Today, I want to expand on the reasons why leading a frugal life is essential to a good and healthy lifestyle, and how embracing frugality has been beneficial to me.
How it all started
As some of you might already know, my frugal quest started after experiencing a burn-out last year. I quit the job that had pushed me into this burn-out without even having applied for anything else. However, I did not have enough financial resources to stay at home and recover, and so I took on a part-time, temporary job as a customer service emloyee. It definitely served as a lesson and I’ve been on a strict frugal regime since October of 2016.
Besides that, I majored as an Art Historian at the University of Ghent, which was a fabulously interesting course. Sadly, it has been very difficult to find a job in the field I majored in. It’s been quite a disappointment for myself that I haven’t been able to find a job in a museum, or art-related.
Being frugal has altered my life vision
Experiencing a burn-out and not being able to stay at home to recover, created the profound need for saving money. And by saving money I mean: creating a cash fund that can cover 6 months of living expenses for both my partner and me in case anything difficult happens to us.
I’m happy to report that I’m currently at 75% of that target. I hope that by the end of June, I will have reached my financial goal.
My next goal is to put enough money aside during the years to come, to enable myself to take some time off in a foreseeable future and to just try to find a life purpose that’s more suited to the person that I am. And by this I mean: living a more artistic and creative life.
I realised that living a frugal life would allow me to pursue my life goals. And that’s the first time since I graduated that I can see a way out of the life dictated by the nine-to-five-rat-race. Of course, it’s going to take af few years to reach this goal, but that’s fine.
Frugality versus jobs
I’m also happy to report that I’ve found a job that is fulfilling and suited to my personality, even though it has no connections to the world of art at all. I’ve been at my current firm since October, and I feel proud in what I do every day and that is really important to me.
However, I do experience every single day that time flies by when you live and work in this nine-to-five regime. Seven days out of ten I will be completely exhausted when I get home, and it takes me a good few hours to recuperate. I’m sure once I get settled into my job a little bit more, things will evolve for the better.
Knowing that I’m saving up for this life goal of creativeness helps me get through everything.
The peace of mind that comes when you have a financial plan
My first goal was to create a cash fund that would cover 6 months of living expenses. As I started putting more and more money into my savings account, I felt less stressed out and most of all, more in control of my life. I now know that if something were to happen (job loss, accident, running out of chocolate…), I’m covered. It’s empowering, really.
Moreover, the end of the year 2016 brought quite a few Christmas presents in the shape of bills for taxes and medical insurance. Having been really frugal, I was thrilled that I could pay those bills without any trouble (I’m taking about a total of almost 2.000€).
In short, this is what frugality does for me:
- I was able to create a life goal and map out my life accordingly
- More money in the bank = less stress!
- Peace of mind
- More appreciation for all the things I already have, material or immaterial
If you want to know how to reach your life goals, click on this link for an article. Also, here are some tips for saving money on your shopping budget, how to get furniture for free, or 7 free things I enjoy in life.
And you? Do you think frugality can help you achieve your goals?