The word “frugality” has such a negative connotation, it’s easier understood with numbers.
1. That $3 cup of coffee that frugal people don’t purchase every morning, over the course of a 5 day work week for a 20 year career, is an extra $15,600 that frugal people have… to spend elsewhere.
2. You may not have the time to cut out coupons, but saving at least 50% with every grocery trip is worth the hour or two a week it takes a frugal person to save it. If you spend an average of $100 a week on groceries (an unrealistically low number), you will have spent $208,000 on groceries over a 40 year period. Frugal people, on the other hand, will have only spent $104,000 and have $104,000 … to spend elsewhere.
3. You may eat your fast food meals (that don’t taste very good) every day for lunch. At $5 a lunch 5 days a week, you will have spent $26,000 feeding yourself lunch (assuming you’re not paying for a family) over a course of a 20 year period, which frugal people (with their brown bagged lunches that you scoff at) have … to spend elsewhere.
4. You may spend $3000 a month for that mortgage on that larger house. Over a 30 year loan period, that is a whopping $1,080,000. Frugal people, on the other hand, who have settled for a $2000 a month mortgage, will have spent $720,000 over a 30 year loan period. Which means frugal people have an extra $360,000 … to spend elsewhere.
5. You may spend $45 (for a family of 4, tip included) to go out to eat dinner 3 times a week, for a total of $129,600 over a 20 year period. Frugal people, who eat out twice a month, will have only spent $21,600 for a difference of $108,000 that frugal people have … to spend elsewhere.
6. If you use your charge card for the pleasure of getting things you want instantaneously, you probably pay around $70 a month in finance charges (another low number for most Americans), you will have literally given credit card companies $33,600 of your hard earned money during the course of a 40 year period. Frugal people, who do have emergency situations in which credit card use is necessary, probably pay only $20 a month in finance charges for a total of paying out $9,600 dollars over a 40 year period. That leaves frugal people an extra $24,000 … to spend elsewhere.
7. You may drive a nice new car every 5 years and pay $350 a month for your car loan (another low number). Over the course of 5 years, you will have spent $21,000 on a car that probably isn’t worth that much when you trade it in for the next round of $350 payments. On the other hand, a 10 year old car that was paid off after 5 years but still gets from point A to B, has saved that frugal person 5 years of $350 a month, for a total of $21,000.
Frugality = $658,600…to spend elsewhere.