I am sure we all have different answers to this question. To some, frugal just has to do with the amount of dollars spent or unspent. To others, this extends to all resources, limiting consumption, and being savvy with choices. Not always spending the least amount but trying to get the most for what money they do spend.
To me, frugality is about being conscious of my choices in life. I feel most frugal when I am putting thought into what I buy, what I eat, what I spend, where I go, how much I consume. It’s not just about money. I think frugal is about much more than dollars and cents. Feeling mindful of the limited time, energy, resources, and money I have, I want to feel that I am maximizing what I expend and not wasting.
It’s also being content, happy with what I have and not trying to live up to more than what I need. It is especially not letting anyone else sway my choices. For me, frugality isn’t just about money. There are things in my life that I am willing to spend good money on and I do. My choices aren’t always the cheapest ones, but I try to make choices that will last and bring great value to mine and my family’s life for the long term. Sometimes that means seeing past dollar signs today to reap the rewards later.
I know that to some my life isn’t their version of frugal and there are many that live a life that they call frugal that isn’t my version. Just as with anything, I think it has far more to do with how we think about what we have and what we choose than what the numbers are.
What do you think? What does frugal mean to you?