My Frugal Life: Ten Reasons to Embrace the Frugal/Thrifty Lifestyle

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As of August, I am debt free and I am very thankful for this. I just want to say a big thank-you to all of you, because I have really benefited from your frugal wisdom which you have freely shared in your posts. My Frugal Life


However as I was working on my October budget I wondered about the wisdom of continuing on this frugal/thrift path, after all I am now debt free which was the goal. As I began to reflect on this I formulated several reasons and I wanted to share with all of you my top ten. I hope they will also inspire you.

  1. To maintain my debt free status. I was $78,000 in debt so it took hard work and discipline to get out of debt, and I know if I return to my old spend-waste lifestyle I will end up back in debt.

  2. So I will be able to pay every bill, every month on time, which equates to avoiding receiving letters or telephone calls from bill collectors. Although I am debt free, I still pay bills (electric, water, cell phone, etc)

  3. To avoid paying interest, as living a thrifty lifestyle allows me to save up and pay cash for items. When I analyzed one of my past debts, my monthly payments was $135.00. Guess how much of that monthly payment was going to interest? This is an easy question as it is multiple choice. Answer A is of my $135.00 payment $40.00 went to interest. Answer B is of my $135.00 payment $81.00 went to interest. Answer C is of my $135.00 payment $119.00 went to interest. Now guess is it A, B, or C? If you guessed "C" then you guessed correctly. I was paying 88% or $119.00 of my monthly $135.00 payment toward interest! Isn't that just craziness!

  4. So I am able to give 12% of my gross income to my church and charity. Oh, it feels so good to be able to give.

  5. So I can be an example to my family, friends, and coworkers that a debt free lifestyle is possible if one lives frugally. Also, so I can be financially independent from my parents and siblings.

  6. So that I can save/invest 15% of my gross income toward retirement.

  7. So that I can have peace of mind related to my finances and avoid the depression which would come each month on payday as I watched every dollar from my paycheck go towards bills.

  8. So I do not have to work overtime or a second job to pay my bills. Several of my coworkers are deeply in debt and thus are working two and sometimes three jobs to just pay the minimum payments on their bills. Their job performance is poor due to their fatigue. It is really sad.

  9. So I can develop a heart of thanksgiving and contentment, as compared to much of the world I am abundantly blessed with what I already have.

  10. So that every day I can sit on my loveseat and hold my miniature dachshund in my lap and tell him "WE'RE DEBT FREE!" Before you ask "Well does he understand what you talking about?," let me assure you that he does understand. Similar to how over the last several months I have nagged him because he refused to get a job to help us become debt free. (smile)

By Lovejoy123 from Dallas, TX

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

Congratulations, Lovejoy123! :-)

My husband and I owe a wee bit over $30K on the house, and then we're officially, completely debt-free. I told him if we could pay off the $20K car in less than 3 years, we should be able to pay off the house in less than 5. I'll be 42 years old at that time.

With every step we've gotten closer, there has been a bigger feeling of freedom. We never had huge credit card debt, but once those were paid off, it was a great feeling. Now we use them on everything we can (to get the rewards) and pay the balances in full every month. When we paid off the car & truck it was so wonderful to take those payments and put them towards something else. When his student loans were gone, I was so happy (I never got student loans -- my parents and I paid as I went). Then some fool rear-ended us right before Christmas one year, and we bought a new car. We tried to find a used one we felt good about (and my husband has connections -- he works for a large chain of dealerships), but nothing was acceptable. We didn't have enough to pay cash, so we got a loan and paid it off early. Since then we've been saving money. If something happened to my husband's job, we have enough saved for at least 8 months without any change in lifestyle (although I'm sure we'd tighten the belt if that happened!). When we hit our most recent savings goal, I told him we need to start putting extra into the mortgage. I can only imagine how good it'll feel not to owe anyone anything!

And through it all, I'm so grateful that I've been able to be a stay at home mom. I worked over 35 miles away from home, and it didn't make sense to pay for all that gas, and then pay someone else to watch my daughter while I was away. And it also allows me to be very involved with her school. If we fell on hard times, I'd certainly go get a job, but until then, I'm so very thankful.

I'm very happy for you, Lovejoy123! Good job, and enjoy the wonderful feeling!

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful

Good job, good attitude, good way of thinking and good ideas. Best of luck continuing being debt free!

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful

Bless you and Congratulations! It's not easy becoming debt free and doesn't it just feel wonderful when you do? ;-)

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful

Way to Go Lovejoy123! Isn't being "debt-free" an awesome feeling? :-)

For me, it took being nearly killed in a car accident - flipped and totalled my car, landed upside down in a swamp. With the insurance settlement, I paid down ALL debts, with enough money left over to get a couple good sets of bed sheets, a digital camera, new running shoes and a frugal shopping trip to Buffalo NY, all on sale, of course!

I am now on disability, due to permanent injuries from the car accident. Once a week I have a wonderful cleaning lady come to my apt. Some think, wow .. how rich are you? No, not rich .. I manage my money carefully. I don't smoke, drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, play lotto or bingo, get my nails or hair done, don't call out for food (no one delivers in this small town), don't get tattoos or piercings, I don't have children (I have a dog and a cat!), don't go to movies (don't have a theatre in this town) and don't have cable or satellite TV (I am on the antenna and get two stations). My cell phone is pay as you go, and I have a package deal for high speed internet, long distance and local phone service all under one plan from one provider .. one bill a month. My life is simple and it works for me. I get enough TV on my two channels and accessing the internet on my third-hand iMac is a constant source of entertainment.

My life is a far cry from what it was when I lived in the big city and I am okay with it .. at this point in my life, "Simple and debt-free, it works for me!".

Thanks for sharing your story with us .. Julie Andrea

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful

Well done!

Marg from England.

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