For most people, the words frugality and wealth don’t go together, but for those who’ve had to lower their financial outgoings and ‘come out the other side’ will know what I’m talking about.

Take an example; a family with an income of say £30,000 suddenly, through losing a job or by choice, drop to half that amount. For a long time they have based their expenditure on that £30,000pa and no doubt will have lived up to their means.
This could be in Holidays, big cars (or a car they don’t need), expensive food and designer clothes etc.


No harm in a holiday now and again; hard on the Wallet, but good on the Soul

The earnings take a plunge and things have to change. If you want to stay in your existing home, the Mortgage is a must, as is Council Tax etc., but everything else you’re spending money on can be reduced.

The full board holiday in Greece can become a camping holiday in France, the car can be exchanged for a smaller more fuel / taxation savings type, you can maybe shop better by looking around and as your social life may have dwindled a bit, not so expensive clothes can be purchased and before your very eyes, you find yourself in ‘frugal mode’.

This leads onto other savings like Home Fuel Bills. Turning the light off when you leave a room becomes automatic, you turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees and wear a slightly heavier jumper

Some may find this hard, some may find it fun and a new adventure. It certainly can become addictive as you find yourself showing off to family and friends how much you saved last month.

As time goes by all the above becomes automatic and for most, you are enjoying the new found self. If you’ve been forced into the situation, you may decide to stay in it and like me, just find occasional work, oddjob around, get a seasonal job or something else.
The benefits of this way of life are that you do the jobs you want to do and not what someone else tells you to do and self reliance kicks in.
Extending on, the Garden becomes a source of food as well as something to look nice and sit in during the summer.

It is possible to have a good life and not earn the amount you’re used to.

But if your ambitions are not what I’ve written, that’s fair enough. Maybe after a while you’ll find that £30,000pa income again.
It’s at that moment you have the ideal opportunity to gain in ‘wealth’ and move forward to achieve the goal you have set yourself.

When this happens, maybe don’t revert back straight away to the former outgoings, earn the extra money, but live the same frugal life for a while, or at least meet somewhere between.

What we can get out of this is the knowledge we can reduce expenditure, be more dependant on ourselves and in many cases, enjoyed the challenge.

I know someone who lost their job and had to cut down to survive. He did it and when he returned to earning more money again not only became richer, but became a better person for it. Why, because he’d been there and got the T Shirt !!

So frugality should not be seen as going down a step, it can be a springboard to future success.
Take what you learnt from it forward and life becomes much simpler, more enjoyable and a good source for future savings and better financial wellbeing.

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Read more in the Down the Lane Frugal Living Pages and ‘Tips from Down the Lane’

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One Comment on “When frugality reaps wealth”


By David Harpin. August 26th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

My Partner had a year off work due to ill health, we lived off my wage which was 1/2 of hers.I took 4 months off for a holiday with her. She went back to work but i lost my position due to the downturn.We have got by on a lot less and still seem to have just as much.
We certainly waste less and buy only what we need.We still manage to go out and enjoy ourselves and i’ve rediscovered my passion for angling.
The raised beds for the veg is on track and the wood panels and wire is sorted for the chicken run.
Life is quite good at the moment and we both are so much more relaxed .

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