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Frugality is getting me down. - The Lean Times

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Jan 27, 2012 Frugality , , 9 Comments

It has been a bit hard for me to get into the groove this year and I finally figured out why – too much frugality is getting me down. I have been doing the frugal thing for years but only intensely the past three and a bit. It is a tiring to always be looking for new places to save especially if you have embraced the frugal life fully.

I am doing all the right things: not buying coffees out, cooking from scratch nearly every night, keeping to my budget, hey I even paid off one of my credit cards a few months ago. I think I am tired of too much stick and not enough carrot.

This year, I am going to try to make deals with myself a bit, let myself have a bit more of a good time.  If you have embraced the frugal way of living, it becomes a habit and once you have developed a habit it is difficult to break. Just try to quit smoking or ditch coffee completely; frugality has become part of my DNA.

By letting myself have more leeway in the spending department, I think it will make my life a bit more fun and with fun comes creativity and hopefully joie de vivre.  There is only so much one can accomplish with being frugal.  We all need to eat, wear clothes and have a shelter.

Being frugal is an admirable thing but it should not be the main focus of your life, if it is then you might be called a miser or cheapskate behind your back.  As I said, frugality is now embedded in my DNA.  I will not buy food in a box just because I can’t be bothered to cook or buy stuff for the heck of it.

I want to declutter even more and really try to live a more minimalistic life.  There are definitely things I need to buy (new clothes, shoes, a cover for the sofa) but before I buy anything, I will get rid of something.

I think now is the time to work more on the earning side of my financial life.  I am also going to try to find a side hustle or two to finance this more fun lifestyle I am planning or should I say designing?  I think I like the idea of designing my life for 2012.  Are you planning the grand design of your life?  What are you adding or more importantly subtracting? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear about you.


Comments

  • maria@moneyprinciple
    Jan 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Go for it! Frugality is over-rated, I am afraid. It sucks out your energy because we, as humans, have limited capacity for decision making. When we use this on little stuff (like clipping coupons) there is not much left to direct towards the much more interesting question of ‘extending your means’. Change of focus after some reasonable level of money spending awareness has been achieve is the way to go.

  • Viviana
    Jan 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for the comment Maria. I have been on the fence about this post as so many personal finance bloggers feel that frugality is the way to go. I think it is now my time to think about as you said it ‘expanding my means’. Thank you for the support.

  • Pat Machin
    Jan 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    You are right. Frugality as a means to an end can be a good thing – but the end needs to be carefully defined or it takes over.

    This life is not a rehearsal – it is the real deal and you can’t repeat it.

    Good luck with your move towards creating some extra wealth to enjoy. If you have been frugal for years, you will probably find you enjoy some not very expensive treats.

    I find a cup of coffee in a nice cafe, sitting where I can watch other people is really enjoyable. LOL

  • Dee
    Jan 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    I agree. It’s better if you are in a position to be able to do so, to focus on expanding your income. Will be much better for you in the long term even if you do buy the occasional nice thing.

    It doesn’t work for everyone but I suspect it does for you. It certainly does for me. Frugality can be fun but it can also be frightfully depressing.

    Just make sure to save up for stuff rather than rack up any debt.

  • Dee
    Jan 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I also find I’m a lot more productive work wise (which translates into cold hard cash) when I have an abundance rather than a cash tight mindset.

  • MoneySavingChallenge
    Jan 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Selective spending is probably a better place to be, compared to outright frugality. My wife and I are careful with our money, but don’t let that get in the way of having fun and buying things that we want.

    Where we worked hard to improve our financial situation was to reduce the cost of big-ticket items such as moving our mortgage onto a tracker to take advantage of the low rates, etc.

    I like the idea of getting rid of some clutter before buying something new.

  • Harri @ TotallyMoney
    Feb 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Serious frugality is like a super strict diet. The reward you feel from saving money/losing weight is eclipsed by the sense that you’re depriving yourself of fun and enjoyment.

    Everyone needs to let loose now and again. Let a little bit of spending be your occasional slice of chocolate cake!

  • Viviana
    Feb 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Pat, I totally agree with you when frugality starts to impede on the things that you really want to do it is more of a hindrance than a help. Thanks for commenting.

  • Viviana
    Feb 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Dee, I totally agree that an abundant mindset is more open to opportunities than a closed one which is watching out for too much spending. I do feel more creative and definitely more positive when I am flush, now to find some extra income.

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