If you desire more freedom in your life, strive to become more frugal.


Frugality isn’t seen as sexy

Why isn’t frugality seen in a good light (at least in the public sense)?

Well, perhaps it is the human bias that we love the fantastical. We are amazed by the “lifestyles” of the rich and famous in their yachts, billion-dollar homes, and exotic/uncommon life activities and possessions. It is very different from our ‘normal’ reality. And for most of us, we are bored with everyday/banal reality.

We strive for the foreign, exotic, new, and different.

Why be frugal?

Frugality comes from the Latin: ‘frugalis‘, which literally refers to ‘frux’ (the fruit of the earth).

So perhaps from an etymological perspective, it might mean something like:

Ability to produce much fruit with little input.

We all know how difficult is it to earn money. But it is very easy to spend money.

But what if we were able to maximize the effect and impact of our money? Better to use a little bit of money to enact a massive effect than to use a lot of money to enact a small effect.

The upsides of frugality

To me the benefits of frugality:

  1. More empowering: If you don’t need much money to do something, you have more courage, brazenness, and ability to do something!
  2. Feels better: Whenever I get a great deal on something, I feel great! I derive more joy getting “good deals” than spending a lot of money on something which might be ‘superior’. For example, I had a lot of joy squeezing out a lot of productivity out of an old iPhone 6s Plus which I fixed than buying a new iPhone XS from the store.
  3. Increased confidence: If you know you will never run out of money, you can commit yourself to all entrepreneurial risks in life!

Is technology about frugality?

A thought:

Perhaps our most ‘disruptive’ technologies are driven by the notion of frugality — doing more with less money/resources.

For example, ‘free’ is the ultimate in frugality. I would far prefer to get free online information than to pay money to get similar information in a (paid) book.

Or, the frugality of driving an electric car (you don’t need to pay for gasoline).

Or digital photography as being more frugal– you don’t gotta pay for film and processing anymore.

Business ideas

Perhaps an entrepreneurial idea:

Invent or create something that helps people save money, save time, save resources, or save hassle.

For example, Amazon saves people all of the above! You don’t gotta waste time at the store anymore, products on Amazon are often cheaper, and Amazon even offers same-day delivery!

With Netflix, it is cheaper to spend around $10 a month than to even watch 1 film in a movie theater.

With Spotify, it is cheaper to stream unlimited music (and download it in ‘offline’ mode) than to purchase and “own” your own albums.

It seems the human bias is this:

We will always prefer to spend less money.

And the best businesses do this:

Provide a service or product to people which offers them more value for less money.

On luxury goods

Luxury goods are fascinating to me. With luxury goods, you pay MORE money for MORE quality.

For example the iPhone– it costs more money, but is a superior product. Or with most designer clothes, cars, etc.

Sometimes the gains from luxury goods are marginal, but technically what you are selling people is increased convenience, simplicity, beauty, self-esteem boosting, etc.

Conclusion: Spending less is more

Spend less time, money, and resources for more. Perhaps in order to grow and become stronger, we need to become even MORE frugal.

I know in my personal life, I strive to maximize myself, my output, and my creative ideas and creations.

Being frugal should be treated like a fun game, rather than some self-abnegation or self-torture. Being frugal is more of a challenge than to spend a lot of money.

Let us strive to become MORE frugal, in order to gain MORE freedom in our lives!

ERIC

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