It’s always nice to save a few pounds here and there – especially if you’re trying to save for something important, or want to manage your money more efficiently. However, frugal can be a tough act to sell – especially when words such as tight, cheap or boring are thrown around – so we’re here to debunk a few of the untruths surrounding frugal living.
Here are some popular myths – and why they’re wrong.
- ‘Frugal people are boring.’ Sometimes, living within your budget means turning down a couple of invitations here and there, such as a night out, tickets to a concert or even drinks after work. But what’s even more boring is having to stay in for six months straight to pay down the credit card debt you’ve racked up by enjoying a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. Better to be realistic about your social life, and say no every now and again, than wind up having no fun at all.
- ‘Frugal people are poor.’ While financial difficulties can mean frugal living for some, for others it’s a way of maximising their saving potential, investing in their future or simply refusing to waste money on things they don’t deem necessary. Budgeting is not just for those on low incomes – doesn’t everybody want to make their money go as far as it can?
- ‘Frugal means tight-fisted, penny pinching or mean.’ Tight fisted conjures an image of wearing out a pair of trainers until they’re practically falling off your feet, just to avoid spending money. Or sitting in the dark because you don’t want to buy light bulbs. The reality it, a frugal lifestyle isn’t about clinging to every last pound – it’s about spending money more wisely. You can invest in new kicks, because you’ve cut out your expensive daily coffee shop run and saved the cash.
- ‘Frugal people don’t care about quality.’ There’s a difference between buying the cheapest item for sale and shopping around for a good deal. A frugal lifestyle does not mean compromising on quality – it’s just a case of assessing lists of wants and needs against a realistic budget, and making it work. You might save for longer for an expensive item, or you might choose not to buy the designer brand of jeans when the high street ones are just as good. That doesn’t mean you’re opting for the cheapest goods every time.
- ‘Frugal means denying yourself the things you want.’ Again, not so. Living within a budget is about taking a closer look at what you need, what you want, and not confusing the two. Taking longer to commit to an expensive purchase isn’t denying yourself the treat – its just being smart before you drop a significant amount of your wages on something that strictly speaking, isn’t essential.
- ‘Costs are rising – frugal living is impossible.’ While the cost of a weekly shop has risen in recent years, it doesn’t mean you have to rack up debt to survive. Frugal living can be done with any budget – anyone can look at their income and outgoings and make smart decisions about where to spend their hard-earned cash. If this means more walking to work, or shopping in a cheaper supermarket, so be it – it’s about adapting.