We are programmed at a young age to buy, buy, buy. Advertisements advertising everything from tasty cereals, electronic gadgets to super hero action figures beg us to spend, spend, spend to be happy. Along the same lines we are convinced that this is fine to want more and more stuff. And, the subliminal message is that being “Cheap” is “not cool”. Your supposed to want the gold chains, fancy cars, newest tech. But, does all that really make you happy? They say that happiness comes from within, so why is it that we are constantly searching for it in the products and things we use and consume? How did frugality ever become a dirty word? Deep down inside, most of us know that it is a good idea to have a budget and be aware of our spending habits, but being cheap can improve not only your financial well being, but your life.
Being cheap and living not only within your means, but, putting away a little extra saves on things like interest. By saving your money you can buy things outright when needed and save on interest and loan fees for credit cards, student loans, home loans, cars and more. Okay, maybe it would be impossible for most of us to just save up and buy a house without a mortgage. But, when your able to be cheap and save money in other areas of your life, you can make extra payments on the mortgages and loans that still exist. Dropping them down considerably in payoff years and saving a LOT of money.
Speaking of interest, one of the best ways to get low interest rates is by keeping your debt to income ratio low. Using less credit, but, paying your bills on time is a win, win for all. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate.
Being cheap can be doesn’t necessarily mean doing without. You can still lead a fun adventure filled life full of new experiences, that is if you learn to manage your scheduling better. For example, you can time your meals and cocktail outings around restaurant specials and happy hour deals. You can also savor the more expensive items on the menu, if your willing to share. Often, you will find that one full meal and one appetizer are sufficient for two. Seniors often will go to lunch, order a meal and split it, order water for the beverage and fill up on the free bread sticks, etc.. It’s okay for you to do the same. If a restaurant is not crowded, they are more than happy to split a meal and one meal sold, is better than no meal sold. Just remember to tip well. Leaving a bit more for the extra service.
Using coupons is also a wonderful way to save money. Cutting coupons and scoping out deals for can make a difference in your budget. By being aware of sales, you can still shop but avoid paying full price. Be careful though not to just buy things you want. Buy the things you need. Learn to appreciate the things that you already have. If something breaks, can you fix it, or repurpose it rather than discarding it? This helps you not only save money but helps the planet as well. The same thing goes for expensive trips, and, such. Do you really need to go on expensive vacations? Or, can you learn to enjoy the surroundings around you, venturing out on long drives, meeting new people, perhaps working in a community garden or volunteering in a local charity to help improve the area where you live. Making it your own “Shagrila”.
Being cheap can enhance your own creativity. Rather than always purchasing new gifts, you can create your own. Often handmade gifts are treasured more, and more thoughtful and unique. The more you start creating and making your own gifts, home decor, etc., the more creative you become. Learning to recycle found objects around the house and at discount stores, to make one of a kind treasures. Check out Youtube for lots of great ideas of things you can make out of everyday items.
The cheaper you become, the wiser you are. You learn how to not only be creative, but, to negotiate and haggle your way into savings. Not only will you be able to stick to your budget, build credit, and put money in your savings, you are also building the skills you need to prioritize others areas of your life, including friendships, family, love, etc.. Learning who to devote more time to those you care about, and, staying away from the people who you don’t need in your life. (Because some people are like credit cards. They seek to drain you of not only your mental assets, but, they want to tack on their problems and complaints as interest.) You also learn to prioritize your goals, career and personal life in order to make the best decisions for you. Your strengthened ability to just say NO to advertising campaigns, media blitzes, sales pressures, etc., will make you a stronger person! Being cheap can train you to be more powerful.