Financial Friday: Frugal, Simple

by Mark Fischer

As I’ve been pondering what you all want to hear about here on Financial Friday I have been reviewing my own notes and thoughts on the topic. I keep coming across these two words: Frugal, Simple.

So here you go…my thoughts on frugal and simple.  Happy Friday!

Frugal: “Economical in use or expenditure;
prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful”

Most of the time when we hear the word frugal it doesn’t necessarily have a positive connotation.  We think of a person being frugal because they have to be. Often we also think of frugal people as misers or cheap.

Neither is true in my case. I enjoy being frugal and it does help our lifestyle but I mostly engage in frugal living because I think it is the right thing to do.

We are very privileged to have the resources we do.  We live in a country that is wealthier than most of the world. I feel that my responsability is to take the wealth I have (regardless of how big or small in my own eyes) and use it wisely.

Being truly frugal (not wasteful being my favorite part of that!) allows me a greater ability to give to others. Sometimes that means I have the opportunity to give a more elaborate gift to someone close to me.  Other times it means I can give to an organization or charity that is in need.

True frugality comes from the heart and is an enjoyable experience for you and those around you!

Simple:  “Not elaborate or artificial”

Simple is all the rage right now.  Simple Living, Real Simple and Simplicity are all magazines on the market at this very moment. They all encourage a more “simple” life.

Sometimes simplicity relates to being frugal and sometimes it does not.

Take Real Simple magazine for instance.  I love the first third of this magazine.  It has great tips and facts about money, deals and tricks to make things you already have work for a different purpose around your home.  The rest of the magazine generally covers food and fashion.

The food and fashion suggested is not necessarily frugal. Personally, I still think $70+ for a pair of jeans is too much. A beautiful meal with rare ingredients might be great but if it takes additional effort and cost to get an ingredient, it now ceases to be frugal.

However, frugality can lead to simplicity.  Frugality, by my definition, will not purchase clothes I don’t need, items for my home that are elaborate or toys for my children that won’t hold value.

I then, have fewer cloths, my home is cleaner and easier to manage and my children’s toys will last for many years and through many children.

So as you engage in your life today consider, are you frugal?  Are you simple?

Both are a choice.  Speaking from personal experience I think they both allow a great amount of freedom to live life to its fullest!

Have a GREAT weekend!

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