I do not choose to live frugally for the sake of it, this choice has a purpose behind it. Purpose is what motivates me and helps me achieve my long term goals along with creating direction in my life. Having this purpose behind my decisions gives me not only a clear path, but a way of getting where I want to be.
I choose to live frugally in order to be able to achieve my long term goals and cutting back on everyday expenses is one of the most efficient ways of getting there. Spending less on daily expenses gives me the ability to save more to spend on other things such as travelling and saving for retirement. Essentially I’m sacrificing a little in the short term so I can enjoy long term benefits and achieve larger life objectives. What is important to you? What would you sacrifice now so you could have more of later down the track?
Hypothetically speaking say you spend $10 buying lunch everyday at work (in a five day work week). That’s $50 a week or a whopping $2,600 a year. Could you brown bag it everyday for a whole year and use that money elsewhere? $2,600 is an overseas holiday, it could also be put into retirement savings or an extra mortgage payment making you debt free earlier on in life. What are your long term goals? How would you spend $2,600? Is buying lunch everyday worth that amount of money or could it be better spent elsewhere in your life? This example could be applied to many different aspects of life and once you are saving in several areas it’s easy to see the dollar savings start to mount up. What other ‘swaps’ in your life could be made to save a few dollars here and there?
I love to travel which is one of my main reasons for living frugally because $10 I don’t spend on an average lunch out is $10 I can spend eating lunch in a foreign country. Sometimes I ask myself- ‘what else could I do with this money?’ When I think of those funds being used to achieve long term goals it acts as a motivator because having more money to travel is something I am willing to sacrifice for.
For most average ‘joes’ we can’t ‘have it all’. Some sacrifice must be made in order to achieve greater goals and sometimes that involves thinking about the future instead of the now. But this gives purpose. I find it much easier to live frugally when there is a reason for doing so and is’t just for the sake of it or because it’s trending. However, until recently I thought living frugally was also simply jut a means to a end. It’s no longer that for me even if it once was. Now I find it an enjoyable challenge. From finding the best deal to counting my savings it’s become a personal challenge (and sometimes a competition between myself and my partner).
What’s your purpose for living frugally and how does this help you achieve your long term goals?