People have a variety of reasons to live frugally, but the last one on this list might surprise you. Why do you pinch pennies?
Some folks have no choice but to live frugally. Unemployment or underemployment, unexpected medical bills, or the break-up of a marriage can leave you at the mercy of coupons and bargain bins. There’s no shame in that. In fact, it’s downright admirable.
Get Out Of Debt
Credit card interest rates create anorexic piggy banks, and student loans bear down like a slow moving vice. Paying off debt early saves money in the long run and frees up future funds for something else. Kudos to those of you eating a sandwich at your desk for lunch instead of digging the debt hole deeper with a fancy salad at an overpriced restaurant.
Save For Kids’ College
You don’t want to have the vice grip of student loans greet your kiddos upon graduation, so you’re saving now to pay for their college then. They may complain about not having $200 dollar sneakers today, but in a few years they’ll thank you for the gift of a debt-free education.
Saving To Buy A House
Dave Ramsey says that purchasing a house is one of the few times it’s okay to go into debt. However, to keep your mortgage payments and costs down it helps to have a good size down payment. Your home will build equity over time compared to flushing rental payments every month, but it takes some discipline in your spending to accumulate a big enough egg for your future nest.
Whether you’re a future groom saving for the engagement ring or the bride whose parents refuse to give you the wedding of your dreams, weddings are a great motivation to live frugally. And it’s good practice for learning to share a bank account with someone else. Just remember that the wedding only lasts a few hours and the marriage lasts a lifetime. Invest accordingly.
Sometimes checking an item off your bucket list requires lots of advance planning and strategizing. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit the Louvre or kayak through the Grand Canyon or learn to surf in Australia or hike to the top of Kilimanjaro. Travel costs and supplies are costly. Don’t go into debt for the dream only to find out that paying for it is a nightmare. Save now and relish the memories later.
Other folks, the very special among us, choose to live frugally so they can give generously. If this is you, maybe your pantry is filled with store brand items, but you paid for 25 people to have a warm meal at the local night shelter. You might be able to afford a bigger house, but you stay where you are and work to fund the local crisis pregnancy center. Maybe you have a heart for at-risk teens, adult literacy, refugee resettlement, human trafficking survivors, AIDS orphans, or Alzheimer’s research. What if frugal living was the first step toward becoming a philanthropist?