In a culture where consumerism is king and instant gratification is the norm, frugality is often looked down upon. When people think of frugality, they often think of people living in drab, poorly-furnished rooms with the heat turned off, cut off from the pleasures of life because they can’t bring themselves to spend money.
How untrue and unfair! but understandable, since most of those images and messages we get about frugality come from the ads we see on TV and elsewhere- ads that often urge you to do just the opposite of saving money, spending it!
Here are some other myths about frugality:
Frugal people aren’t great tippers. Not true! Now yes there is a difference between people who stiff their waiters and a frugal person. A frugal person budgets and prioritizes what they want to spend money on. A frugal person has a budget, so they most likely have budgeted the full cost of the meal, including tip. Someone who withholds a tip from a good waiter is probably using that poor waiter to make up for their poor spending habits.
Frugal people are tightwads who live in huge mansions and look down on the “little” people. Thank you, Charles Dickens and Ebenezer Scrooge. Contrary to popular belief, frugal people are people who live within their means, rich or poor. A funny thing happens when you live between your means. It’s a psychological fact that if a person has no debt, or very little debt, they tend to feel “richer” than the person who has millions of dollars and a lot more financial responsibilities and debt than their lesser moneyed friends.
It’s better to have a lot of money than be frugal. No! Here’s a truer statement, it’s better to live within your means, no matter what your income level is. We’ve all had those times where we’ve run into an unexpected windfall, and before we knew it, it was gone! Funny how when we have a lot of money we always find a use for it….
Basically, what we’re saying is this. Frugality is not a lifestyle or even a state of mind. It’s a tool that will buy you the most important thing of all, peace of mind. Life’s a lot better when you don’t owe anyone. Now that is not a myth.