11 Freedoms You Gain by Spending Less
Spending less often feels like a chore, but it's actually one of the most freeing tasks we can set our minds to. Learning how to save money through frugal living and smart shopping makes many things easier and can get you that much closer to your long-term life goals. Keep reading to find out how. (See also: Ways to Save $100 or More a Month)
1. You'll Be Free to Enjoy a Reduced-Stress Retirement
It's never too early to think about the future. Saving for retirement is a challenge for many, regardless of age. Spending less can reduce some stress about how you'll live on a fixed income. Use this AARP calculator to see just how much your budget reductions may be worth, if you were to invest them. (That's a key thing to remember: always bank your savings!)
2. You'll Be Free to Do What You Love
Too many people are trapped in jobs they hate because they need the salary to survive. When spending is under control, you're free to take a job that inspired your passion, even if the paycheck is less-than-competitive. (See also: The First Step to Finding Your Dream Job)
3. You Can Enjoy Tax-Free Earnings (Sorta)
It's far easier to spend less than make more. And when you increase your disposable income this way, it pays off on tax day. "The money you save from cutting spending isn't taxed — more income is taxed. Every time you take a frugal step, your savings is after taxes — meanwhile, any increases in earnings that you accrue are still yet to be taxed."
4. You'll Be Free to Prepare for Emergencies
Ask most people what they're afraid of, and they'll say the unknown. The future is full of potential, for both success and disaster. Somehow those disasters have a way of hitting us in the wallet — hard. Spending less means you're ready for an unexpected expense whenever it pops up. (See also: Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund)
5. You'll Have Less Clutter
Until it's time to move or do some spring cleaning, we rarely realize how much clutter has collected around us. This clutter drags us down, making it difficult to be comfortable and productive. When we spend less, we free up valuable space in our spaces, minds, and bank accounts.
6. You'll Be Free of Debt
A big chunk of unnecessary spending is made possible by credit cards. While perfect for instant gratification junkies, that temporary happy feeling comes at a high cost. Spending less with credit cards means paying less interest, which in turn puts more money in your pocket. (See also: The 10 Commandments of Credit Card Use)
7. You'll Be Free to See the World
Is the wanderlust strong in you? Do you long visit new places and experience new cultures? Spending less is an easy way to boost your travel budget, so you can stop saying "someday" and book your flight sooner rather than never.
8. You'll Be Free to Enjoy Happier Relationships
Look up any list of common relationship problems and you'll see "money" up near the top. Money (or usually a lack of it) stresses us out and creates conflict with those we love. Spending less frees us up to enjoy time with our loved ones without worrying about our finances.
9. You'll Be Free to Champion a Cause
We all have things we're passionate about, from saving the planet to finding stray animals a new home. When you create financial stability by spending less, it frees you up to donate time and resources to the causes you love.
10. You'll Be Free to Expand Your Skillset
When we commit to spending less, it compels us to get creative. Maybe you'll need to repair that coffee maker instead of buying a new one. Or maybe you'll DIY that lamp with materials from the thrift store instead of rushing out to Target. Being frugal means reduce, reuse, recycle, and reawakening DIY skills you didn't know you had.
11. You'll Be Free of Eco-Guilt
If you're worried about protecting the environment, spending less is an easy way to reign in consumption of natural resources, as well as the creation of waste. When you're focused on the essentials, your carbon footprint shrinks automatically. (See also: 10 Easy Ways to Be Nicer to the Environment and Your Wallet)
What freedoms have you gained by spending less? Feel free to share them in comments!