Have you ever regretted being frugal? One Reddit user seems to be doing just that. At 63, he feels as if his best times are behind him.
He had resolved to be financially independent early, and at the age of 30, he had already paid for his house and had a second mortgage on a rental property. He did not take vacations, opting to be paid for it instead, and did not travel or engage in any social activity.
Now, money is no longer gratifying, and he feels like he regrets being so frugal when he was younger. His post on Reddit was met with mixed reactions from other Reddit users.
We have sampled some of the best responses from this conversation here.
Be Frugal on the Right Things
One user notes that when one is frugal about the right things, they can still enjoy life, “I am slowly learning that being frugal is about being frugal on the RIGHT things so you can still enjoy life. For example, on vacation, I’m frugal on flights and lodging so I can spend more money on experiences and tours. At home, I’m frugal on transportation (public/walk/bike over Uber) to have more money for entertainment.”
There Is No Good Balance Between Saving and Living
Another urged the OP to create a good balance between saving and living, “Striking a balance between saving for later and YOLO is a classic problem, but it’s a good problem to have. A lot of people don’t have a choice; it’s either live frugally or burn.”
People Wait for Too Long Before Having Fun
According to another user, the time to enjoy life is now as the OP already spent a long time living frugally, “Living frugally may not have felt great before, but now you have enough money to still live frugally, and the time to have fun so please do it! I know people who rent out their homes on Airbnb (their kids manage any guest issues, or you can pay someone from the rental income) and live on a cruise ship, traveling the world on different ships and using reward points from paid trips to go on free trips. They love it.”
Some People Do Not Live Within Their Means
“Don’t be cheap. It’s okay to spend money on things that bring you joy. Just live within your means and save some money for your future and rainy days,” advised another user
Some People Are Frugal With Experiences
The OP should be frugal with materialistic stuff; as one user notes, “My takeaway is to be frugal with materialistic things, but not with experiences. For one thing, there is no guarantee that your health and quality of life will be there when you reach retirement age.”
Search Social Connections
Another person urged the OP to seek meaningful social connections, “In my experience, this is a great time to make new friends, people are retiring from work and looking for new friends, and many people have lost their partners to cancer or divorce and are looking for a new circle of friends. Join senior clubs; libraries offer tons of great programs for seniors; join a church or a service group. Being frugal filled your cup before, but it sounds like you need something different to fill your cup.”
They Become Bored
One user advised the OP to get a job since he felt he was bored because of living a frugal lifestyle, “If you really are tired of living frugal – which, of course, was your choice unlike people who are taking advantage of those government programs – then you have an easy option. Just get a job. It sounds like you are bored, and a job is going to be something that will take up a lot of your time.”
Money Does Not Make People Happy
Money prevents people from being unhappy, but it does not exist to make them happy, as one user noted, “Money doesn’t exist to make you happy – it’s a necessity that prevents unhappiness due to financial need. If you don’t use it properly, it can be a source of unhappiness, and it sounds like that’s what happened in your youth.”
They Do Not Build Good Memories
“I was mostly a wastrel up til I was about 30. Early on, I saw that experiences, especially when you’re young enough to enjoy them if not fully appreciate them, are the real wealth. Now I’m old. I’ve got SOME money. But it’s my memories that really keep me buoyed,” said another user
Do Not Wait Until You Are Too Old and Feeble
When I was in my 20’s, I went to Hawaii (Maui) for the first time. We did a bus tour of the road to Hana. When we got to the black sands beach, everyone got out to explore except for this elderly couple. I created a story in my mind that they probably saved their whole lives for this trip and now don’t have the physical ability to fully enjoy. I never forget that couple. Don’t be so frugal you let life pass you by.
People Do Not Do What Makes Them Happy Now
“Do what makes you happy now. If you don’t know what that is, start volunteering. You could help children learn to read. You could work in a food bank. You could work in a garden….I can’t think of the kind….you know, the one that people can tour. If you sew or knit, you can make things for military babies or children’s hospitals. There is so much you get to do. Travel if you like it. Eat really good food. You worked hard, and now it has paid off,” illustrated another user.
Not Having a Financial Security Blanket
Not having a financial security blanket can be devastating as another user notes, “My approach is to be frugal in some areas so I can be extravagant in others. I also like the idea of having a financial security blanket. A lot of my savings are for emotional and psychological comfort. Even if you do have a part-time job, knowing you can literally walk away from it and be OK is, to me, worth all the frugal effort.”
Being Frugal Does Not Mean You Should Suffer
One user points out that one does not need to suffer for being frugal, “Frugal does not mean you should suffer. It means to be financially responsible and wise in how you spend your money. Treat yourself sometimes, invest, and be generous. It pays dividends. Just don’t cut off your leg to save your foot.”
12 Frugal Hacks That Make All The Difference
A Reddit user who started the frugal journey with his wife a couple of years ago wanted to know the frugal hacks people had that made all the difference.
According to the OP, shopping grocery sales every week and planning their meals helped cut their bill from $250 to $100 per week. Other users shared their stories about frugal hacks they had that made some difference in their lives. Here are some of the best ones.
12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude From Their Shopping List
Frugal people are known to spend their money wisely. They live within their means and don’t spend a lot of money. According to a thread on Quora, here are some common things frugal people never buy.
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Have you ever wanted to make a lot of money from a side hustle and quit your 9 to 5? You may know about the typical side hustles, but I bet you never even heard of these lucrative side hustles!
9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money
Not everything is frugal! I am sure you have read articles and tips that promote frugal living and give some ideas that are just not frugal! These frugal myths float around and sometimes even cost people a lot of money!
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.