Almost everyday, I have a similar conversation with my husband about paper towels. I use one and if it is not “totally” used, I leave it on the counter – to use again later, of course. He often jokes that I must be older than I am because I act like I grew up during the Great Depression — ya know, with all the wanting to overuse things like paper towels. But I definitely don’t think I am “overusing” them, I mean why throw out a perfectly good (and reuseable) paper towel?! You see, I am all about frugal living, and there is NO WAY I am wasting those paper towels — that’s like throwing money in the trash!
So, what is Frugal Living? Does it mean I have to save all of my used paper towels?
No, frugal living doesn’t HAVE to mean that you have to save all of your used paper towels for a second use later. How to live frugally or how to be frugal can really mean different things to different people. Frugal living, for my household at least, means saving when we can (in both money AND time) to be able to capitalize on the things we enjoy the most. By learning how to live frugally, we are able to pinch pennies where we can so that we can spend them (or save them) where we WANT.
Learning how to live frugally does not mean having to give up all of the things that you enjoy. Living frugally does mean learning how to prioritize what things are MOST important so that you can cut back on the things that are LESS important. And the things you are super frugal with will be different for each person as everyone has a different reason for wanting to be more frugal. Perhaps you really need to save money to pay off debt, maybe you want to leave less of a carbon footprint, maybe you want more time with your family or hobbies. You see, frugal living can really mean getting more of the things you love and just letting go of the things you don’t.
In our household, I LOVE, NEED, CRAVE stability. So, that means that learning how to be frugal has an emphasis on saving, planning for retirement and serious budget tracking. If I know that the future is taken care of, I can live more at peace. However, my husband LOVES, NEEDS, CRAVES a sense of freedom. So, that means that we have also had to learn to be frugal with our time. Being frugal with our time (up to and including building our own business so that he doesn’t have the normal 9 – 5, but is still making what we need to satisfy my stability) allows us to spend time doing what we LIKE more and more.
So, you see, frugal living is really a tool to get you what you want from life!
The way that we apply frugal living is geared towards ensuring that we have happier, healthier lives. And I believe that if everyone uses frugal living to achieve those goals, it will be something easy and sustainable.
What goals do you want frugal living to help you achieve? Drop me a line in the comments below!