Once you know the motivations behind the frugal mindset, you might be inspired to become frugal or enhance your frugality skills. Here are the incentives for being frugal.
Advertising professionals spend their days trying to figure out ways to get you to buy products whether you need them or not. Many of their advertising messages are communicated within a span of 30 seconds –- the length of most television commercials. In that amount of time, advertisers work meticulously to create a message that will have a lasting impact on you whether you are aware of it or not. The repetitive exposure to these ads through various mediums –- television, radio, print, and the Internet — is how advertisers invade your psyche and inject their message into your consciousness, albeit mostly into your subconscious mind.
Advertisers come at you with various manipulative messages about THEIR idea of what it takes for you to be beautiful, handsome, successful, confident, happy, popular, and healthy.
What most people end up doing is buying a lot of STUFF that they don’t need. In many cases, people spend millions of dollars throughout their lives on stuff that creates no long-term value. Much of it is just thrown into the trash. What a waste!
The perfect example of how advertising can manipulate is in the promotion of tobacco. Through extremely clever advertising and promotional activities with Hollywood studios, cigarette manufacturers convinced the world during the early to mid-20th century that their product would make a person sexy, cool, successful, and powerful. What a crock! They did this with a product that has the unquestionable ability to KILL or maim its user. And it is extremely addictive! So not only did cigarette companies brainwash the public but they got them physically addicted to a highly poisonous substance as well. I read that pure nicotine has been used to euthanize horses!
If you want to learn more about the way society has been brainwashed about tobacco and how to quit on your own, I would recommend that you RUN (if you still can) and get a copy of Allen Carr’s book on how to stop smoking. Also, check out the recommended books list under the category “Addiction Cures.”
Tobacco is an extreme example, but I believe it serves well in making my point about advertising’s ability to brainwash billions of people. Think about the trillions of dollars we could save and use on more worthwhile things if we would just stop buying unhealthy products.
Frugal people stay aware of advertisers’ messages and schemes and they simply ignore them. And they do so with considerable satisfaction in knowing that they beat them in their own game.
Frugal people also know to ignore the remarks by spendthrift friends and family members who insist that they should “break down and enjoy life” and buy this or that product. These are the same people who have very little savings and have their credit cards charged to the max! How smart is it to pay an extra 18-24 percent or more on every purchase because you bought it using a credit card and you are only able to pay the minimum amount each month?
It’s Fun to Beat the System
Once you realize that you are being manipulated, it’s fun to ignore advertisers’ messages and find alternate ways to achieve the same results without paying a lot of money.
On a small-scale, there are thousands of ways to do this. For example, why buy trash bags when you can use the countless number of bags that you bring home from the store! On a larger scale, if you want a little sports car that will turn heads, buy one that you like that’s a few years old and customized it to your own unique tastes in terms of color, upholstery, sound system, and wheels. You’ll save a lot of money and there won’t be another car on the road like yours anywhere in the world!
New vehicle purchases are a great example of how people allow advertisers to control them. Advertisers have convinced society that we need fast, luxury, prestigious vehicles to feel good about ourselves. How much difference is there in terms of reliable, comfortable transportation between a high-priced luxury vehicle and a low-priced semi-luxury economy vehicle. When you remove all the barely used and often breaking bells, whistles, and gadgets from high-priced luxury vehicles and compare it with their low-end counterparts there is not much different in their ability to get you to and from your job, the grocery store, or a weekend getaway. Not only do you pay more for a high-end luxury vehicle but you also pay much more for registration, tax, insurance, gas, repairs, parts, and accessories.
On a day-to-day basis, buying generic brands that usually have the same ingredients is a great way to beat the system. You save a ton of dough and you get the same benefits!
If you choose to be frugal and you get creative, you can figure out hundreds of ways to beat the system.
Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean Being Cheap, It Means Being Smart
Often spendthrifts will belittle people who are careful with their money. They tease the frugal person about not buying the latest gadget as they always do. They may have every gadget, appliance, and electronic device ever made but they don’t have any savings and their homes are mortgaged to the hilt. Where does it end? They end up with a house full obsolete gadgets and a mountain of debt!
Frugal people recognize the senselessness of buying every new gadget that comes along. Frugal people recognize the stupidity of trying to keep up with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. These issues are best explained in the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley, Ph.D. & William Danko, Ph.D.
The spendthrift buys things right away without much, if any, research or consideration on whether they truly need a particular product or not. The prospect of being emotionally satisfied as promised by advertisers’ messages drives them to buy.
The frugal person first considers whether they truly need a product and then they thoroughly research it in order to get the highest quality product for the lowest price. A frugal person is not influenced by an advertiser’s promises because they filter out these messages. They might use an advertisement to learn about the existence of a particular product, but they make their final decisions about it based on their research and not from the emotionally charged ads.
Frugal Lifestyle Gives You More Freedom
If you are careful with how you spend your money and you consistently save as you go along there is less need to work overtime, take a higher more stressful position that you don’t want, or even work full-time. This gives you more freedom to do the things you want.
When you don’t waste your money on stuff you don’t need you end up with more savings, more time, and an earlier and more fulfilling retirement.
Frugal Beats the Spendthrift Every Time
When it comes to purchases, frugal people get better deals and higher quality products than spendthrifts. Spendthrifts are usually oblivious to discounts and sometimes even quality, and they are often taken advantage of by clever advertisements and salespeople. The larger the purchase the greater the divide between them in terms of what each person ends up paying for a particular item. And when it comes to cars and homes the amount can be enormous!
Frugal people live a more relaxed and financially secure life than spendthrifts. Spendthrifts are often in debt and stressed out by their self-created circumstances.
Frugal people work fewer hours, have more free time, and retire earlier than spendthrifts.
Which would you rather be? Which life would you choose?