Debunking Silly Arguments Against Frugality

September 21, 2017

(a set of persuasive arguments to pass along to your favorite spender.)

Introducing the finest anti-frugality arguments money can buy, and the reasons why they’re wrong:

1. Frugality is boring and restrictive. Where’s the fun in that?!

You’re just not getting it. Frugality is freedom from the cubicle, or free vacations in Aruba, or enough cash to buy a modest house outright. What’s restrictive about that?

Frugality can be thrilling. After all, it’s the art of getting more for less, and requires research, knowledge, negotiation skills, and a level head. If you like an ongoing challenge, and rebelling against the status quo, then frugality is anything but boring.

If your definition of fun absolutely requires large sums of cash, you’re the problem, not frugality.

2. I earn the money and I should get to buy what I want, when I want it.

Great! But did you know that delaying consumption (aka not getting what you want when you want it, but rather waiting a while until you get it) increases happiness? Delayed gratification is like free happiness. You get the thrill of the anticipation as well as thing you want.

Not to mention, you sound righteously entitled.

3. Being frugal makes me feel poor.

Oh no no no. If this is your anti-frugality argument, it’s so weak. Answer me this, is it worse to feel poor or to actually be poor? Because if you continue to consume, you’ll probably be poor.

Did you know that many of the richest people in the world practice frugality on a daily basis? That’s why they are wealthy…

Don’t believe me? Well, that’s what the book The Millionaire Next Door is all about. Read it. I promise you will never be the same. 

4. Being frugal is too much work.

And your point is…?

Ok, I’ll give it to you, it’s a little extra work to always hunt down the deal. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. You know how the saying goes – if it’s not difficult, it probably isn’t worth it.

Besides, frugality is only hard at first. Then you get used to it, your lifestyle changes, and frugality becomes habit. You learn to love it in the end.

5. Being frugal won’t increase my income. Making more money is easier than pinching every penny.

Why does this have to be an either/or situation? Wouldn’t it be best to make more money and also be frugal with how you spend it?

You’ve hit on a key concept in personal finance.

Most people who make more money just spend more money. That’s called lifestyle inflation, and it’s the reason that many who earn a high wage have a net worth in the red.

If you make more money and save more money, then your savings rate goes up. This translates into having more money to get out of debt, build wealth, become financially free, and eventually live your dreams.

And let’s be honest, dreams take money. Depending on the dream, it could be a lot of money. If it does, your chances of actualizing that dream are a lot slimmer if you spend every cent you make.

6. What’s the point in saving all that money if you never enjoy it? Why would you choose to die with tons of money without ever living your life?

Hey kid, do your homework. The goal of frugality is not to see how much money you can penny pinch into oblivion. The goal is to  be free from the oppression of debt and to have the freedom to do the things you really want to do in life.

Want to quit your job? Frugality is your way out. Want to travel the world? Frugality is your ticket. By consciously saving where you can, you can actully have the freedom to enjoy the things you really want in life.

So, in essence, by being frugal and eventually financially free, you could actually live more of the life you crave than if your finances are controlling your so-called life.

7. I don’t want to miss out on fun with my friends and family.

You don’t have to. The power play when it comes to friends and family is to suggest frugal alternatives, like potlucks instead of restaurants, Netflix instead of movie premiers, and frisbee in the park instead of bowling.

You’re real friends will stick around, and your family, well, they’re not going anywhere.

Debunked!

If your anti-frugal, those must have stung a little. But, you know, the truth always does. Are there any other arguments that you’ve debunked? Let me know with a comment.

If you’ve already joined the bright side of frugal, where the cash is always greener, pass this along to the doubting Thomases in your life.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

43 Comments on "Debunking Silly Arguments Against Frugality"

avatar
Davey Pockets
Davey Pockets

All very good points. The truth is you need to both bring in money AND be frugal with it. Being frugal alone doesn’t do much if you don’t make crap! Lol but at the same time its just as bad if not worse to have a huge income but nothing to show for it. A little bit of both can go a long way!

No Nonsense Landlord
No Nonsense Landlord

Financial independence makes frugality worthwhile. Sometimes I think I might want some other things, but when I think about how much longer in the cube farm I would have to toil, I wait it out.

Andrew
Andrew

Great post and great answers to the most frequently cited reasons against being frugal! Being frugal has such a bad connotation but there are so many examples of those who practiced frugality who achieved financial freedom. You can’t put a price on that. It’s much more valuable than a new flat screen T.V. And love Love The Millionaire Next Door!

Shannon @ Financially Blonde
Shannon @ Financially Blonde

I love this post! I was one of those people that thought that just because I worked hard, I was entitled to spend my money however I wanted to. Now I say that you work hard to make the money so you should work hard to make sure that money doesn’t leave your bank account. I also used to have the misconception that frugal people were just “cheap” now I know that frugal people are just smart about their money choices.

Old Dude
Old Dude

I have sent this to my younger employees. I am approaching retirement and all about delayed gratification. I am retiring with a lot of money, mostly acquired through investing over 30 years maxing out in 401Ks and also investing in stocks of great companies like Apple, Harley, McDonalds and Marriott with Dividend Reinvestment plans saving on brokerage costs. To prepare for retirement, instead of worrying about pinching pennies like most people have, I am looking at boats and planning nice vacations. I have pinched enough pennies. Time is on your side as an investor.

T Rose
T Rose

Love this article. Here is another great book;
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
Thanks to my Dad, Paul, for teaching me to be frugal!

Belinda
Belinda

Love it!!!! Great arguments. Have heard some of these from friends of mine, who do a lot of spending – especially numbers 1, 4, 5 and 7.

Kristin @ Brokepedia
Kristin @ Brokepedia
Awww yeah. This is my favorite topic lately. “Why does this have to be an either/or situation? Wouldn’t it be best to make more money and also be frugal with how you spend it?” So true! And when you focus solely on earning more and throw frugality out the window, you just end up inflating your lifestyle when you do earn more. Nothing wrong with enjoying your earnings, but at some point, if you want to build wealth, you have to live below your means (aka be frugal). Also, I can’t stand it when people get cheap and frugal mixed… Read more »
jefferson
jefferson

I remember having many of these thoughts a few years ago..
Non-coincidentally.. this was also the same time that we were running up debt.

At some point you have to learn and accept that spending money is not the path to happiness.

The Stoic
The Stoic

Fabulous!

People want to reject frugality because it flies in the face of what pop culture says is the good life. Our parents and grand-parents were right in instilling in us a strong work ethic, go to college, get a better job and enjoy material gain. Between then and now some great things have happened in productivity and it costs very little to live really well.
If ever there was a need for a strong philosophy of life it is now.

Natalie @ Financegirl
Natalie @ Financegirl

I really like number 2. It’s almost an entitlement mentality that really drives me crazy.

DivHut
DivHut

Frugality cannot be measured in strict dollars and cents terms. It is a thinking, a way of life and a mindset that one must acquire. One you internalize a frugal mindset achieving financial goals becomes much easier. It almost becomes an afterthought. Thanks for sharing.

Hotandhumid
Hotandhumid
I was lucky, I was raised by a frugal mom. I have find memories of sitting at the table gluing down Green Stamps! My parents only had a mortgage on their first house, they bought it for $12k in 1962. Two new homes later moms house is worth $450,00 although she only paid $220,00 – cash! When I applied for a mortgage the lender called me back in, wanted to know what name/SSN all my debt was under 😉 I have never laid awake wondering how I’d pay the electric or any other bill, I’ve heard about it though. Seems… Read more »
Belle
Belle

When all our friends were taking expensive vacations, buying new cars every 3 years, eating out, we we’re slowly plugging along & saving. My husband retired 4 years ago @ 54, and I’m planning on next spring! Frugality Rules!

Nate @ The Frugal Soldier
Nate @ The Frugal Soldier

Love this post Vanessa. So many people have a misconception of practicing frugality. To me it is definitely a mindset. It leads to peace of mind, wealth, and so many other wonderful options. I blog about this topic daily and live it as well. You have mentioned some great perceived notions about frugality and have educated us all. Thanks for sharing.

wpDiscuz