49 Things Being Frugal Taught Me (Frugal Lessons)

Many people turn to frugal living because they need to save money. Frugal lessons are important lessons you learn along your journey.

When you are being frugal you cut back, you reduce bills, you say no more often than you say yes.

All of which you do to save money, to get out of debt. And that’s a good thing.

But once you have achieved your money saving goals, become debt free, do you go back to your old ways or do you stay frugal?

Do you decide that actually, you rather like what being frugal has to offer so you keep doing what you’re doing?

Is it worth carrying on being frugal?

white traditional kitchen with wooden worktops and sunflowers in a white vase

Is It Worth Being Frugal?

I might be biased but my answer to you is a resounding YES!

Being frugal is so worth it. There are so many gains to be made and no downsides.

OK, you can’t have the mindset of spend everything you earn and more now, and not plan for your future.

And sure, you might not have the biggest house on the street or the latest model of your favorite vehicle.

And OK, you don’t on a whim suddenly drop $500 on a gadget you saw advertised on TV.

You also don’t worry about or hanker after these things though when there are so many things that do make it worthwhile.

You learn much about yourself when you knuckle down to pay off debt, to get those savings in the bank.

I Love Being Frugal

I am probably like 90% of the people who start out on a money saving journey.

I wasn’t trying to be frugal, I was trying desperately to make ends meet.

Desperate because I had gone from being on welfare benefits with a child to working full time and bringing home less money than if I had stayed on benefits!

Desperate because I didn’t know how to save money. I bought my lunch every day at work and had regular takeaway meals.

Not very money saving is it?

Fast forward 30 years (cough) and I’m a card carrying frugalista with occasional spendy tendencies.

I love being frugal because of what it has taught me and what it has given me.

Frugal living has given me a whole different life to what I thought I would have and what I would have had if I had continued to spend every penny (and some) of what I earned.

Being Frugal

How can I become very frugal?

Becoming very frugal takes focus. Focus on everything you spend money on and how you use what you have bought.

Extreme frugality has it’s place for many people whether through choice or necessity.

Take your first steps in becoming frugal with the Frugal Foundations Framework:

How can I be frugal but not cheap?

Being cheap is about saving money at the expense of others. Being frugal is about making wise choices about your own money and not trying to get one up on other people.

Be wise with your money but also be kind.

Related post: How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

Can being frugal make you rich?

Many rich people are frugal and it has helped them build their wealth.

Being frugal allows you to be rich on a level you might not think about.

If your monthly expenses are low because you are frugal you will never need millions in the bank.

Therefore you can be rich with much less than you think.

Related post: 11 Simple Things That Rich People Do (And So Can You)

womans hands holding folded money notes in one hand and coins in another above a desk with calculator and paper on it

The 49 Things Being Frugal Has Taught Me

The Frugal Mindset

Having a frugal mindset is probably the most important thing when you embrace frugality.

Too many people believe the frugal myths being peddled by the media and are poorer as a result.

I dislike cheapskates as they give frugal people a bad name and put others off from being frugal.

Frugal Financial Lessons

We all make financial mistakes. But it’s what we do with the knowledge gained that counts, frugal or not.

Financial goals give your money a purpose.

Overpaying our mortgage and paying it off 10 years early was worth all the extra penny pinching.

You can build your first $1000 emergency fund in as little as 3 months.

Using the cash envelope system for a month or two is great for resetting your money focus.

You can save money without a budget. But budgets can help you save more money.

Rich people are often very frugal and one of the reasons they are rich.

Having regular money chats with your spouse are essential to your happiness and your joint financial future.

When the sh*t hits the fan you know you can cut back even more with a survival budget.

All schools should teach financial literacy including budgeting and the need for savings.

3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund helps me sleep easy at night.

pink wild flowers against pink backdrop

Frugal and the Environment

Being frugal with earth’s natural resources is a common progression for frugal folk.

The 3Rs of eco friendliness are all about being frugal with earth’s resources.

Buying used not only saves me money, it helps the environment by keeping things out of landfill.

Growing your own food is not always super cheap but is always super tasty and you know all the chemicals you haven’t used.

I need so much less stuff than I thought I did.

I don’t like the idea of replacing items that still work, especially when it means using some of my savings.

A Frugal Home

New doesn’t mean better but it does mean more expensive.

Homemade is almost always better tasting.

Old fashioned living can still be relevant today.

Couponing done right is a great money saver. Couponing done wrong not so much.

Meal planning helps you make the most of the food you have already bought.

I love finding a bargain and stocking up my pantry.

Grocery budgets vary enormously but wholesome frugal food doesn’t have to cost much.

I cannot live without my slow cooker.

Leftovers make some of the best tasting, random, never to be repeated, meals.

I don’t have to go shopping every week.

ginger tabby cat lying on wooden bench with coffee cup on

The Frugal Lifestyle

Being frugal can be more time consuming but it’s oh so much more satisfying.

You don’t need to spend money to have a fun time.

It’s often the little things you do every day that help you save money.

Wearing an extra clothing layer is more satisfying when you know it means you’re saving money.

Working out your strategies for frugal living will help you make the most of your time and money.

When you fall off the frugal wagon getting back to some frugal basics helps you climb back on.

Saving Money

I’ve lost count of the number of ways you can save money!

It’s okay to say no and do it often, after all it’s my money I would be spending.

Staycations can provide just as much fun and relaxation as expensive vacations.

Having just a little bit of personal fun money each month is a big deal when you are feeling broke.

Reading books about frugal living can unearth a mountain of new information and new ways to save money.

Being an extreme money saver doesn’t always feel extreme.

I will happily wait months if it means I get something much cheaper than buying it straight away.

You have a better understanding of what you spend small amounts of money on.

I’ll Be Frugal For Life

If I won the lottery I wouldn’t change my lifestyle. (I don’t do the lottery so it’s not gong to happen is it?)

Being frugal helps you to stop worrying about money and that is priceless.

Being frugal helps you appreciate what you already have and to take of it that much more.

I love how a 52 week money challenge brings out the competitiveness in me.

Being frugal is a game that never ends and I love it!

I’m starting to feel my age because frugal living tips for seniors seem very sensible to me now!

your best frugal life written down and surrounded by a few stationery items including pencils and pens

Your Frugal Journey

I was curious as to whether it’s just me who feels like I’ve learned so much from being frugal.

I reached out to my newsletter folk and asked what they felt they had learned on their frugal journey.

Firstly I asked them what the most important thing being frugal has taught them. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

The security and peace of mind that comes with having money in the bank is worth every bit of work that goes into being frugal.

That I don’t need most of the stuff I want.

Pay yourself first, & have an emergency fund.

Always budget for chocolate. (This wasn’t me, honest, but we are obviously on the same wavelength!)

To be more individual.

I don’t need everything that I see!

I hope to remind myself that money is not the way to happiness.

What I “want” vs “need”!

It’s never to late to live below your income, no matter how big or small it is.

How to deal with the family that does not want to be frugal?

I’m in control of the money – it’s not in control of me!

A little can go a very very long way.

We have way more money than I thought(and we are NOT making a lot of money.) I am just as happy being frugal as I was before when we were overspending.

That I don’t have to have everything.

Being more mindful of people who have less.

Enjoying what we have and try not to be always wanting more.

That not wasting resources benefits not only our pockets but the planet too.

More stuff doesn’t make you happy!

The difference between a WANT and a NEED.

woman in white with outstretched arms against blue sky

Looking back to help others look forward

Sometimes it’s good to look back and think about what you wish you knew when you were younger/just starting out on your frugal journey.

These look backs can help those who are new to frugality.

Don’t be us wishing we had done differently later.

Do differently now (aka get it right first time).

These are some of the things my readers know now, but wish they had known before (because it would likely have saved them a lot of money and possibly heartache):

Not to buy stuff just because the price is cheap.

That I had never got in debt.

Pay savings first, then bills, and don’t spend every last penny!

I know now a lot more about what is frugality, compared to just being cheapskate.

In life, money is not what’s important – but you have to get control of it to realize that!

Pay yourself first, budget weekly & always have shopping list.

When I see something I absolutely need to have by the time I save up the cash to buy it I find out I didn’t need whatever it was after all and I have the cash to put in the bank.

How to save better.

Accepting I am responsible for my money and how I use it will effect my life.

To save money while I was younger to have it now would be wonderful. I would also never get credit cards or go to college.

Being raised with only a poor mother being frugal is natural to me, but not to my husband, who did not have the same fate.

The amazing positive power of compound interest and the not so good power of compound debt.

Charging anything isn’t worth it.

About compound interest.

Making a food shopping list has reduced the amount of food we waste and saves us money!

Not to spend it because it is a bit of unexpected money/income.

Being frugal is a never ending journey

You can get to the point where much of it is on auto pilot because you have built up a good stock of frugal habits for your daily life.

But it is a continuous learning experience. I still learn new ways to save money every day.

My readers range from young to nicely mature, from all walks of life and from many different countries.

But one thing unites us all.

Being frugal – whether it’s because we must or because we want to or because it’s just in our nature to be do.

And we continually learn new tricks to save money every day.

If you want to join the frugal tribe why not grab yourself a copy of my Money Saving Mini Bundle at the same time?

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

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Last Updated on 4th April 2023 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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