It is not easy to be young, single and frugal these days when designer clothing and accessories, iPods and Blackberrys are king, and being cool and having fun is dependent on how much money you can spend. Frugal is not a word often associated with the first 2 traits – young and single – and frugality is something looked down upon as uncool, un-fun and downright unnatural.
So here are a few basic points and tips for the young and frugal. They may not help you climb the social ladder, but keeping them in mind and practicing them in whatever you do can keep you from falling off, and maybe help you to climb up, the financial ladder. And remember that basics are not just for beginners. They are taught first to beginners not because they are easy and therefore less important, but because they are the foundation upon which to build everything else.
Basics for the Young and Frugal
- Frugality is a Virtue
This is not just another feel-good phrase to make you believe something that’s not true. The word frugal actually comes from the Latin word for “virtue” or “virtuous,” “valuable,” “worthy,” “deserving,” and many other good things. Check out my post and see for yourself. You should not be ashamed of being frugal; in fact, you should be proud that you are thinking ahead and planning and saving for the future – be it a down payment on a house or car, your retirement, a family, etc.
- Frugality entails sacrifice
You will have to give up some luxuries if you truly want to save money. This doesn’t mean you have to give up every single joy in your life, but you will have to cut back.
- There is nothing wrong with staying home
A little extra time to yourself at home is good. You’re paying rent or mortgage on your home, why not actually use it for something other than sleeping?
- It is never too late to take up a new hobby
If you’ve always wished you could play a musical instrument, speak another language, sew or knit your own clothes, the sooner you start, the less time you’ll have for regrets and “if only’s” later. Invest in a useful hobby that will benefit you in later life as a professional or a parent, and stay home and practice it. For example, when you are a mother with a handful of children and not enough time in the day, you will be glad that you already know how to sew and mend clothing rather than having to learn to sew at that time.
- True friends will respect your choices
If your friends put you down for your frugal lifestyle, then it’s time to find some new friends. Friends who really care about you will not repeatedly ask you to make sacrifices to feed their need to spend money. You don’t have to sever all ties with such friends, but there is nothing wrong with making new friends who share your values and can help you stay on track in your frugal lifestyle.
- It is never too early to think about your future
Even if you are still 40 years from retirement age, you must start thinking about and take responsibility for your future. What if you’re lucky enough to live another 40 years after retirement? And this is assuming that all goes well and you do not need to take early retirement for any reason.
- A penny saved is a penny plus interest earned
Check out my previous article and learn just how just a few dollars saved per day can turn into a small fortune over the course of 1-40 years.
Check back soon for suggestions for frugal activities and hobbies.