Most financial gurus will advise you to not spend beyond your means and encourage you to live a life of frugality. But there are some of them that will tell you not to focus on savings, or not to deprive yourself from enjoying life or spending less means living less. The latter advice works very well if you’re a hustler who strives to accumulate as much wealth as you can get and if you have the means to achieve all your financial goals.
However, as a minimalist who doesn’t want to accumulate too many physical stuff, I’m opting for a simple and frugal life yet feeling contented with what I already have. At the very least, I can be certain of one thing: spending lesser than I earn will definitely ensure there’s a surplus at the end of the month where I could either save it or invest it. Also, people should really get it out of their head that living frugal means living cheap.
The difference between being frugal and being cheap
While spending less doesn’t mean living less, being a cheap is definitely living less. A cheapskate will deprive themselves just to save a couple of bucks here and there. They will buy counterfeit or low quality items or services. They’ll love free stuff and will not reject it even though they don’t need it.
Being frugal, however, means living a simple minimalistic and non-wasteful life. Frugal people are able to separate wants from needs. They would spend $100 on a high quality pair of shoes they can wear daily for more than one occasions than to own a few pairs of 20 somethings shoes that couldn’t last beyond 6 months. Frugality also means being able to live a debt-free life, paying bills on time and having savings or investments that will grow exponentially over time.
In short, cheapskates will save money in any ways they can, sometimes at the expense of others. Frugal people, on the other hand, are generous but choose to spend money on the right things or right people.