It may sound like a contradiction when you hear of frugal habits that just are not worth it; however, it is an issue that many people fail to consider in the pursuit of savings. Generally, when you think of being frugal, you speak of a certain level of wisdom in managing your finances. However, if your goals go too far and become focused on depriving yourself of something that you need or deserve, then you are edging on the border of thriftiness.
At this point, the focus on saving is no longer solely about financial prudence, but encompasses various states of mind such as discontent and if it goes too far even resentfulness. You may find that you lack the means to fully pay for something, but if scrimping and cutting corners is hurting your lifestyle, there’s no point in striving to be frugal if it’s causing you distress.
Many people start small by making seemingly minor changes such as DIY and bartering. Reusing and recycling products becomes a hobby rather than an ecological choice. The most daring ones even opt for second-hand stores. While these processes may lead to some savings, their outcomes are more often than not accompanied by an immeasurable amount of wasted time and frustration. Refurbishing furniture or growing your own vegetables may come with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, however, tasks like these can be slow, difficult and expensive.
You should always maintain a realistic proportion between the hours you spend instead of buying ready products and the actual savings you receive. If your ideas start getting outlandish and frantic and you feel as if you’re letting yourself slip into states of deep anxiety and guilt from spending money, then it’s time to step back and have a re-evaluation of your goals.
In addition, frugality can sometimes be seen as a sign of disrespect. Turning down offers of help, purchases and invitations could be take for refusal to accept other people’s generosity and kindness. This attitude may lead people to assume that you hold yourselves in higher esteem than them. If such responses develop a vibe of superiority, then it’s no longer a clever way of living, but just a symptom of a flawed perception or social incompetence.
Goal setting is important, but don’t forget to take pauses and give yourself boosts that aren’t money-related. Analyse your behaviour rationally and make sure that it isn’t taking a toll on your relationships, sense of self-worth, or quality of life. It may be fine to cut finances on non-essential expenses, but make sure you’re still actively engaging with life in ways that don’t require financial compensation. Prioritize things you can do with friends and family, and don’t be so hard on yourself if you decide to take up opportunities.
It’s great to be mindful and in control of your own wealth, just don’t make it a mission to diligently pursue every small penny you can save; putting yourself under too much stress isn’t worth it. Even the most successful “frugalists” will admit that their intense lifestyle did cost them a certain amount of joy, and one has to measure that cost carefully. To put it simply, take pleasure in moderation and remember to grant yourself the occasional indulgence.
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