Frugality as a Lifestyle

By ERIN TURNER

This is the 1st in a two-part series about living a frugal life.  Stay tuned next week for part 2!

I used to believe being frugal meant you were poor and led a really boring life.  Now that I’ve crossed over and entered into the “Frugal Life”, I know better. Yet as my family and I have quickly learned, not everyone sees frugality like we do.  You, like a lot of our friends, may be asking why we want to be frugal?  Well, being frugal has simplified our lives and given us a deep sense of peace and security which we didn’t find we weren’t as frugal.

So, what does frugal really mean?  Does it mean our family scrimps by each month and we don’t do activities or go places?  Absolutely not!  It means we are financially smarter and make sure we are getting the most value for every hard earned dollar we make.  We are in charge of our financial destiny instead of being slaves to it.

Just because we are frugal doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the nicer things of life….in fact, we do enjoy a nice home and nice things but we get more enjoyment out of those “things” because we either a) got a great deal on it, or b) worked hard at saving enough cash to pay for it in full. Because of our buying habits,  we never have buyers’ remorse or a future credit card bill!

Frugality isn’t about being cheap or being bare minimalists. It is merely about handling your money wisely and sensibly, while still enjoying life and being financially responsible, too.  Being frugal has allowed us to be more generous with our resources and more conscious about caring for the environment. It also gives us more time to value the relationships in our lives.

Our frugal lifestyle really grew from our desire to live a more pastoral lifestyle.  We love farming and having livestock.  It is a simple and refreshing life…one which is rooted in gratefulness and gratitude.   Physical labor, nurturing life and the earth, eating food we grew and sharing this love with our children has made us healthier, younger and happier than ever before.   Oh yeah….and we’re never bored!

Neither my husband nor I have the desire to be imprisoned by a job we hate and enslaved to a paycheck which dictates how we are to live our lives.  The financial freedom we have created by being frugal allows us to enjoy a lifestyle full of richness.

Now, when I speak of richness, I’m not talking Versace bags, BMWs and exotic trips.  I suppose we could have those things, but they have little value to us.

I’m talking about the richness that comes from thing important to us:  time with our family and friends; amazing family vacations in our RV; the ability to help those less fortunate; the joy of watching our children nurture our farm animals and develop a love of the great  outdoors.

Money can’t buy any of those things or replace the precious years of our boys’ childhoods.  My husband decided many years ago being a dad was more important than being a car dealer.  So, he has sacrificed many profitable sales just so he could make it to school for his sons’ class activities, attend every parent-teacher conference, and coach the boys’ sports teams.  Twenty years from now, what do you think will be valued more?  A profitable car sale or time dedicated to his sons’?  I’ve stated it before in my blogs, but I truly believe time is our most precious commodity in life.

No need to feel guilty if you’re not completely ready for the frugal life yet.  We still have lots of learning and haven’t quite reached all of our goals either.  But that’s okay… learning about and gradually practicing frugality is part of the process and how you learn what works for your lifestyle.

Every frugal household looks different.  Some people downsize their homes while others upgrade to solar and energy efficient homes.  Some people use coupons ruthlessly while others grow their own food and invest in quality food vs. quantity.  There is no perfect way of living frugally.  The bottom line is creating a lifestyle where you experience freedom, happiness, simplicity and serenity.

Tell me: are you living frugally or want to have a more frugal lifestyle?  I’m hoping there are lots more “frugalites” out there!  Do me a favor.  Speak up.  Be sure to “Like” this blog below or leave a comment.  Thanks!

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian.  Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques and trying to maintain a well-run, happy and organized home for herfamily.