Importance of Balancing Frugality with Minimalism
When it comes to spending, there are two kinds of people – minimalistic and frugal. Even though minimalism and frugality are different, they tend to intertwine now and then. Normally people tend to be frugal in their youth and turn to minimalism in later stages of life. Some try to balance the two together. Either way, it is good to grasp the essence of these concepts and try to apply them to your spending habits.
Briefly, frugality is to spend less money on things, whereas minimalism refers to owning fewer things. While the two ideas may be different, it is important to learn how to use them in combination to strike the right balance. Read on to know more.
Steps to maintain a Balance between Frugality & Minimalism
1. Understanding the difference
Frugality is a spending habit that focuses on getting more for less. Naturally, frugal people tend to look for great deals, cost-cutting sales, and thrifty goods. They like to direct their money towards less expensive possessions. Moreover, they don’t mind compromising on quality. For instance, a frugal person would prefer to buy 3 pairs of decent quality shoes from a yard sale rather than buying one pair of superior quality shoes from a fancy store. Frugal living focuses on immediate needs and definitely helps to save more money. However, this way of living can tend to increase unnecessary clutter in your home.
Minimalists, on the other hand, live on the opposite side of the spectrum. They prefer to spend on goods that they truly need, even if they are costly. This doesn’t imply that they like to splurge only on expensive things. Let us take the shoe example again. Instead of buying 3-4 average pair of shoes, a minimalist will prefer to purchase a single high-quality pair of shoes. It might cost them more, but it will also last them a long time. Minimalists tend to focus on owning a few things but of high-quality. They don’t mind paying a higher amount as long as they get value for their purchases.
2. Knowing when to embrace frugality
Building your financial reserve is an ongoing journey. Therefore, you need to find ways to cut down your spending and save more. Saving money is a default habit for most people, and rightly so. In times of need, your savings become the back-up cushion you can fall onto. Adopting a frugal mindset is completely in sync with a well-balanced life. However, it is important to know when and how to embrace frugality. The lowest prices may save money in the short term, but they might also increase your unconscious purchases. Make a thought-out list of your needs and wants and figure out things you can compromise on.
Stick to frugality while buying your groceries in bulk or getting a discount on a travel plan. Look for coupons for products and shop at thrift stores once in a while. This is a good way to fulfill your needs while not completely compromising on quality or experience. This is also a great way to contribute more to your monthly savings. Here’s a savings goal calculator to help you understand your savings pattern and how much more you can save each month with frugality.
3. Developing a minimalistic lifestyle
Minimalism, as a lifestyle, is something you build with practice and consciousness. Minimalists focus on owning fewer but high-quality items and relying on them to enhance their lives. They dislike a cluttered space and tend to focus on what matters to them.
Minimalism is synonymous with living a simple life. Try to pen down the things you need at the moment. Removing emotional attachments from the things you own can help you to see what you need and what you don’t. Prioritize your life goals and learn to say ‘no’ to things you do not want. To be a true minimalist at heart, try to imbibe the principles of the (R)s; Reduce your unnecessary purchases, refuse the things that don’t add value to your life, and reuse the things you already own.
4. Balancing frugality with minimalism
Since frugality and minimalism are mindsets turned into practices, it is easy to adopt and learn how to balance them together. Both these lifestyles serve you at one point or another. Knowing when to adopt either is essential in living a financially secure and content life. For example, frugality may serve you well when you have an outstanding debt. Your frugal purchases can come to your rescue if you are knee deep in credit card interest or a house loan. Whereas, minimalism is consciously focusing on what you need and purchasing useful items. Minimalism is a great strategy to apply for long term goods. For example, when you are setting up your home, try to look for value items that will last you many years. Focus on getting furniture and home appliances from reliable brands even though they might cost you more.
To sum it up
It is true that frugality helps you save more. But too much of it can lead to unnecessary clutter and dependency on products that you don’t truly need, which can ultimately increase your list of expenses. Minimalism helps you improve the quality of your life. But you should be careful to not drain all your savings in the name of minimalism. It is important to know when to adopt the two practices to lead a financially secure life. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, both these mindsets can help you be more conscious about your expenses and the way you wish to spend your money in the future.
Are you finding it difficult to strike a balance between frugality and minimalism? Approach financial advisors for help. You can use their extensive financial knowledge and years of industry experience to better your financial habits.