Avoiding Extreme Frugality

The old wisdom “moderation in all things” applies to how we manage our money just as much as anything else. Most people are not overly frugal and so I do not write about that often. For most the opposite becomes the problem: over spending, incurring debt, etc.

One can however go to the other extreme – one can become so frugal it is an extreme. They buy nothing they do not actually need, and I mean need, like food. They forsake entertainment, socializing, and buying anything that they do not absolutely need. They even give up creature comforts. Although extreme frugality for a short time might help one get out of debt or save for something important, in general it is not a healthy way for most people to live. Being sensibly frugal does not mean living like a monk.

Last November Trent Hamm posted a good article on this on his The Simple Dollar blog. He focuses on positive frugality that allows us to focus on what is important and strip away expenses that are not truly important. This requires some introspection and discernment. It requires us to look at what really is important to us and limit our spending to those things.

Hamm’s article is relatively long and detailed and I am not quoting it here at length for that reason. But it is worth reading because it frames healthy frugality in all its forms. It helps you focus on what is important and teaches how to be fugal without undue deprivation. I recommend reading it and giving it some thought. Remember that every dollar you save through healthy frugality pays of debt, avoids debt and invests in your future. By looking at it that way it really makes sense. It is really about putting off a little immediate gratification for a long term view of what is important to you.

I recommend Hamm’s article as a good way to get a comprehensive view on healthy frugality and avoid going too far. Check it out.

Learn how to manage your money, eliminate debt and build wealth in my book, Your Financial Success.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.