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Advantages and Disadvantages of Frugal Living: The Pros and Cons of Thriftiness

By Edited Jun 22, 2014 1 0

Introduction to Frugal Living and Thriftiness

Before going into the actual advantages and disadvantages of frugal living, I believe it is first best to come up with a clear concept and definition as to exactly what constitutes 'frugal living' and 'thriftiness'. 

'Frugal living' can be a term used to drescibe an individual who in their lifestyle promotes the feature of 'economic management of maximisation' with their consumable resources (such as their time, money and food etc.) all in order to maximise their life time personal welfare. In other (looser) words, people who adopt to live a frugal life are likely to be inclined to make the most out of the possessions they have (e.g. recycle, repair, reuse) and benefit from them as greatly as possible, whilst avoiding that of over-extravagant goods and minimizing waste.

However, in truth, the definition and concept of a 'frugal lifestyle' will mean different things to different people, to some it will be the 'save all and then some' attitude, where as to others it could be the decision to basically live that of a 'simpler life'. To gain a deeper and more extensive grasp of the frugal lifestyle I recommend you read some great frugality books such as 'The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy' and specifically more towards frugality 'The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organise and Simplify Your Life'.

(The term 'thriftiness' here is simply used as an alternative expression to economic management - the 'maximization' of welfare through allocation of resources of time, money etc.) 

The Advantages of Frugal Living and Thriftiness

Living 'The Simple Life' - one of the great positives to come out of choosing to live the frugal lifestyle is the forced isolation from 'modern mayhem'. As a result of forced isolation from the frantics that are caused by the new annual gismo that will change your life, you have instead changed your focus of entertainment and energy. You have resorted back to a simpler life which is accompanied by a sort of brand new perspective of the world, a basic world and dare I say it a much 'nicer' world.

The Biggest Prize of All - perhaps the greatest benefit of all that comes with living the frugal life style is one of life's priceless assets - time! As a result of living the frugal lifestyle you are likely to benefit financially from two ways that will have allowed you to generate more time. Firstly, you will have saved more (than the average individual, given all else equal) and secondly your running costs are likely to be lower also. Therefore, you have been granted the option to spend less time working and more time playing essentially, with which in itself brings a whole range of benefits. You have more time to spend with your family and friends, times to read books and generally given time to find thy inner self! Put it this way would you have 3 weeks (or more) from work to spend with your famility or a new 42 inch TV that will be useless in a year or two? (I know what I would choose!)

Being Green - by being frugal you are doing planet earth a favour too. Once you have adopted the frugal lifestyle, recycling and making the most of your possessions is like second nature. Hence, you should give yourself a moral pat on the back with your assistance in battling the global climate change crisis. So the next time someone is mocking you for being a tightfisted fellow (woman), be sure that you drop them a guilty conscience, by  taking the green 'moral standing' approach, asking "What is it exactly that you are doing to help with global climate change?"

The Disadvantages of Frugal Living and Thriftiness

Coping with the 'Wanting' - one of the biggest negatives that comes with living the frugal lifestyle, especially at the start of undertaking such a lifestyle of option, is the difficulty in coping with 'want'! Where as before you could get almost any material possession you wanted almost immediately thanks to credit cards and other sources of short term credit. When it comes to living thrifty you just have to bear and grin it and simply wait and wait until one can afford it, but you should ask yourself even then "Do you really need it?"
 
Dealing with a Tight Fisted Reputation - you may also unfortunately have to come to face with the drawback of people mocking you for your apparent Scrooge like character. Perhaps being dealt a nickname such as  "Tight - A** (Please Insert Name Here)". But hey, wouldn't you rather be laughed at for penny watching than penny-less?
 
Working Hard at Staying Frugal - this comes as a bit of a contradiction to the second advantage that I raised before but that only really comes later on in your lifetime. The bad part of living frugally is that at the end of the day it is hard, you can't give into convince or clever marketing ploys, you have to be willing and be prepared. You get jealous of other people's lavish buying behaviour and tiresome of your budget plan. Time and effort will have to be committed to research to find the best deals on goods etc.

Summary of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Frugal Living and Thriftiness

From the list above it is obvious that is a subjective matter. Where others will obviously have differing advantages and disadvantages for frugal living than the above. However, what can be said about frugal living is that at the very least it should be encouraged, even if only for a temporary period time, not to only benefit you from becoming financially richer but more importantly to become morally richer too. At the very least it provides you with an alternative perspective of the world, a much 'simpler' world.
 
If you have any additional advantages and disadvantages of frugal living or wish to share any experiences on frugality and the impact it has had on you or in fact any general remarks then I encourage you to please share a comment below.
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