Contrary to popular belief, frugality is not just about saving money. It’s about making the most of your resources, and that includes your time and effort. To make frugality work for you, think of it less as a lifestyle and more of a method.
A lot of the criticism about frugality is valid, the only problem is, it gets the definition of frugality wrong in the first place. Frugality is not driving 8km out of your way to save on groceries. That’s probably a waste of time and effort. It’s not about sacrificing your fun and cutting back everything, either. You can be frugal in one area and splurge on another.
If you hate the idea of being frugal, chances are, you’re approaching it the wrong way. It doesn’t have to be a lifestyle, it’s just a method, a tool, for making your money work for you. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you might use frugality to find ways to cut back. If you can’t afford to take a trip, you might use frugality as a method to save money on other spending areas. In fact, after I spent a bunch of money on a holiday last year, a friend of mine said he was surprised because I’m usually so frugal. The thing is, I’m not frugal; I use frugality. I cut back in other areas so I have more money to spend on stuff that matters to me.
Earning more money alone won’t help you build wealth. Building wealth means keeping the money you earn, and that means saving, which means practising frugality at some point. You don’t have to make it a lifestyle, though. And if you’re afraid of wasting your time with frugality, think of it more as a means and less as the end goal. This way, you use it in a way that benefits your own bottom line.