One of the largest barriers that people face to frugality is the concern that it will minimise their enjoyment of life.
In fact, one of the main concerns people voice when I mention my budgeting or frugality to them (especially with family) is that they don’t think I’m doing things I enjoy.
Society has a general perception that happiness costs money and that it can either be bought or not bought and that the amount of money we spend directly influences the amount of enjoyment we experience.
It turns out this idea is completely incorrect.
The Venn diagram of the things in life that bring joy and the things that cost money actually looks like this:
So it’s easy to find things that fit into the blue area of the chart.
To help you with this, try these simple exercises
- Write down 10 things that you love doing with your spare time
- Consider the last time you laughed so hard your cheeks hurt, what were you doing?
- When you consider your ideal future, what do you picture?
- If you no longer had to work and had no financial concerns, what would you do with your time?
You’ve probably found that a lot of your answers revolved more around the people you were with than the activities you were doing.
Maybe your ideal future is playing with your kids in the backyard, maybe it’s having a movie night with your best friends, it could be playing board games with your partner or spending time relaxing on the beach.
But these things don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, they will probably bring you more happiness if you find cheaper ways to do them, because you won’t have financial stress eating away at your joy.
So my homework for you is to spend some time really thinking about the things that make you happy and to pursue those things as much as you can.
It’s easy to get bogged down in a world of deadlines and business, but take some time to find your joy as well.