The Frugal Mindset
Updated: Jan 27
Across the world, people are drastically changing their lives, becoming more and more frugal, adopting to what I like to call “The Frugal Mindset”, some, without even knowing it. By now you may be asking, “Mr. Wise Financial Man, what does becoming Frugal mean?” It’s simple, it means being more economical with your decisions and less wasteful. You’ll begin to see that as you become more frugal, you will learn to have more financial discipline, begin to notice how you spend money, and find ways to save more of your hard earned money!
The beauty of implementing a frugal lifestyle is all of the benefits that come along with it. Just a few of the benefits are: drastically saving more money, cutting down on your expenses and waste, becoming more environmental friendly and becoming more simplistic. It forces you to take a look at your priorities which can lead to so many more perks down the road. Shall I go on? By this time, you may be thinking to yourself, “this frugality thing doesn’t sound so bad after all!” So how do you begin?
In all honesty becoming frugal isn’t that hard. Well, I guess that depends on the current life style you live and how you were raised. I mean if you're living in a high rise apartment in Manhattan with a 2019 Mercedes AMG S Sedan (costing $150,000 plus) in your garage, you may have a hard time adapting a frugal lifestyle. But for the average American, including the Wise Financial Man, I believe it’s all a mindset and the education to help you achieve that mindset.
So what does the Wise Financial Man mean by mindset? Mindset affects how you live your life, how you view your life, and your overall happiness! A perfect example is: If you’re one of those people that is always saying "poor me" or "life has it out for me", then you’re probably not going to enjoy life. But if you’re one of those people that wake up in the morning, with a positive attitude, with the mindset that your going to accomplish everything you can in a day, then you’ll probably have a more positive outlook on life, and in return enjoying life even more! Like the old phrase goes, “You’re either a cup half empty or a half cup full type of person".
So back to relating mindset to frugality. If you're still stuck on social status, comparing yourself to others financially, falling for advertising, having to constantly buy new clothes to fit in and impress others (you get the idea) then you will never achieve the frugal mindset or the frugal lifestyle. But once you get away from that social mindset and adopt the frugal mindset, I believe it’s relatively easy to began the path to the frugal lifestyle. And before you know it, you’re a full blown frugal practicer, going against society, joining what I like to call “The Frugal Nation.”
So what are some of the things you’ll notice as you begin to adopt a frugal mindset? You’ll be more grateful for the things you have. You’ll find yourself caring less about materialistic things and more about your family, yourself, and your goals. You’ll be able to live your life without worrying about the judgments of others. Furthermore, the judgment you may receive, you’ll learn not to care about. You’ll begin to look at things for their value and reliability, instead of the social impression it will have on your life! You’ll begin to look for ways to save money, and ask your self why you’ve always done things a certain way, especially if it’s costing extra money or impractical. And as you adapt the frugal mindset, you will begin to notice that’s just the beginning. Theirs a good chance your view of the world will change as well.
So once you begin to implement the frugal mindset, you may be wondering what the frugal life style looks like. Here are some frugal examples from someone who practices the frugal lifestyle:
Frugal people live within their means: Frugal people understand the importance of setting a monthly budget. They take a close look at their income and expenses, and find ways to stick to their budget. They typically set a portion of their income towards savings and investing. They refuse to take out loans for cars, charge things to credit cards when they can’t pay, etc. They enjoy staying on budget and seeing the money they have left over at the end of the month.
In general, frugal people bring their food to work: Why pay 3 to 5 times the price to eat fast food when you can invest in a nice lunchbox for 15 dollars on Amazon, and easily prepare your food and bring it to work! Frugal people refuse to pay extra to eat out, in the end saving them money.
Frugal people tend to value quality and reliability: Frugal people tend to care less about the latest and greatest name brands. It’s not about their social image but rather what will serve their needs the best. They want something they know will last that will give them the most bang for their buck. A perfect example is purchasing a used Toyota Prius C compared to buying a BMW, Truck, or new car. They want something that will be gas efficient, that doesn't break the bank, that is going to be low maintenance and cost.
Frugal people are known to use every last drop: Why go buy a new container of (your favorite product) when you have little bit left. That goes for shampoo, butter, dressings, ice cream jars, toothpaste, you get the idea. They tend to be less wasteful which in reality, leads to them saving money while benefiting the earth.
Frugal people tend to be low cost: They choose to care less about their social image and choose not to waste money on expensive makeup, new clothes, new shoes, etc. Why waste money when you have perfectly good clothes at home!
Frugal people are content staying home: Frugal people don’t mind staying home on the weekends or having date nights at home. They understand they can have an amazing quiet date night at home without breaking the bank. Now that’s not to say they don’t go out for date nights. They just limit nights out and have self control.
Frugal people constantly increase their knowledge on money: They are constantly trying to learn new money saving techniques, how to budget, save, and invest. Often improving them selves through reading and following blogs, listening to podcast, experimenting with ideas, and talking with other frugal people.
Frugal people like to think long term. Frugal people make financial decisions in relation to long term. They understand how much a financial decision or obligation can hurt their financial health. They refuse to live their lives paycheck to paycheck. They set high goals, and aim to practice financial discipline, with financial freedom being their end goal.
These are just some of the basic frugal examples a frugal person may practice. There are numerous other ways people practice their frugality. People are constantly evaluating their lives, and figuring out new ways to become more frugal. And to the Wise Financial Man, I think that’s pretty cool. Just like anything in life, it’s not always about the end. Sometimes it’s the journey that makes it fun.
All I can say is that I highly suggest adopting or at least trying out the Frugal Mindset. In the end, what do you really have to loose by trying out something for a month or two. If anything you may find yourself saving extra money, making more economical decisions, and becoming less wasteful. And there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy adopting the frugal mindset and living the frugal lifestyle. To me it’s a game that I am always improving on. I’m constantly trying to find new ways to become more frugal. And as I do so, I truly find myself enjoying life more, and worrying less about my social image and what other people think about me! And the best part of it all is I’m constantly saving more money! At the end of the day, the decisions yours, but imagine all life could be if you adopted The Frugal Mindset!
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