I have always lived a frugal, and yes, I feel a very rich and full life. Here is the key to that. Don’t spend your money on everything… needlessly. In other words, save your money by spending less on the things that you can (save on) in order to have money for things that you prioritize.
Here are some examples of things I save money on because (to me) there is no point in spending a lot of my money on them;
· Clothes - I buy them mostly at thrift shops. This saves a ton of money. And I probably dress better than most people who don’t. You can find many high-quality items of clothing in thrift shops for a fraction of the new cost.
· Food - I buy basic ingredients and cook at home. I don’t buy convenience or ready-made foods or processed food. I also grow many of our own vegetables. This also enriches my life with the joy of gardening and eating fresh food right from my backyard!
· Eating out and Take-out - I do not find the cost of restaurant food (generally 10x what I would have spent making it at home) to be worth the “experience” of eating out. I save this for special occasions when I can truly savor the (rare for me) experience with my loved ones. The same goes for take-out food and snacks. I’d rather bring my own from home. All those little purchases can add up to real money if you let them.
· TV - I see no reason to have a zillion channels to watch so I never got cable (or satellite) TV. I had (and still have) an old fashioned antenna and get all the major networks (and some quirky in-between channels) for free. Now my kids have also included me on some of their streaming subscriptions as well (but I actually would be fine without them).
· Entertainment - There are so many things to do for fun, I don’t see the need to spend a lot to entertain myself. I love to read, garden, knit, take walks and hikes. I would rather have friends over for “happy hour” or dinner, or a game night, or fire in the backyard, and spend a fraction of what we would have spent going out. In the summer there are plenty of free concerts and other activities. The town and library offer free classes and events as well.
· Health and Beauty - I never got into “doing myself up” with make-up and jewelry. I get my hair cut about 3 or 4 times a year. I keep up my health by eating really good fresh food (vegan) and getting exercise and thus rarely go to doctors.
· Exercise - No need for a gym membership. Walking, hiking, biking, and (sometimes) swimming, are all free. You can also get hand weights and other exercise equipment for home use.
And because I save money on all of these aspects of my life, when I do want to spend money, on something for my home or something fun, like a concert or other event, or a vacation, I have plenty of money at my disposal to do so. I can even splurge and treat my kids or friends if I want to. And I have a comfortable nest egg to fall back on if I ever need it
I am a big proponent of living better on less! It has been a great life for me! It is the richest life indeed!