This question is a mainstay in the Meet a Reader posts, but I thought it would be an interesting one to pose to all of you! That way, even those of you who don’t want to do a whole interview can get a chance to share the motivation behind their frugality.
My money-saving “why” has shifted here and there over the years, depending on my circumstances.
At times, I have been frugal because it was an absolute necessity; any non-frugality would have been a quick ticket into debt.
And sometimes, I have been frugal in an effort to create more margin and more security for the future; after a lot of years of scraping by, you need to work to make progress on things like retirement savings.
Why am I currently motivated to be frugal?
Well, my financial future has a lot of unknowns in it right now, and this next phase of my life is going to look a lot different than I thought it would.
Also, my current financial situation has endured some big changes; for instance, this year I suddenly became responsible, on my own, for a rent payment that is twice what my mortgage payment was.
Plus, I want to stay in school and pursue my dream of becoming an R.N., and that’s going to require money.
I also want to:
- have a cushion for unexpected expenses
- prepare for an eventual retirement
- be able to help other people financially
- be able to help my kids financially
- travel to see friends
And frugality is going to assist with all of that in a variety of ways.
For instance, frugality will help me to have more money available to travel, and my frugal skills will also help to keep my travel costs down because I know how to get cheap flights and cheap lodging.
I want to accomplish my financial goals without being miserable
I want to manage all those things listed above without living a lifestyle of deprivation. And that requires frugality.
If I want to furnish my home and make it beautiful without spending a bunch of money, I can rehab free furniture.
If I want to eat delicious food while keeping my food bill down, I can cook at home.
If I want to wear stylish clothes without spending a bunch of money, I can shop clearances and buy things on eBay.
Frugality makes a rich life possible, even on a budget.
I think I’m always going to be motivated to be frugal
Even if all the above motivations were taken away, I still think frugality just makes sense. I don’t want to be wasteful or consumption-oriented no matter how much financial cushion I have.
That’s why in the “What would change if you won the lottery?” post, I said that I’d maintain a lot of my frugal habits even if I did have millions of dollars.
But, I’m not gonna lie: having this change of life circumstances has given my frugal motivation a little kick in the pants. There’s nothing like a little necessity to act as a frugality stimulus. 😉
What about you? What’s your motivation to be frugal?
P.S. In case you’re new: here’s a post about the ways my life turned upside down this year.