As a student of frugal living, I always get a chuckle out of how people react emotionally to economic hard times, instead of preparing intelligently for them. Many start poor-mouthing and hunkering down like theyâ€™re avoiding incoming missiles. Why? Were they living â€œhigh on the hogâ€ and then got scared?
In many cases, thatâ€™s exactly why they react the way they do.
In other cases, theyâ€™re just following the hysteria fueled by headlines and sound bites in the media. Either way, it might be time to change our approach to something thatâ€™s a bit more rational and in-tune with the idea of financial self reliance.
Hereâ€™s what I do â€“ all the time â€“ not just when the economy turns sour. It works well for me.
- -earn as much as I can
- -save as much as I can
- -meet my needs first and foremost
- -take the long view
- –invest in me first
- -spend carefully on wants
- -never try to buy happiness
- –ignore the media, TV especially
What is the net result of all of this? Well, first and foremost I save money. Since money is a resource, itâ€™s like having whatever money can buy, stockpiled wherever it is you keep your money.
Second, and this is very important, I donâ€™t have to change my behavior at all, no matter how the economic situation may change or be perceived by others to have changed.
Third, I donâ€™t play â€œcatch the waveâ€ like many of us have seen in families, businesses and government. You know, programs and spending expand with seemingly no bounds, then when money gets tight everything gets pulled back like a turtle pulling its extremities inside its shell. They all go into an austerity mode until someone says itâ€™s all right to â€œgo back into the water againâ€ and play fast and loose with finances.
For me, frugal living is a lifestyle. Itâ€™s not a fashionable thing. Itâ€™s a reasonable way to live my life everyday so I have peace of mind with respect to my financial situation.
If people would live their life in a frugal manner at the start of their careers, many would be surprised at the small fortune that can be amassed later in their careers simply by being financially conservative with the money they earn.
Whatâ€™s wrong with a little well deserved financial security? I think it beats the hell out of playing â€œcatch the waveâ€ over and over again.
Clair Schwan is focused on frugal living and conservative financial decision-making. Living by his own principles, he amassed a small fortune by age 36, then lost it all because he started listening to others. After shedding the bad influences in his life, he regained a focus on his guiding principles and pulled himself out of bankruptcy and â€œback on topâ€ in just 7 years. Heâ€™s implementing a frugal living approach to life â€“ for the rest of his life.