Search Results for: label/Frugal Living

Sometimes, You Should Indulge

Don’t get me wrong – I am a strong advocate of a simple, frugal lifestyle. That said, I believe that sometimes, you should indulge.

Indulge your children
I am not saying you should spoil your children by buying them every new game that comes out or a whole new wardrobe every year when they head back to school. But once in a while, take them out for brunch, or to a show, or to play some mini golf. Some unplanned, impromptu outings. They will cherish the little memories you make. And while you work hard to make sure their future is provided for, don’t forget to take a break and plan a vacation. A memorable childhood is as important as a sound financial future.

Indulge your parents
All of us have baggage. Many of us blame our parents for it. But it is important to remember that our parents did what they thought was the best for us. We may not always agree and they may not always be right, but they tried. So, don’t be stingy while paying back. Get a good phone plan and call them once a week. Visit often, even if flying the whole family can get a bit expensive. They will love spending the time with you and their grandchildren.

Indulge your friends
Having good friends makes the daily grind seem just a little more enjoyable. So, don’t hesitate to spend on your friends once in a while. I am not saying you should buy them expensive gifts. But offer to drive them to the airport even if the airport is 40 miles away and the gas costs $3 a gallon! Pick a cake for them on their birthday or a bunch of flowers if they are feeling low. Little gestures make a huge difference.

Indulge on charity
The primary responsibility you have is to provide for yourself and your family. But once these obligations are met, think beyond and look for ways to give to those less fortunate. It doesn’t need to be huge – even small contributions can make a large difference. Check if your company accepts paycheck deductions, and set up deductions of just $10 every paycheck. You won’t even notice the money being gone, but somewhere, someone will be thankful.

Indulge yourself!
Finally, don’t forget to indulge yourself every now and then. Yes, you should save for your retirement. But you should enjoy your youth too. Yes, you should save for the future. But you should live in the present too. Get out there, and have some fun. Pay for babysitting, so you can spend an evening out alone with your spouse. Gift yourself a spa visit, for no reason whatsoever. Buy a dress or a pair of shoes. You can find relatively affordable gifts for yourself without breaking your wallet if you look for it.

Remember, life is short. You need to make the best of what you have. On a day to day basis, when you are busy with work, and life whizzes by, opt for frugal choices and try to save as much money as you can. That way, every now and then, you can indulge yourself and those around you, without breaking your budget or upsetting your savings plan. You won’t remember if you ate a brownbag sandwich for lunch or you ate at the local deli. So by choosing to brownbag your lunch, you will have a little more money saved to indulge your kids at a brunch during the weekend. They will likely remember such outings with fondness as they grow up. It’s all about the choices you make. So choose a frugal, simple lifestyle on a daily basis, so you can indulge every now and then without any guilt or hesitation.

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Here’s Why I Like My Relatively-Frugal Lifestyle

Dawn over at Frugal For Life has a meme going on about the Joys of Frugal Living, where she asks people to list why they like a frugal lifestyle. I have written several articles that talk about the “how to’s” of the frugal lifestyle, but never really pondered about the “why” question. So I decided to take a moment and think about it. Here’s the list I came up with for liking my relatively-frugal lifestyle.

I like being in control
With a frugal lifestyle, I am not run by my urges, whims or fancies. Most of the time, I consciously decide if and how my money is spent. I like that feeling of being in control. A certain level of discipline and frugality is needed for that.

I am a sucker for a good deal
I grew up watching my mom and grandma bargain for everything from vegetables to clothes. It’s a culture far removed from the one here in the US. When we came home with our purchases, there was a sense of victory, since we believed we had obtained the best price possible. At that time, it was mostly out of need. Being from the middle class, finding the best bargain meant having more money for other things. That itch for finding the most value for the dollar is ingrained in me, and I always want to stretch the dollar just a little further.

I love the challenge of saving the most money while not compromising our lifestyle
During my childhood and later during my college, it was the need that forced me to be frugal. But now, both the better half and I have decent jobs, and it is now a matter of choice. We want to maintain a decent lifestyle and yet, save as much as we possibly can. A few frugal choices in every day habits allow us the freedom to make other more expensive choices when necessary, without compromising our savings goals. It’s quite challenging to maintain the balance, and I love it!

I am beginning to enjoy the simplicity of a frugal lifestyle
With more money comes more wants. Our desires always chase the next thing that seems just out of our reach. It is a continuous cycle of yearning that never lets you be happy. Simple living on the other hand brings contentment and satisfaction with what you have, which lasts much longer than the transient pleasures of owning things. I am beginning to appreciate that. A frugal lifestyle helps me exercise some simplicity in my life.

More peace at home 🙂
There are two types of frugal people – some that are happy by nature with the simple things in life and others that learn it slowly with practice. The better half is of the first type, naturally content with what he has. I on the other hand am more mortal and want more stuff 🙂 By choosing to belong to the second category, ie, learn to be frugal with practice and discipline, there is a lot more peace and harmony at home and in our relationship. I think its well worth the effort!

So there you go. My reasons for choosing a frugal lifestyle. What are yours? If you write about them, be sure to leave a comment here or on Dawn’s blog so we can collect it all in one place and reinforce each other’s choice for practicing a frugal lifestyle.

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The Top 10 Posts

Here are the Top 10 posts on this blog (as of 10/21/06).

    1. What I Do to Live Frugally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like ’em? There’s more where they came from 🙂 Subscribe to the feed.

And here is the old sampler I used to have. It’s a bit dated and I haven’t had a chance to update it yet, but it should give you an idea for the type of topics covered here and the writing style…

— Old “Sampler” —

Hi! If you are here for the first time, Welcome! (And if you have been here before, Welcome back 🙂 Here is a “sampler” menu of some of the articles so far. If you like what you read, I encourage you to subscribe to the feed. Enjoy your stay, and thanks for visiting!

Basics of Personal Finance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frugal Living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jobs & Career

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgage & Home Ownership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneureruship

 

 

 

 

Photo Essays

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other