My take on Simple Living

I've lived a very sheltered life growing up. Having an OFW mom didn't help educate me properly with regards to the true value of hard earned money. Whenever I see my mom, sadly, I only see dollar signs or the means to get the material things that I fancy at the time. Praise God that I'm finally over that. Gone are the days when I would buy things that I don't actually need. Now I just stick to necessities. Simple living, frugal as some would say.

A lot of people who have known me for years might be surprised to find out that I only own one wrist watch, yes, one, which I will only replace if it gives out on me. I didn't even buy it, my sister gave it to me 2 years ago. Yes, I got it for free. Also, I don't have a lot of clothes in my closet, some have been there for years but are still in good condition so I wear them still. I only own a total of 4 pairs of shoes (1 ballet flats, 1 slightly wedged doll shoes, 1 flat boots, 1 high cut Chuck Taylor, all gifts) and that's it. I don't purchase jewelry (at all), new clothes (every month or even annually), new shoes (on a regular basis, unless the ones that I have can't be worn anymore). Most of the things in my wardrobe were given to me. Whatever I earn through the blog, freelance writing and graphic designing gigs go to food, Mr. D and the kids. I rarely leave my mom cave anyway, so it'll just be a waste to buy certain items for myself, so I stick to healthy food to treat myself. Frugal living, I have discovered, is truly rewarding in the end.

What is Frugal Living exactly?

The word fru·gal by definition means:
  • sparing or economical with regard to money or food.
    "he led a remarkably frugal existence"
    synonyms: thrifty, economical, careful, cautious, prudent, provident, unwasteful, sparing, scrimping; abstemious, abstinent, austere, self-denying, ascetic, monkish, spartan; parsimonious, miserly, niggardly, cheeseparing, penny-pinching, close-fisted;
    informaltightfisted, tight, stingy
  • simple and plain and costing little.
    "a frugal meal"
    synonyms: meager, scanty, scant, paltry, skimpy; plain, simple, spartan, inexpensive, cheap, economical
Basically, Frugal living is a lifestyle that opposes extravagance. No overspending, impulsive shopping, or wasting are allowed here. You get to save money and actually make a huge difference in the world simply because it won't only benefit you but others around you as well.

Want to jump on the frugal bandwagon but totally clueless of how to even begin? Then here are some tips from me to get you started:

  • Don't buy the latest gadget
    I don't understand the need to get your hands on the latest gadget when you'll only end up regretting the purchase in the end. Chances are the latest ones will have a lot of bugs, it's like you're paying to be a guinea pig (unless you get it for free, then it's totally fine haha)
  • Reuse
    Don't just use something you bought once (clothes, shoes), use it again and again. As much as you can.
  • Recycle
    Don't just throw away something once you don't need it anymore, think of ways to recycle it.
  • Do a yard sale or sell your preloved items online
    Why throw when you can sell it?
  • Freecycle
    If you can't sell it, give it away to someone who needs it.
  • Take care of your belongings so that they will last longer
    So you won't have to buy a replacement anytime soon.
  • Opt for Preloved items
    There are preloved items that are still in good condition, some can even pass as brand new just minus the high price tag.
  • Do Bargain shopping
    Be on the look out for promos and sales
  • Don't buy things that you don't need
    Need I say more?
  • If you can afford to buy only 1, don't buy at all.
    It's an advice from a Chinese friend of mine, which I take pretty seriously. She also said that if you can afford (pay in full) to buy a specific item ten times over and still have a lot of money left to spare then that's the only time you can give in and get it for yourself. Discipline is the key.
  • Be Practical
    Live within your means.
Are you a frugal individual yourself? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear some of your tips as well! :)

Article published on August 23, 2015