Get Out of Debt. Call Us at: 1 (800) 267-2272

Get A Free Debt Review
  • Call Us at: 1 (800) 267-2272
  • Get A Free Debt Review
  • Simple benefits of frugal living. No credit counselling necessary.

    Simple benefits of frugal living. No credit counselling necessary.

    by:
    Laurie Campbell

    Credit counselling through frugal living

    These days in Canada, a lot of people recoil at the mere mention of the word frugal. For them the word conjures mistaken images of scarcity and misery – of cheapskates living gloomy, stoical lives on the outskirts of a dazzling, free-spending consumer culture. Those who mistake frugality for cheapness are likely to ask, “Isn’t being frugal just a downer? Isn’t it only practiced by unhappy, penny-pinching bores?” In answer I can only say that frugality has nothing to do with being cheap and miserable and everything to do with being smart and responsible in matters of personal money management. As a matter of fact, all of us as professional credit counsellors at my agency, Credit Canada, encourage frugality. 

    Smart, frugal folks sleep better at night. Though they live below their means, they rarely suffer as their spendthrift contemporaries imagine they do.

    Look at it this way: A cheapskate can be defined as a person who likes to put personal wants before needs, but with the hope that somebody else will pay the tab; a frugal individual is someone who always puts personal needs before wants knowing that only he or she will be covering the tab through hard-earned wages. Frugality in essence spells prudence, characterized by people who are “careful in handling practical matters and who exercise good judgment or common sense in planning for the future,” according to the American Heritage dictionary. That’s a far cry from grim skinflints huddling in dark, spare corners.

    Being frugal can lead to anything but a woeful existence. Through it, people either understand – or are nudged into understanding – that many of life’s most gratifying experiences do not depend on spending. Restraint helps them to appreciate what they’ve got and to make the most of it. Smart, frugal folks sleep better at night. Though they live below their means, they rarely suffer as their spendthrift contemporaries imagine they do. Out of necessity, they generally are more alert to their behaviour and surroundings, and more creative in their approach to day-to-day matters, always looking for ways to meet needs economically, to put money away, and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

    Frugality can open the way to living joyfully with more security and less stress thanks to greater opportunities for savings earmarked for very important life goals and situations.

    They know that all the possessions in the world can’t fill holes in the human heart. They ask, why spend a Saturday afternoon shopping at the mall when you can share great times among family and friends without spending a dime? Why drop tons of cash at restaurants and bars when the fun of cooking and entertaining at home beckons at a fraction of the cost? Why spend lavishly on travel to exotic destinations when natural and cultural wonders are waiting to be discovered or rediscovered in the vicinity of one’s own backyard? 

    There are other obvious benefits given the savings frugality promotes. Debt can be reduced and paid off early, allowing for even more savings with interest. As well, frugality can help people retire earlier, create estates for their children, and give more to others in need. Frugality can open the way to living joyfully with more security and less stress thanks to greater opportunities for savings earmarked for very important life goals and situations. Retirement and education funds immediately come to mind here, as well as investments for other life dreams or emergency funds that can make a world of difference should fate take an unwelcome turn. Lacking prudence, many spendthrifts cannot enjoy the chief benefit that comes with frugal spending and budgeting; namely, financial peace of mind as times marches on.

    Smart, frugal folks also could care less about keeping up with the Joneses, be they next door or on Facebook. That’s because living frugally also means living intelligently as an individual.

    Those who constantly overspend often risk looking forward to a life marked by financial uncertainty, money worries, and perhaps soul-crushing debt, with the possibility of having to seek salvation through the kind of credit counselling and debt consolidation services we offer at Credit Canada. Among the many thousands of people who each year ask us to help them beat bad debt, few if any can be said to have practiced frugality over time – and the benefits of frugality do require time.

    Smart, frugal people also could care less about keeping up with the Joneses, be they next door or on Facebook. That’s because living frugally also means living on one’s own terms as an individual. For wise souls, financial games of one-upmanship are a bit childish – a waste of time and energy. As I say, such thinking also sets the stage for debt problems that may require credit counselling. Should you be a frugal person yourself, you likely won’t be needing such assistance anytime soon.

    Print This Article

    Leave a Comment