Forced Frugality - is you being bossed around by your financial situation
The concept of "forced frugality" came into my mind the other day after reading a comment on the Internet, by someone I know about, who said they were "frugal and poor." I started thinking about the statement and it dawned on me that the two characteristics - frugal and poor - don't necessarily go together.
In fact, I maintain that frugality can lead to financial freedom - the opposite of being poor. This happens when you make a choice to be a good steward of your finances by maximizing income while being conservative with respect to saving, investing, and managing expenses. Being frugal really hinges upon making good spending decisions so you can accumulate wealth.
Why bother accumulating wealth? Simply because having wealth provides you with options. That's a good reason to trouble yourself with the required effort. Otherwise, no wealth means little or no options.
For those who are frugal and poor, we'll likely find that they're living in "forced frugality" because of poor decisions with respect to income, savings, investment and expenses. They don't have wealth, so they don't have options. Worse yet, they're forced into a life of frugality, not because they'd like to catch up on building wealth, but because they have no other choice.
That's being bossed around by your financial situation. That's being at the mercy of the economy and how the financial winds are blowing. Perhaps they blow you into calm waters, perhaps they blow you out to sea, or perhaps they leave you drifting about. In any case, you're not in charge, and my experience leads me to believe that kind of attitude and lifestyle leads to nothing that will ever look good on a resume, a headstone, or in a biography.
If you're living a life of forced frugality, you may have surrendered in terms of trying to make good financial decisions. You may have given up on yourself. You may have driven into the ditch and decided you're comfortable enough staying right there.
In cases such as that, being frugal isn't an accomplishment. It isn't a decision. It isn't part of your plan, your strategy, or even a clever tactic. It's quite a bit like simply giving up on yourself and doing what is absolutely necessary to get by.
It's really a cowardly way to live.
You could have more, enjoy life more, and have a feeling of achievement and self satisfaction, but instead, you decide to live a life of forced frugality. How pathetic is that!
It's time to ask yourself why you're frugal. Is it because you have to be, or is because you have bigger plans, and it's one of the tactics you're using to accomplish a strategic objective?
It's time to ask yourself why you're living one day at a time. Is it because of what happened to you, or because of what you've gotten yourself into because of your own failure to actively and wisely manage your own affairs.
I know the answers to these questions because I lost a life's fortune because I failed to manage my affairs properly, I let others make decisions for me, I abandoned good decision-making that had served me so well for so many years, and I started listening to others who were all talk and no substance. Once I turned that around, it took me seven years of hard work to get back on top again.
When I was scraping bottom, frugality was part of my lifestyle because I had to be that way. I was living forced frugality. When I was on the way back up, frugality was part of my lifestyle because it was a strategy for preservation of income and accumulation of wealth.
Stop living a life of forced frugality, because it's not a badge that you can proudly display. Start your lifestyle of frugal living with a purpose of making better spending decisions, enhancing your savings, and preserving the wealth you're accumulating.
Wealth is what gives you options. A car instead of a bike. A roof over your head instead of a tent. A wholesome meal instead of "bread and water." A single family home instead of an apartment. An ability to help others instead of being on the receiving end of public assistance programs.
Everyone can be a winner in their own right, but being a winner requires that you play the game with gusto. If you're living a life of forced frugality, you're in the game, but most likely you're being played. And, most likely, you're the one who placed yourself in such a undesirable position.
Done with Forced Frugality, back to Frugality is a Mindset