A while back, I asked when the savings kick in from various kinds of frugality. Basically, we enjoy free things like DVDs from the library and such. But we wouldn’t spend money on them anyway. So are we really saving money?
The consensus was that no, we’re not saving money. Money is only saved when we put the money in a savings account.
But the good thing about frugality? It helps you have a better quality of life. Which is the exact opposite of the idea that frugal people are unhappy misers…
You can borrow movies from the library which you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten a chance to see (because you have a small entertainment budget).
You can eat more of the foods you like because you pay attention to coupons and sales. Or you simply learn to cook your favorite restaurant meals at home and pay a lot less for them. Or because you’ve decided to cook in bulk.
You can “shop at home” for things instead of buying something new.
You get the most out of what you already own because of your frugal mindset.
The only other real way to increase your quality of life is to spend more…which may mean using credit—but that just causes quality of life problems for the future—or spending money you wanted to use for something else—which might take away from your plans for the future/retirement/etc (depending on how much you have and what your goals are).
How does frugality increase your quality of life? What do you get by being frugal that you wouldn’t/couldn’t get/afford otherwise?