As the tagline for this blog goes, it is about living the good life on a budget. That means we look after every penny and pound to ensure they do their best for us. We work hard to earn as money, as does everyone else, and we want to make sure that we don’t waste in on materialist wants that soon are meaningless and lie sitting in a drawer somewhere, unused.
Our frugal lifestyle ensures that we are doing the best we know how with the money we earn. Our budget set up is positive as we always have leftover money at the end of every month, which gets swept into savings. Our budget is constantly tweaked as expenses and circumstances are constantly shifting, and some months are higher spending months than others, but it works because we work to make it work.
Frugality is nothing to be ashamed of; I’ve already posted this week about embracing being different and being frugal is just another branch of that. There are many wealthy people in the world who get to where they are today by practising frugality on a daily basis. They live well within their means because they want to, because they know that deep down this is a better way to be. There is so much less pressure when you live how you want to, not how society wants you to live. Driving used cars, shopping at thrift stores, eating simply and using time wisely are all good frugal traits which should be the norm in our lives!
I work within the education sector and there are so many young people I talk to who are driven by materialistic wishes. There is one young man I work with who is obsessed with really expensive cars. We’re talking £100,000+ cars. How insane is that!? The only way he would think that owning a car like this would better his life is because the general media says how big is best. Shiny is best. Expensive is best. Now, it would be very wise for this young man to have a back up, as the likelihood of him getting one of these cars is slim, though not impossible. How does he plan to achieve his goal? He has no idea, he just knows he wants one. No plan of action, no career aspirations, it’s all about the car. I find that so sad because there is truly more to live than owning a fast car. I’m sure that they are good to drive, comfortable and momentarily make you feel pretty cool, but nothing is worth that amount of money, surely? If I can ever justify a car that is so expensive, I must be a multi-millionaire with nothing better to spend my cash on*.
The celebrity culture in the UK, and indeed in most of the Western world drives the notation that designer goods somehow make them into more valued people, that owning something with a label is more beneficial than those without. It almost feels like that validate your existence, because you have enough money to be able to afford these items. The fashion industry is worth billions of pounds and there are a lot people who spend an awful lot of money on clothes that will soon be out of fashion. It has been London Fashion Week this past week, and there are some lifestyle bloggers I follow who have been invited and therefore attended LFW. Now, I understand it’s probably a very exciting place to be, the atmosphere and general set up must be quite interesting to watch but it does make me wonder how much they spend. Do they buy their own outfits or are they given them? They go to be seen, to have their photographs taken. Who are they hoping will see them there?
I admit, I am a bit of a handbag person. When I was younger, it was never clothes I bought, ever, but I have definitely bought over my share of handbags. I admire the craftsmanship, I like the way they look and the smell of new leather. I like organising my things into a new bag and getting rid of the old. I have, on occasion, wished for a designer bag. In fact, if someone gave me one tomorrow, I still think I’d be pretty pleased. But that’s not particularly frugal is it? I suppose not, though if you used it until the bag falls apart, then that would be the best alternative. I do buy leather handbags which are slightly more expensive than others, but I buy them for their quality, as I hope that they’ll last longer.
But, this doesn’t mean I go wild when I need something new. I look for the best options and what would be the best price/purchase for me. I am making frugal the new normal. I want our money to work best for us, no matter what I am buying. I want us to have the best life possible with what we do. I honestly believe that everyone should do this; we should take more care over things and be more appreciative of what we have. Frugal people in general take more much care over their own possessions and appreciate the smaller things in life.
Try this in your life; make frugal the new normal. Question your spending, keep your money close to you and appreciate the smaller things. Family, friends and time are all we truly need to make us happy (as well as the obvious things such as water, food and shelter), not spending money to be someone we’re not.
*which is never going to happen, ever.
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