Drawing The Line On Frugality Advice

Are you sick of frugal living ideas?

Some personal finance bloggers absolutely love frugality tips, while others brush them off as pointless because they don’t see the need for aggressively saving every penny. I fall somewhere in between.

I try to save money whenever it’s reasonable and feasible, but I’ll never make my own laundry detergent or cut my own hair. I can also spend money foolishly at times but I’ll always think through major purchases with fine detail. Extreme frugal living just isn’t for me.

Where am I going with this rant on extreme frugal living? The other day in conversation someone asked me about my diet and eating habits. I admitted to this person that I try to eat well but that I eat enough sugar/junk food to not make life completely miserable. What I mean is that I eat well but sneaking in a coffee or chocolate bar every day or so is good for the soul and could prevent you from going insane.

I want to tie this in with frugality because I feel that there’s only so much cutting back on spending you could do before the quality of your life will start to rapidly deteriorate. I know money doesn’t buy happiness but nothing is free in life either.

I have seen all of the calculations and I know how much money I can save by not drinking a cup of coffee in the morning but guess what? I love my cup of coffee in the morning and this is where I draw the line on frugality tips. You can save a fortune by riding your bike to work and back, while eating the lowest costing food and never leaving your home but what kind of a life will you have?

I understand the importance of frugality tips and saving money strategies but we sometimes get too caught up in debating minutiae that we lose track of the “bigger picture” when it comes personal finance. The bigger picture for 20 somethings is that career growth, productivity, retirement planning, mortgages, etc. are far more deserving of our time than tips on how to save a few dollars on something that brings joy to our lives.

It’s important that college students and entry level graduates learn how to live on a budget but there must be a line you draw when it comes to frugality tips. It’s perfectly fine if you try to save money on food and going out but don’t show up to an interview dressed in borderline acceptable clothing just because it saves you a few bucks.

The take home point for the day is that I urge you guys to practice frugality tips only to the point where you can save money on unnecessary purchases while still maintaining a high quality of life.

What’s the point of saving money if you’re going to be miserable all the time? You can increase your income by starting an online business or negotiation your salary. You don’t have to save every penny.

1 thought on “Drawing The Line On Frugality Advice”

  1. I agree with you and think sometimes people take being frugal to extremes. Like you mention you enjoy coffee, don’t stop it. Maybe you would get DD instead of Starbucks to save and still get good coffee, but you shouldn’t let being frugal change your entire life. For example, I love watching movies. I used to buy a lot more DVD’s but I wanted to cut back. So I don’t buy now, but instead have Netflix. Costs money, but saving a little and still enjoy my movies.

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