Living frugally isn’t about forsaking your wants or abandoning your dreams so you can save money. The goal of living frugally is so you can have some of those things without neglecting your needs and responsibilities.
Looking around my room as I write this I see a lot of wants. Some of them were gifts, like our Kindles and my piano. Our television was bartered for. Some of these items, like my smartphone and our computer and monitor, were purchased refurbished at half the cost of new. And some of these wants were purchased new, like the t-shirt I treated myself to when I found it on clearance for $9.
The key is balance and compromise.
I WANT to have clothing that is of a higher quality, things I know will last me a few years.
I WANT to have cell phone service that is as close to 100% reliable as possible and I WANT a smartphone.
I WANT my dog. Having a dog in my life isn’t a need but having her is definitely worth all associated costs, which includes a bump in our monthly rent payment.
On the other hand:
Having fashionable clothing isn’t important to me so I’d rather buy 1 quality item over 3 items that I know won’t last a season. I don’t have much clothing, and only a few pair of shoes, but what I have has lasted me many years.
I know I could get a better deal on our cell phone service, but the coverage wouldn’t be as good. The difference I pay for better service is about equal to what we were spending on paper towels every month. I gave up the paper towels. Additionally, when we upgraded to smartphones (which were purchased refurbished, as I mentioned above) we killed our landline. Having reliable service is very important to us, especially now that our children are becoming independent and leaving the house without us.
Having a dog isn’t cheap, especially when we want to go somewhere overnight. We compromise by taking shorter trips away from home and by opting for places where we can take our dog with us. You might be surprised at how many places are dog-friendly these days. I guess we have chihuahuas in purses to thank for that ;)
Those are just a few examples of how we compromise our wants & needs. How do they compare to some of yours?