The last few years my husband and I have been lucky enough to accomplish a lot together – we got married, bought a house, started renovating a house and traveled overseas (a lot). These things of course cost money, and because we are both impatient we didn’t space all these events out, instead cramming them all into a 2 years period. Obviously, this made us evaluate how we used our money, and also made us consider what was “really” important to us both. What makes someone happy in life is always different from what makes another person happy, we are all different and I don’t judge anyone’s way of life. For myself and my husband we both LOVE to travel but also LOVE to have a place to call home and somewhere to share with that special someone.
Frugal (adjective): careful when using money or food, or (of a meal) cheap or small in amount
I am not going to say changing your way of living is easy, it took me some time to get my finances and priorities in place but I must admit that what I have been rewarded with in return is worth every dress I didn’t buy or throw cushion I didn’t purchase (yes I had/have a bit of an addiction). In this post I have compiled a few things that make living a frugal lifestyle rewarding, these are obviously things that I find important to living a happy and healthy life but I do hope you take away a few ones that you love yourself. Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t about missing out on things in life, it is about prioritising what is important to you to hopefully avoiding regret in later life.
1. Travel more – Travel is of course the number one reward for me, and is normally the main reason we are watching where every cent goes. Living in Australia the rest of the world is very far away, so flights aren’t cheap, but they are worth every cent for the adventures they take us on.
2. Get creative – I hate to waste anything so I have found ways and uses for most things lying around the house. I am currently doing a DIY series on updating my home office space with upcycled and DIY project which will showcase exactly what I mean – for example making a cushion out of an old t-shirt! Taking time to be creative for me is a reward in itself, and I get this little glow of pride knowing that I made that.
3. Do what you love more – There is so much that you can do in life that is FREE! Don’t go out to a cafe with friends, have them over for a cuppa tea, go for a hike up a mountain for a romantic date or stay in and hire a movie instead of going to the cinemas. Have Fun, while not being attached to “things” … the rewards are endless!
4. Unique purchases/finds – We have discussed many times about how I love shopping second-hand, it has so many rewards (go here for how I furnished my living room for under $500) but rest assured there is a very small chance someone will have the same H&M dress on as you or same couch as you when you aren’t buying the latest Ikea catalogue in full! Embrace your unique (and cheaper) finds – the hunt is as fun as the reward.
5. Greater appreciation for what you have – Such a small thing, but such a big change in your mindset. We live in an age in western society that “things” just come easier to us than they used to, and we don’t have to worry about scraping together enough just to eat anymore. You can now buy bread for $0.85 and milk for $2! With more and more average families having money left over for “things”, consumerism is on the rise and we feel we have to consume more but maybe we should take a step back and just appreciate how fortunate we already are.
6. Buy a House – Get out of the renting rut! Buying a house means a good amount of saving behind you to prove to the banks that you can make your home repayments, but just thinking about the joys of paying off your own mortgage and not someone else’s is worth any amount of cutting back. This is totally a personal goal, and for my husband and I an important one but for some being tied down isn’t a reward, so always aim for what is important to you.
7. Environmentally friendly – Consuming less in order to save money, means you are using less of our planet’s resources. By being cautious of what you are eating and wearing by trying to get on top of your budget, allows you to lessen your general waste in both food waste and consumable goods waste. The environment is important to me so knowing I am consuming less is a reward to me.
8. More time for you— Being frugal allows more time for you! You no longer need to go to the shops except for the necessities, there is less driving around, less going out to dinner and in return more you time. So grab that book, listen to music or catch up on the Kardashians, and take some time to yourself – or whatever it is that helps you relax.
9. Financial security – Wow – Such a big one! I remember being at Uni and holding onto that $20 I had left in my account so I could buy fuel or making damper because I couldn’t afford bread. Just knowing you can pay the bills next month, and have money to put away for savings is an amazing reward in itself. Less stress and more time to do what you love in life.
10. Makes you healthier – It is so true, you have to think about every meal. It also stops me from having a latte every morning or buying lunch daily at work. I make my lunches for work because it is a much cheaper option and it allows me to be more conscious of what I am consuming. Not to mention, I now have time to go for a big walk along the river at lunch – a healthier you is a happier you!
11. You are more generous – This is one I realised more recently, I remember when I was younger if I got a windfall and had a spare $100 I’d be thinking of what I could do with it. What would I buy myself, or gift myself (as so many people say.) I now realised I look to what I can do to make someone else happy – sending someone a card or buying them a book you know they will love is so rewarding, seeing someone else happy makes me feel happy.
12. Makes you evaluate your priorities – I left this until last as it is the key to this whole list. Money is just a thing, but unfortunately, a thing we need in life, however, we can make sure that we are in control of it and it doesn’t control us. Find out what in life makes you truly happy and go and chase that dream, work out what you need to do to get there and MAKE IT HAPPEN. Start thinking about your own personal rewards from changing to a more frugal lifestyle.