Is Extreme Frugality Necessary for Financial Peace?


“I genuinely love your budgeting system, but generally disagree with you on what seems like a focus on frugality over convenience / indulgence. Not that either of us is wrong, I’m just no good at going without!”

That’s a comment from Jason on my post about deciding whether to sell my car. If any of my family or close friends were to hear a person accuse me of extreme frugality, they’d laugh until they passed out. I’ve never been what you’d call the most conscientious money manager.

What Jason is seeing in my recent posts is an exploration of a new mindset – the idea that money should slow down a little as it passes through my hands.

I’m NOT trying to be dogmatic – avoiding consumption for its own sake. I still plan (and look forward to) $150 meals out with my wife. I’m keeping my unnecessary house, and I’m up in the air about getting rid of my car. But at least I’ve thoroughly hashed out the costs and benefits of those decisions, so they’re no longer causing me stress.

For me, that’s the rub:

If a habit or a mindset is causing you stress, take a long hard look at it.

This applies just as well to extreme frugality as it does to loose spending.

At the end of they day, if you’re:

…and working toward living on last month’s income – you’re winning.

I’ll continue to beat up on my big expenses, questioning their value in my life. Hopefully you’ll do the same, but you should never feel stressed, judged, or wrong just because other people consume differently than you do.

Find your sweet spot, and enjoy it!