Many people mistake frugal living with being cheap or depriving yourself of things you enjoy. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. To me frugality is all about setting priorities and making smart choices.
For example, I love coffee. If I don’t get my morning cup of java I just don’t feel right. But I’m not about to drop $4 every morning for a triple mocha latte cappuccino or whatever they heck they’re called. Instead I use my Keurig to brew a single sized portion that’s perfect for the ride to work. It costs me a fraction of what I’d spend at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. I’m able to keep something I enjoy without breaking the bank to do so.
Let’s talk about another example of what I mean.
Not long ago our 6 year old carpet steam cleaner died. It had served us faithfully for its whole life, but it had finally had enough.
Our family consists of me, my wife, three kids (ages 6, 5, and 1), a cat and a dog. Did I mention we have light beige carpets? We NEED a carpet cleaner.
So as soon as our old one died I knew I’d better start shopping around for a new one. I found a decent model (the Bissell 14257 Homecare Little Green Proheat Floor Care) selling for around $100. It’s smaller than our old one but I like that I can easily use this one on the stairs.
The next question was where should I buy it? There are plenty of stores around me that carry it so finding one in stock was easy. But where could I get the best price?
Then I checked the mailbox and noticed a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon for 20% off any one item. That made the cost $80 instead of $100.
But I did even better than that. I was able to trade in $20 worth of my Shop Discover Rewards for a $25 gift card to Bed, Bath and Beyond. That made my out of pocket cost only $55 before taxes.
So in the end I got what I needed without a lot of stress, and I got it for only a bit over half price. That’s what I call frugal living.