Katharine here. Just wanted to introduce our first guest poster, Miranda from DestroyDebt.com!
One of the personal finance trends gaining popularity right now (especially with the current economy) is frugal living. Frugal living is a lifestyle in which you spend much less than you earn, and take steps to avoid excessive consumerism. And, increasingly, frugal living is becoming tied to green living. While it may seem that frugal living is a recipe for denying yourself, the truth is that there are plenty of benefits involved in frugal living.
Benefits of frugal living
Frugal living includes a variety of benefits that can help you change your thinking. Once you start looking at frugal living as a way to benefit, you'll be surprised at how much more appealing it is.
- Save more money. This is probably the benefit that comes most often to mind when you think of frugal living. With frugal living, you take the time to get the best value for your dollar, helping your budget stretch further. Additionally, frugal living includes a lifestyle of fewer consumer purchases, so you spend less money buying things you don't really need anyway.
- Enjoy better health. In many ways, frugal living can help you enjoy better health. If you are buying your produce at the farmer's market to avoid pesticides and chemicals, you are keeping harmful chemicals from your body. Consider this: Walking, public transportation and riding your bike all require more exercise than driving your car. And you don't have to spend money on gas. And, if you plan to prepare and eat more meals at home to save money, you will have less processed food and fewer "filler" calories that do little beyond contribute to weight gain.
- Help the environment. Many frugal living practices are now being applied to the environment. Conserving energy, driving less, buying local when possible and reducing consumer waste are all things that help the environment while saving you money.
- Less stress. A consumer-based lifestyle is stressful. Having debt is stressful. Trying to figure out where to put all your stuff (and taking care of it) is stressful. Frugal living can help you reduce the stress you feel in your life, and it can reduce stress that you might feel in your relationships with others. Plus, frugal living means that you have room to build up your emergency fund, creating a safety net in case something unexpected happens.
Frugal living is a lifestyle choice. And it is one that can result in benefits for you that move beyond the financial. The choice to live frugally can also affect your health, your relations and even the environment.
Miranda Marquit edits information on debt consolidation for DestroyDebt.com.