Live Frugally — Without Depriving Yourself

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

One of the issues that many have with a frugal lifestyle is that sometimes it seems as though the focus is on not doing things or buying cheap products in an effort to pinch another penny. This sort of mindset, though, leads to feelings of deprivation, and sometimes even resentment. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, or worrying about getting the cheapest price, though, it is possible to live frugally without feeling deprived.

Don’t Deprive Yourself. Look for Ways to Enjoy Yourself.

When living a frugal lifestyle, it is possible to enjoy yourself without spending a great deal of money. The key is in realizing that, while you do need some money to live, it isn’t required to have a good time. Here are some things to consider as you live frugally while still enjoying yourself:

  1. Look for public amenities: If you enjoy going to the gym, check to see if there is a public rec center. You can have access to gym facilities at a price that is often lower than what you get at a commercial gym. The same is true of public parks, libraries and museums. You can still enjoy cultural events and outings if you focus on what’s available through public avenues. If you live in a university town, you might find that entertainment options (plays, exhibits and more) are available at reduced rates on campus.
  2. Consider off-peak times: I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie in the evening. Instead, we go to movies during the matinee. That way, we save off the regular ticket prices. Many amusement parks, museums, and other places of entertainment feature discounts at certain times of the day or the year. This principle can also be extended to eating out. Go to lunch instead of dinner and you will save.
  3. Learn to enjoy staying in: Adjust your outlook so that you view quality time at home with your family. You can enjoy doing puzzles and playing games with your partner and/or children. You can also meet with like-minded couples and have rotating evenings where you all get together at someone’s house and socialize, rather than having to go out.
  4. Learn to cook: You can customize foods to your taste, and even learn how to make fancy dishes. Have fun cooking. Make it a family event. My husband and I love cooking at home. Often we work on dinner together. When we have others over, we invite them to come a little early so we can all help prepare the meal. It’s a fun way to try new foods and experiment — all without spending a lot of money on dinner at a restaurant. (Here is how you learn cooking without spending a fortune.)
  5. Buy quality items: Make sure you are getting a good value for your dollar. This doesn’t mean you buy cheap items that disintegrate into uselessness quickly; it means you look for items of reasonable quality. Look for value, rather than just relying on price. That way you won’t feel deprived because everything you own is of low quality.

It really is possible to live a rich, full life without spending a lot of money. If you look at what you have, and show gratitude for that, you are more likely to feel lucky for what you have, rather than deprived due to what you don’t have.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Bailo February 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Even though people have been putting down “Internet addition” a lot, I don’t see how anyone can be bored with the wealth of the world’s knowledge online and the brightest minds blocking and networking socially.

Yes, I bike ride. Yes, I am part of “real world organizations”. But also, I entertain myself…with knowledge!

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