To me, being frugal is about more than just saving money. It’s about freedom. It’s about autonomy.
I love being frugal. I love the challenge of living on less and choosing to spend my money wisely because it means I can live the life I choose to live.
Saving money for its own sake can become tedious as well as a prolonged exercise in denial and sacrifice. I don’t know about you, but for me, that type of lifestyle is going to get really old, really quick. Being frugal and saving money has to be about more than just the money if you’re actually going to love your life and feel some satisfaction and enjoyment every single day. If it isn’t, your commitment to the process is going to be short lived.
Being frugal (and saving money as a way of life) meant that when the IT contract I’d been working for two years came to an end, I was able to make a choice about what to do next. I could have sought another contract which probably would have meant commuting to the city (approx 3 hour round trip) – the work I do is hard to find in the regional city in which I live. But… because I’d put money away and generally lived very cheaply, if I wanted, I could choose to work on my side business full-time. Here’s what I was thinking at the time.
Work another contract:
- Very long day
- Much longer commute
- Good income
- Higher expenses
- and, Timesheets.
Work side business full-time:
- Work from home
- No timesheets
- Greater earning potential
- Schedule my day as I choose.
Self employed? Working from home? Enjoying life? The choice was simple. It’s been two and a half years since I made that choice and while it hasn’t always been plain sailing, there’s not been one single day I’ve regretted my decision to take a risk and live the life I choose, now.
Realise Your Dream
Being self employed and working from home is something I’ve thought about, dreamed about, for many, many years. It was always the money, or lack of it, that made it seem like a really risky move. Once I realised I could control how much my lifestyle cost (how much I regularly spent) by being frugal, I realised I could significantly reduce the risk involved in jumping into all the unknowns of self employment. That’s when my frugal adventure truly began. That’s when I really started saving money. Before that realisation, retirement was something that was so far away I couldn’t feel the benefits of saving for it. But this dream of being self employed? I could feel that. It made my heart do a little flutter when I thought about it. It still does.
Without that dream, all those years ago, I’d still be living payday to payday. With it, everything changed.
Saving money is always a good thing. Whether or not it’s a hard thing depends on why you’re saving it.
What’s your WHY? What’s the spark that triggered your frugal adventure?