Living stingy is about controlling our wants but having our needs met without stress. We can reasonably achieve and maintain by taming our wants and sticking to spending less money.
Living stingy may sound odd to many people. Yes, very odd, especially to those who see this as an aberration. It often receives a bad rap because it gives a bad picture of someone cutting back on purchases, couponing excessively, and refusing to share.
Since being conscientious about one’s expenses does not inherently render one generous or stingy. The two should not always go together.
Living stingy is inextricably linked to budgeting. One of the fundamental concepts of budgeting is gaining an understanding of where your money is going. It leads to making better, more thoughtful purchase decisions and not just depriving yourself of enjoyable purchases.
To those who are used to extravagant or reckless spending lifestyle, a stingy lifestyle may connote a sign of poverty.
One thing is certain; we’re the sole owner of our money (or wealth). We have absolute control over how we use, spend, dispose or disburse it.
The only caution here is how we are spending our money or use our wealth without causing harm or psychological distress to other people.
What Exactly is the Definition of Living Stingy?
Let me begin by saying that to every extravagant person, living stingy means “being ungenerous, miserly, mean, close-fisted and glue-fisted and sometimes penny-pinching.”
Curiously, I’d ask myself and other people, “if exhibiting some wise restraints from acquiring what I don’t really need is being miserly?” It is astonishing to hear those who choose to live an extravagant life branding my choice of economic life ‘stingy.’
Whichever way others may see it, those of us threading this economic path always enjoy better economic freedom. I would call this liberty over any form of lavishness.
Conversely, we view and see those who spend their money carelessly as spendthrifts, prodigals, and squanderers lack total economic wisdom.
These people cannot imagine wasting their hard-earned money on ‘irrelevant things’. Things they do not immediately have needs for.
If we sweat to earn some money, we should be wiser spending it, not wasting it.
Hard-earned money that is not picked from any trash basket needs some economic wisdom, intelligence, some mind searching, and prioritizing before flaunting it on irrelevant items.
Let me delve into the economic side of stingy living and extravagance. Stingy living portent meeting our basic needs which are necessarily required for a good, stable, and healthy living.
In comparison, extravagant living drives us crazy to acquire those things that are not totally necessary to our survival.
Needs vs. Wants
The economic interpretation of NEEDS and WANTS is very pertinent in this case. The interpretation rings a bell in my ears each time I need to spend my money.
‘Needs‘ are basic things that are required for our survival. Needs are essential, easy to meet and very limited in nature. ‘Wants’ stems out of personal craving, longing, desire for (probably irrelevant) things. No direct bearing on our stable and healthy lifestyle. Needs are satiable, not elastic.
‘Wants‘ are hard to meet, unlimited in nature and very elastic. Wants are practically insatiable.
Sure, we need some pairs of shoes to go about on a daily basis. If we want many more shoes than we reasonably needed, it makes no economic sense. Why should we keep thirty pairs of shoes in our home? This means a pair of shoes per day for a whole month. This means using one pair of shoes bought for $150, twelve times for the whole year!
I view this as a colossal economic waste. Even kids that are stingy with their toys enjoy the use of such toys for a longer period. This is in comparison to other kids that are too generous and carefree with theirs.
What are the Signs of Living Stingy?
Check this! Spending requires careful planning before earning money and setting our personal economic budget right. It is about getting our priorities right on a scale of preference, and not going outside our set target.
This pre-spending gauge prevents us from any ostentatious or impulse buying.
We understand that naturally, money reluctantly flow-in through very narrow conduit pipes laden with some resistors.
We’re also not naïve to know that money can flow out through a wider, un-impaired outlet. Hence, we devised our own control-valve or gauge-valve to monitor and control the outflow of money.
For instance, some years ago, I worked in a company located several miles away from my home. There are options for using expensive car hire services, boats, trains, or coaches.
This helped me to make some savings to later get my own car without taking out a loan. I enjoyed my economic freedom and liberty—no monthly loan repayments.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Living Stingy?
- Economic freedom and liberty: This lifestyle may seem a bit tense at the onset, but it guarantees economic freedom and liberty. In contrast, those ‘living-larger-than-real life’ runs themselves aground in the mainstream of economic games. Financial stability and freedom from undue financial pressure are what to enjoy.
- Stable and healthy living: Nothing weighs one down than a burden of debts and loans. Loans may be good for investment purposes but not for ostentatious life. Taking loans to services personal wants is nothing more than digging a lifetime economic grave. Accumulation of loans and loan debts may eat you up faster than cancer.
- Ability to build a strong financial empire: Building a financial empire is not a thing of one day, one month, or one year. It is a gradual exercise arising from self-motivation and self-denial. A lifestyle within purvey of one’s financial capacity and capability gives a strong footing to future investment and self-sustenance.I am really thrilled by the story of Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, who recently passed away in faraway Kenya. He shared his story of living stingy to rise to be a financial giant.
- Planning spending before earning: One great working strategy one learns is the pre-planning tool of what to spend on what. How to spend it and when to spend it. This strategy curbs unwanted and unwarranted expenses. I see it working and very useful at taming unnecessary impulse spending. Lavish and showy expenditure is carefully eliminated.
- An absolute sense of value: Understanding the concept of ‘need’ and ‘want’ re-engineered my sense of value. The consciousness of weighing the derivable values of item A which costs almost three times than item B, which basically serves the same purposes. It makes me cherish how vital it can save me from unnecessary showy spending.
Even with its numerous pros, it is not without some oversights. In as much as it may sound interesting, there are some underlying factors that make it not totally infallible.
- Society stigmatization: It is almost becoming a societal norm for everyone to flaunt their wealth irrespective of whether they are getting the right values for their lifestyle. Why must a second or third party be concerned about what we buy, what dress we wear, and how much our car costs?
- It is not without a cost: It should be our concern to weigh the pros and cons of every spending. There will be times we try to curb or over-curb our ‘wants’ by ignoring some purchases. We should wave them off, saying “I don’t need them” or “I don’t need them now.”But there comes a time when urgent needs arise. The price at this time can be enormous. Either the prices had shot up astronomically, or the items are no longer available.
- Over self-denial: It may lead us to deny ourselves of some good things that we always wanted. Forgetting that our failure to absolutely ‘enjoy’ some things practically to our own detriment. Leaving the fruits of our sweat to enjoy is not a palatable thought. In extreme cases, that may consequently be the result of living stingy.
8 Practical Tips to Living Stingy:
Living stingy will help you meet your financial goals. You may be able to start a college savings account for your children, pay off your student loans, or buy a lovely home if you work hard enough. When you compromise a little bit to save more, you are emphasizing things that matter. Here are some tips:
Make a Budget of Zero Dollars
One way to begin living stingy is to live on a budget. One of its most critical aspects of guiding the financial future is having a budget.
Budgeting with zero dollars will assist you in allocating each dollar to the most appropriate location. That means you can budget for each dollar you get. The strategy will assist you in analyzing and making proper adjustments to strengthen your situation in the future.
A budget also keeps you from wasting money on things that aren’t important. Examine your desires and needs, and scrutinize what purchase to ensure you were getting paid.
Consider buying items that you need and cannot live without, rather than items that you want.
Monitor Daily Spending Habits
You will be able to reassess your everyday expenditures if you stick to a regular schedule and cut out any needless costs. Set a standard spending limit for yourself and stick to it.
Try to build and stick to a weekly or monthly spending budget. Your spending patterns will gradually shift as a result of this. You can be frugal by resisting all chances to spend money. It can include figuring out how to reduce your everyday expenses by eliminating a few things that can be avoided.
Reduce Subscription Plans
You’ll need to cancel any of the plans if you’ve been automatically subscribing to some. The majority of today’s online retailers have enticed us to sign up for various programs, some of which we never use.
You should check and cancel a few of the subscriptions. Leave only the ones that address your most basic needs and desires. It would help if you also committed to refrain from signing up for automatic subscriptions. You should wait until your finances have stabilized.
To create better financial security, you should reduce unnecessary recurring costs.
Convert Unused Household Items Into Cash
We occasionally purchase household items that we either do not use or use for a short period before abandoning. If you go through your belongings, you will be shocked by how many unnecessary items you still have.
Why don’t you declutter every space in your house, including the garage, closet, and kitchen? It will not only make your home more spacious and orderly, but it will also give you some extra cash.
You can sell the discarded items by participating in yard sales. You can also use applications like Facebook, LetGo, OfferUp, and others.
Some nearby thrift stores will also accept used goods in exchange for cash. Though they can purchase the products at a lower price, it relieves you of the burden of and selling the items yourself.
Cut That Cable
Save money on your cable bills can also be a part of living stingy. To watch your favorite TV shows, you no longer need to pay an arm and a leg for a cable subscription.
You can access TV entertainment for less money. Use one of the many streaming services available, such as Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video.
Register with Cashback Websites
Discount coupons and cashback will also help you to save money by allowing you to earn extra money.
To join the cashback offers, sign up for free at cashback websites like Drop, iBotta, and Ebates.
Making referrals will help you earn cash. For making referrals to their stores, these websites receive a small compensation. The sites then take the fees they deserve and give them to customers for cashback.
Look for a Side Hustle or a Part-time Job
Finding a new source of income can be highly satisfying. You can give up a few hours of your free time to work a part-time job. Start a side business that can earn you up to $200 per day.
You can try your hand at online freelancing tasks such as social media management, and content writing. Generate additional income by investing your money in other revenue-generating activities.
Why not use the extra money to pay off a mortgage or put more money together for retirement.
Find Free Fun Activities
Just because you are financially savvy or on a limited budget does not mean you cannot be happy or indulge in enjoyable activities.
If you enjoy engaging in pleasurable activities, you can continue to do so at no cost. You can engage in a variety of free activities in your area at any time.
Consider attending activities like Eventbrite. With Eventbrite, you can participate in free local outdoor concerts, day trips and much more.
Living Stingy: My Last Notes
To be explicit, stinginess gone wrong can quickly devolve into self-centeredness, greed, and selfishness in various forms.
Try to support people in need as best as you can. If you can assist someone who requires tangible goods, do so.
Living on a tight budget is no reason to avoid helping those in need. So, rather than thinking regarding stinginess as a vice, consider it a way of life. This can positively alter your monetary trajectory.
I have to conclude that living stingy and its attendant pros cannot be waived off. I appreciate the fact that it leads to financial freedom and stability. It must be embarked upon with some checks and balances. Pursue it with caution and moderation.