Because you’re reading a blog about personal finance, I think it’s safe to say you spend some time thinking about money. Whether your focus is on maximizing every dollar, spending on the things you love, or minimizing stress around money, it can be worthwhile to consider the fringe benefits of frugality.*
When we recognize how the benefits of what we do and don’t spend money on can ripple into other areas of our lives, we can help increase our motivation to spend smartly!
- By spending less on eating out we do more than save money. We:
- Eat a healthier diet
- Become a better cook
- Spend a Saturday morning at a local farmers’ market in search of fresh produce
- Pay more attention to ingredients and what we’re putting into our bodies
- Become a more informed and efficient grocery shopper
- Meal plan so we have healthy food we love prepared in advance and ready to go
- By biking and walking around our towns and communities we do more than save money on cars, maintenance, taxes, and gas. We:
- Exercise more often
- Become more physically fit
- Increase our self-confidence
- Have more quiet time to think
- Improve our mental state
- Explore and enjoy the world around us more closely
- Help the environment
- By cutting cable (and even streaming services) and checking out books and movies from our local libraries we do more than save money. We:
- Support our communities and the important resources libraries provide
- More intentionally consume content
- Avoid wasting time watching tv
- Spend more time reading and learning
- By trying to do more things ourselves (such as repairing a leaky faucet or changing your car’s oil) we do more than save money. We:
- Become more resourceful and knowledgeable
- Learn new skills – skills we can then use to help others or even make some extra money
- Increase our abilities to solve problems and adapt
- See the results of our efforts (something we don’t get as often amid fleeting emails and social media streams)
- Have the satisfaction of knowing we figured it out and solved the problem ourselves
When our consideration for spending money on something includes the domino effect this decision has in other areas of our lives, we can make more informed decisions. If we can save money and get even more benefits by not buying something, the motivation to make a good decision and then stick with it becomes more clear and attainable.
This works this other way, too. For example, if you’re thinking about buying a boat, you want to consider not only the cost of buying it but the ongoing costs, why you want it, where you’ll store it, how you’ll maintain it, how often you’ll use it, if you have the time, etc. because perhaps you’re just seeking more time to relax – no boat required.
What other ideas do you have for saving money that bring several added benefits to your life?