This is kind of a bigger question that I’ve been thinking about the answer to a lot lately: why frugality? I think that if someone is going to embrace a more frugal lifestyle, whatever that looks like, there needs to be a deeper motivation than simply spending less. I’m a very goal-oriented and future-oriented person, so for me that takes the form of financial goals. (Side note: Ask Jordan about how much time I spend talking about our future together, I dare you) Having a financial goal that I am working towards gives me the motivation and meaning to pursue frugality.
I have two big long-term financial goals:
- Having enough assets that I am not 100% financially dependent on my job. I want to work solely because I want to, not also because I have to to support myself.
- Having enough assets that I feel safe. To me this means that I won’t stress about what will happen if I lose my job, get sick, etc. I want to know that I have enough to weather the storms of life.
Now, those are both fairly abstract things. I’m not sure yet what that looks like in terms of numbers. I don’t know how much I’ll need to survive for the rest of my life if I wasn’t working. I can project how much I might need for short-term emergencies, but it’s a bit harder to work on the long-term. I’m still working on the math. However, what it really boils down to for me is wanting to feel like I am financially free. Achieving both of those goals is what it would take for me to feel that. For me, frugality is one of the means to meet those ends. By being frugal, I can spend less and divert more of the money I do make into savings and investments. This allows me to be working towards my goals literally every single day, every time I make the more frugal choice.
What does choosing to be frugal mean to you? What are you trying to use frugality to achieve?