People talk about this all the time - Being frugal. In a lot of cases, the consistent message seems to be that the only way to really save money is to be completely frugal and enjoy life's "little" pleasures.
But what if you don't want to be completely frugal and you prefer life's bigger pleasures? And what if you'd rather buy brand name Frosted Flakes instead of the generic store brand that doesn't quite taste as good? Or what if you'd rather take a fabulous vacation abroad instead of vacationing at home? (random, I know but stay with me).
Is frugal living the only way to build real wealth?
Before I continue, let me just state that being completely frugal is not a bad thing and I have absolutely nothing against frugality but at the same time, I want to enjoy some of life's bigger pleasures like...expensive handbags, fancy afternoon tea that I don't make and fabulous vacations (Sorry but I'm not sorry) and so complete frugality does not work for me personally. I'd rather pursue frugality in a partial way. So how do you practice partial frugality? Well here are a couple of examples:
Example 1: Plan & prioritize your spending
Perhaps you'd really prefer to have your fancy brand name cereal as opposed to the generic store brand. Well, then your partially frugal self will need to go shopping equipped with a fixed list (which includes your fancy cereal) and fixed budget that does not allow you to deviate by buying other items that are not on your list. i.e. you cannot go to the grocery store and be like "ohhh look at it this new Ginger Peach Apple Onion Mango Potato flavor of tea for a mere $12.99 that I just randomly walked by looks really good I should try it!" ummm...........negative.
Example 2: Delay gratification
Similarly, If you decide you really need to own a designer handbag for [email protected]#&#?? (unmentionable price) then you cannot be in the mall every Saturday buying trendy crap. Instead, you should be funneling all of your "spare" money (Note the keyword here - spare, defined as money left over after your bills and debt are paid and your savings are in order) to your designated designer handbag bank account and focus on that alone.
In summary, You don't have to be completely frugal all the time. Pick where you want to splurge and practice frugality elsewhere to make up for it. Sacrifice the things you don't really want or need for the things you truly desire.
Remember - It all boils down to discipline. Your thoughts?