kinds of people and frugal living is one sure way of driving these kind of people away.
If they know from the get go that you are disciplined when it comes to money and that you are not the type who spends your dollar like there’s no tomorrow, I’m pretty sure you won’t be attracting that kind of crowd.
True friends are there for you through thick and thin. If you have friends who only show up when they need something from you, you should drop them from your life.
5. Good health — money problems can be stressful not only to your mind, but also to your body. Worrying too much can cause loss in appetite, sleepless nights, and weight loss. Depression will slowly wear you down and in some cases, it may even lead to death.
6. Security — you have nothing to worry about if you know that you have something to fall back on in case of emergencies. Having a savings account or money invested into a mutual fund are just some of the things that can be made possible by frugal living.
7. Opportunities — you can save a lot of money through frugal living and having extra cash will give you opportunities to make your income grow. With enough money to spare, you can start your own business or invest in other profitable companies by buying stocks. There’s a lot of potential for growth if you have money and you will only be able to save enough if you are living frugally.
8. Happiness — I don’t really have much to say about this item because having everything I mentioned above will bring you happiness and joy. There’s no better feeling than not having to think twice every time you need to spend money because you know that there’ll be something to pull out of your wallet in times of need.
It is true that sometimes simple is better. That less is more. Only buy things that you need instead of those that you want. If you’re trying to buy something you consider expensive, think twice, or ten times if you must because we won’t realize the value of something until we lose it.
What are some of the frugal habits you practice everyday?
Originally published at lifeshowyouliveit.com on December 3, 2014.
Originally published at medium.com