When I first started off this blog on my investing journey, I had a clear objective of what I wanted to achieve at the end of the day. There are several steps that I needed to follow and habits that I needed to change in order to achieve that and frugality is one of those high in priority.
The hard truth is not many of us are born to be frugal in nature and it will be very difficult to mimic what Buffett has achieved throughout these years. For a small percentage of people, frugality is just how they live and who they are. They don’t have to think about it and those frugality habits are engraved in what they do on a daily basis, be it spending on food, groceries or accommodation.
In my opinion, adopting a frugal lifestyle is an intelligent thing to do. First, it creates an awareness of difference between cheap and frugal. Being cheap is about focusing on the price where quality can be compromised in order to but what is cheapest. However, being frugal is about focusing on the value where price and quality merge to form a conclusion regarding whether they are worth a buy. Second, since there aren’t unlimited resources on the demand and supply, it probably make sense to conserve to be frugal and waste as little as possible. Again, this is focusing more on what you need rather than how much you can afford.
For some people, having a goal is important in order to achieve and motivate the frugal lifestyle effectively. For instance, when you had a goal of losing 100 pounds in 6 months, it probably make sense to start planning on your dietary meals and gym schedules accordingly. Similarly, when you had a goal of achieving early financial independence, frugality had better be part of your plans along the way. The problem is when a person had achieved their ideal status of financial independence, what would be their next motivation to remain frugal.
For many financial bloggers alike, every financial budgeting and decision we make is grounded in our desire to achieve higher savings rate, higher disposable income and therefore higher capital to put to use for investment. And thanks to that goal, frugality isn’t exactly a rocket science or struggle for us. But would our desire to remain frugal in the absence of such clearly articulated plan works without a goal? This is something difficult that I haven’t exactly had an answer myself.
What do you think? Would you remain frugal without a goal? Are you born to be frugal?