Does Frugality Necessarily Lead to a Lifetime of Regret?

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6 Responses

  1. I think you did a great job explaining the trade-offs involved when pursuing financial independence, as well as answering your rhetorical question.

    It really does all come down to identifying and being honest about your personal preferences, lifestyle, and what will make you happy. There are people who can be happily FIRE’d on less than $20,000 a year, and there are people who would not be happy at $100,000 a year.

    The great thing is that if you are honest about your needs and wants, you can pretty easily figure out the number you need to achieve those goals, using the 4% rule or some derivative of it.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    • Joe Freedom says:

      Thanks for the visit and the comment ROMT. Yep, we all have a sweet spot, and the trouble (and regret) comes when we’re not honest with ourselves about what that really looks like.

  2. Steveark says:

    I was extremely frugal living on six figures considering my income. I never met a single person in my income range who spent as little. Consequently early retirement was easy. Now I’m retired at the same spending rate. Joshua had a point, I never once had to say no to something I truly wanted and I still don’t. If I had really sacrificed to get to 40 or 60k I do believe our quality of life would have suffered. We’d have still been happy, but I think a little less happy. Why give even more inheritance to my kids who are successful on their own? I don’t believe it is wrong to live within your means if you have substantial means. And I got the means by winning in the corporate game.

  3. Arrgo says:

    Great analysis Joe and I agree. Its not so much about being “frugal” as it is having the right mindset. Chances are we’ve been heavily influenced by many years of marketing on TV and by society in general. You can’t enjoy your life without going out to eat every week, taking high end vacations, or buying expensive top of the line toys. But the truth is you don’t really need as much of that stuff and you think you do. The top-tier/ premium product or service doesn’t always mean its right for you or offer the best value. Even if you can afford it, having some self-control and enjoying some things in moderation is usually the best path to follow. Not out of greed, but I’d rather have more of that money to maintain my financial independence than excessively blowing it on over-priced stuff. Liked your comment about continuing to work a job you don’t like just to fund an expensive lifestyle. Many of those jobs are demanding, stressful, and require extra hours every week. Its good to make that money but at what cost? That can definitely lead to regret also.

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