Everyone has different ideas about how to spend money wisely. Some like to invest and save, while others have a habit of spending too much.
"Living stingy" means something different to everyone. If you're already pretty frugal, living stingy could mean cutting back on some groceries, or attempting to cut back the electric bill. If you're used to living the life of luxury, living stingy could mean eliminating going out to dinner or buying a car with a lower monthly payment (or no payment).
Whatever it means to you, there are pros and cons of living this way. It's a lifestyle change that has some great benefits, but also a few downfalls.
The Pros of Living Stingy
Living stingy will literally force you to save money. But, that might be exactly what you need.
We all get caught up in life and spend a little too much here and there. It's hard to stick to a rigid budget and keep track of where all your money goes. Living stingy will help you focus on saving money and putting it towards good use.
Prioritizing saving money is the first step. It's easy to go out to dinner every single night and go shopping every day, but it's hard to put your foot down and remember what you really need your money for. Take the challenge and use it to make positive strides.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you can save in a short amount of time, if you really put your mind to it. Once you incorporate saving money into your routine, you will see that it actually becomes enjoyable.
Knowing you have money saved will help relieve some financial stress and ease your mind. Whether you save money by sticking to a strict budget or by making a few key changes in your life, the result will be just as rewarding.
Once you have some money saved, you can invest it. Investing money is a great way to actually make more money in the long run. Right now, you will be investing an amount that works for you, but in a few years, that investment should grow.
Before making an investment though, you should take some time to do a little research. What would you like to invest your money in? How will investing in that particular mutual fund or stock benefit you in the future?
You can also use your savings to open up an IRA. Typically, opening an IRA isn't that expensive. Putting some money into your IRA every month is something you should prioritize because that money can grow over the years for you to use in retirement.
You can even set up your IRA so a certain amount from your paycheck goes into it automatically. You won't even have to think about it. Automating your financial life is key when you want to live stingy.
You Will Be Prepared
Having money saved will help you to be prepared for any situation. If your car needs repairs, you can use your savings. If you have a sudden emergency, you know that your savings is there to help you. Being prepared will give you that peace of mind you've been searching for.
It's hard to live paycheck to paycheck, and not have any money to back you up. It can be very stressful knowing that if something happens, you won't be prepared. Just having a few hundred dollars in your savings is better than nothing.
Even if you're a young adult just starting out in the workplace, having some money set aside in your savings is essential. Emergencies happen, and it's always better to be prepared.
You’ll also be prepared for the good things. If you get some extra vacation time this year, you’ll have money to go somewhere nice. If someone you know is getting married, you’ll have the money to buy a gift.
Being prepared isn't just about the bad things that can happen. Fun things cost money too, and if you want to be able to go on that vacation or attend that party, having money in the bank can make it happen. That is, if you believe it’s a good use for that money - remember, you are trying to live stingy.
Easily Pay Your Bills
We haven't even touched on the most important thing...bills! Paying your bills can get more and more overwhelming as you get older. First, it starts with paying rent. Then, as you grow older and have a family, you'll be paying a mortgage.
There are school loans, car payments, electric bills, Internet bills, phone bills, etc...the list goes on and on. If you have money saved, you’ll be confident these bills will be paid on time.
Your monthly income may be more than enough to pay your bills, but sometimes money gets tight. For example, money usually gets tight around the holidays.
If you spend more than you anticipated on gifts and don't have your whole monthly income to go towards bills, then you have your savings. You won't be totally overwhelmed if you know that you have your savings to back you up.
This strategy is important to use no matter where you are in life. If you're a young adult getting your first apartment, or a parent with a mortgage payment, having savings will always be a benefit regardless if you’re trying to live stingy.
You Won’t Have To Worry (as much)
Everyone goes through financial stress. Finances can be a huge burden and the reason behind anxiety and fatigue. People are up late at night worrying about paying their bills and feeding their families. Many take extra jobs and work long hours because of the severe stress they go through.
Having money in the bank might not completely eliminate your financial hardships, but it can help alleviate them. Knowing that you have money in the bank to use for bills and emergencies will definitely lessen your worries. Again, even if you only have a few hundred dollars saved, it's better than nothing.
Living stingy may not be a strategy that seems like a lot of fun, but if it can free you from some financial anxiety, then why not give it a try? Getting caught up in life and in your routine is easy, but it can be part of the problem.
You do the same things and spend the same amount week after week, even if you could be saving some of it instead. Take some time to re-think your routine and find ways to save some of that money that you routinely spend. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much you can save and the peace of mind it brings you.
The Cons of Living Stingy
You Won’t Be Spending As Much
For some people, spending money is a way of life. It's habit, it's easy, and it means they can go shopping and go out to dinner any time they want. It's something that people get used to doing, and it can be a hard habit to nix.
Living stingy and not spending lots of money can make some people unhappy and stressed. For some, material items are a source of comfort, and not buying them can cause anxiety. It's also a total lifestyle change.
Everyone has different ideas about the amount of money they should spend in their daily lives. Not spending money is the main issue with living stingy, because people just can't get past lowering their monthly budgets.
However, this con should not limit you and make you feel like you're stuck. Living stingy and not spending money for a little while doesn't mean that you're in a state of despair.
It just means that you're going to live frugally for a little while so save some money. If you look at living stingy as a temporary change and not a permanent one, it seems much more doable.
You Will Have To Cut Back
Living stingy is one hundred percent based on cutting back. Things that you do for luxury purposes will have to be cut back or eliminated completely.
Keep in mind that living stingy doesn't have to be a permanent strategy. If you want to save some money, live stingy until you've reached that money goal. This might take a few months, but then you can go back to your routine or you might actually like seeing that money be saved regularly.
Living stingy for a few months can make you realize what you need and what you do not. You might be used to eating dinner out every night, but then you start living stingy and you realize that eating out that much isn't a necessity.
Living stingy, even if it's just for a few months, is vital to realizing your needs. If you don't give up the elements to your routine, you'll never know what it's like living without them. Once you grasp this change, you may even realize that living stingy isn't so bad at all.
You Will Need To Set Boundaries
You will have to get used to a new routine and set some boundaries for yourself. Not giving into temptation is hard, especially at first.
The key to this is to avoid temptation. Don't go to the mall if you know you can't afford to buy anything right now. Don't go online and scroll through fancy hotels if you know you can't afford a vacation right now.
If you set these kinds of boundaries for yourself, you will most likely succeed at living stingy. It might not be very enjoyable at first, and you might feel totally out of your element. As time goes on, the boundaries will be your new routine, and you will eventually get used to living this way.
You Might Have To Miss Out
If you're going to live stingy, you're going to miss out on a few social events. If your friends are going out to eat every night, you're not going to be able to join them seven days a week.
The people who you surround yourself with often affect your spending habits without you even realizing it. You get invited to things, and without even thinking about it, you say yes. You go to the event and end up spending money you didn't intend to. This happens to everyone.
Just because you're living stingy for a little while doesn't mean you have to cut your friends out of your life, it just means you have to find new activities to do with them.
What can you do with your friends where you don't have to spend tons of money? Maybe you can go for a walk together, or invite your friends over to your place for a home-cooked meal.
Instead of going out for drinks, have your friends over for a bottle of wine that will cost you half the price of cocktails at the bar. There are many ways to still have a great time without having to spend a lot of money.
Try Living Stingy Out For Yourself
Sure, living stingy has its pros and cons, but in the end, this lifestyle will help you save the money that you need. It may not seem ideal at first, but if you're having some financial stress and need a solution, you should at least give it a shot. Try it out and see how it benefits your life - I think you might just enjoy it.
Want More Great Information Like This Sent To You Monthly?Certified Financial Planner® and Financial Advisor in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also the founder and owner of NextGen Wealth. You can learn more about Clint at the website NextGen Wealth.