The following is a guest post by The Frugal Goddess. The Frugal Goddess is written by Annabel Ascher, a resident of Sonoma County California. She has lived a life of economic extremes, from great fortune to sudden poverty. She relearned the secrets of frugal abundance all over again when her circumstances changed in 2007. Faced with the death of her husband and loss of livelihood, she had no choice but to change her lifestyle.
When times got tough Annabel used everything in her frugal tool kit to develop a system that will work for anyone to save money, live well with limited funds, and eventually restore prosperity. Many people are now realizing that more stuff does not equal more happiness. Let the Frugal Goddess show you how to live frugal, green, and happy!
When I tell people what I do there are several common reactions. Or perhaps they should be called misconceptions. One of the most common is the idea that frugal people live a life of deprivation. In fact the opposite is true. It is the spendthrift that ends up living a life a deprivation, especially in old age when it is too late to do anything about it.
If you look at the very rich, the families that were self-made in this generation were all extremely frugal when they were first amassing their fortunes. And the ones who came by their fortune in a previous generation always have a frugal ancestor. What you give up when you become frugal is not prosperity but immediate gratification. Just think about it—it is almost impossible to amass wealth and amass a pile of unsecured credit at the same time.
But doesn’t that mean that you must suffer a deprived life while you are in the building phase? Not necessarily. You may have to adjust your concept of fun and luxury a bit, but there are lots of ways to make yourself feel good without spending a bundle. All the best things in life may not be free but some of them are. Next time you get the urge to pull out your wallet for some passing fancy, go fly a kite. Hug a kid, or watch the moon rise instead. And think about how spending on something small but unnecessary today will keep you from buying that house or taking that big trip later. No, frugality is not about deprivation at all. It’s about having the patience and discipline to go after what you really want. For more info on The Frugal Goddess, check out www.thefrugalgoddess.com