9 Benefits of Frugality That Are More Important Than Money

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I’m a big fan of frugal living for its obvious benefits – spending less overall improves my life no end.

But there are some other benefits of frugality you might not be aware of yet.

To be honest, a lot of this stuff was pretty foreign to me before I dove headfirst into frugal living, but now that I’ve seen the light I feel bound to shout this stuff from the rooftops.

9 Benefits of Frugal Living That Could Change Your Life

1. It Gives You Peace of Mind in a Downturn

Frugal living really comes into its own when times are tough.

If you’ve prepared a low-cost life with an emergency fund in cash and low or no debt, losing your job isn’t so scary. 

In times like these, I’m incredibly grateful I took the time to get out of debt and build a cash cushion.

Frugal living means you can do the same. 

2. It’s Good for the Environment

Traditional frugal living moves like buying used instead of new, eating at home instead of getting takeaway or making do with what you have on hand is better for the planet. 

You reduce packaging and, therefore, landfill.

If you decide to become a one-car family or cycle commute, you reduce the emissions from your car and get healthier in the process.

Frugality goes hand in hand with lower consumption; consuming less is good for the planet.

3. You’re Setting a Good Example for Your Kids

Being frugal with your money will not go unnoticed by your children.

Even though they may complain that they don’t get every little thing they want all the time like some of their friends, you are giving them a more powerful gift.

Raising frugal kids is an exercise in compounding benefits.

Every frugal living benefit you read here will be carried on through the ages, when your children are careful with money and resources and encourage their children to be the same way.

4. The Ability to Give Generously

If you can be satisfied with a simple, frugal life, you don’t really need much to have a good life.

That means money is left over to save or give generously to others when needed.

Not being on struggle street and living from hand to mouth means you can share the fruits of your labours as you choose. 

5. It’s Easy to Figure Out Retirement-Required Living Costs/Year-off Figures

My eldest at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

When it comes to the biggest advantages of frugal living, this was the one that took the cake for me.

I want to spend a year (or three) travelling the world with my family. 

Because we use a budget, we know exactly how much our day-to-day life costs.

This helps greatly when it comes to future (early) retirement planning.

We adjust our figures for inflation to see exactly how much we’ll need to save to retire early or take a year out from work.

6. You Have the Flexibility to Walk Away From a Bad Job

Mean boss? Awful coworkers? Just flat-out negative environment that makes you feel physically sick?

If you’re frugal, you don’t have to stick around.

You’ve got an emergency fund and living costs are low.

You probably have a survival budget and you know you can stretch your dollars when needed.  If you don’t have a ton of payments to manage, life can be pretty cheap. 

7. Extra Money Can Always Go to Savings

Not everyone gets a chance to save and invest for the future.

But, when you’re frugal, there is always a little extra you can stash towards your and your family’s future. 

8. Gratitude Comes Easily

Living is easier when you have everything you need and life is no longer a struggle for survival.

Practising gratitude can help you keep on the right track (especially if you have spendy tendencies – like me). 

This might sound crazy, but I like to start each day with three things I am grateful for.

Today, it was coffee, sunshine and Mr 4, who woke me up with a cuddle and told me I’m so soft and squishy (boys!).

Most of the things I am grateful for do not cost money.

However, on rainy days, I’m very grateful for the roof over my head and my paid-off house, which cost a lot of money.

My point is that by stepping towards simplifying your life, you start to see and appreciate the blessings in each day in a way you might not have been able to do before.

9. You’ll Have Lower Stress Levels

Financial stress can lead to poor health outcomes, including diabetes, depression and drug and alcohol abuse (source).

Being frugal can help you reduce some of the stress associated with debt and living beyond your means.

As you make a plan to get out of debt and put it into action, you will start to feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.

It’s not easy, and sometimes you’ll wonder if it’s worth the effort, but in the long term, the benefits of frugality can not be denied.

Instilling frugal habits is an investment that will pay dividends in your and your children’s future. 

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Stuff, NZHerald, Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.