It’s important to save for retirement. It’s sensible to have an emergency fund. It’s essential to live within your income and not go into debt. But where did the idea come from that people who are frugal and live simply… can’t… or shouldn’t… have nice things? Or that they should feel guilty if they buy something new?

It amazes me that so many people equate frugality and financial savvy with denial and a spartan lifestyle. I think they’re missing the point. Frugality is not about how much you can do without or how little money you can spend. True frugality simply means that you don’t waste your money on things that aren’t important to you so you will have that money for things that ARE important to you. What those important things are will be different for each person.

Being obsessed with NOT spending money is just as bad as being obsessed with spending it, because in both cases the emphasis is on money and stuff. Planning and saving for the future is important, but it’s also important to live in… and enjoy… the present. There should be no guilt in wanting or buying something new on occasion.

A thoughtful, sensible use of your money sometimes includes spending it.

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Thank you for this post and for your blog. Your articles have been an immense help to my husband and I and you have helped us understand that frugality and simple living is not the do-without depressing life we had thought it was. We are new at this and we are being cautious in the life style changes we are making but we keep rereading your articles and you have no idea how much help you have given us. Thank-you thank-you thank-you!


I have been wanting someone to say this. Thank you for this wonderful blog.


I have a couple of friends who pride themselves on their frugality, and any time I buy something I find myself hiding it from them because they are always so disapproving. I’m very sensible with my money, I don’t spend it on foolish things, but sometimes I like to splash out on a new purchase — and I can afford to do this. I have savings and emergency funds and have money socked away for my retirement, but I also spend a little money now and again. So kudos for this post, it needed to be said.


I’ve just found your blog and find you very sensible. Many have an entirely too extreme view on what frugality is. We don’t buy “a lot” of things but what we have are good quality and durable goods.


Awesome post! Thank you for this simple reminder.