Why I don't believe in the frugal living trend

WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN LIVING A FRUGAL LIFE | Julia Day | Easy As VAT | UK financial coach for women

When I think of “saving money” or being “financially savvy”, the first thing I think of are programmes like Extreme Couponing and SuperScrimpers (remember the woman who made a necklace out of paperclips?) where the people are making their lives unnecessarily difficult.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! It’s totally possible to be smart with money without walking around in jewellery made out of office supplies, with a hair mask made of mayonnaise and holding up the queue in Tesco with a book of 10p off vouchers. So here’s why I don’t believe in frugal living.

I value my time

Sure, I could maybe save some money by making my own shampoo, cleaning products and deodorant, but to be honest, I’d rather pay a little more for the convenience and use the time I’ve saved to grow my business.

It doesn’t actually save you that much money

A lot of frugal living advice actually costs more money than it saves.

For example, is it really worth shopping in three different supermarkets to save £5? If you’re driving between them your petrol costs will probably cancel out that small saving. And again with the time thing! I hate food shopping, so i’d rather pay the 10p more and get out of there more quickly.

I like nice things

I’ll admit it, I like lovely things! And if I can’t afford them, I’d rather not buy them than make a rubbish alternative myself.

Keep in mind as well that the cheapest option will generally be of lower quality, which means you’ll have to keep replacing it - this means you’ll spend more money in the long run.

I want to enjoy my life

This is the main gripe I have with frugal living - it seems to be about stripping the enjoyment and convenience out of life! Sure, if I live off baked beans until I’m 35 maybe I could retire early, but is it worth it? Not to me.

I like going out for food with my friends, expressing myself through what I wear and the morning ritual of getting a takeaway latte. If I can’t afford those things then I won’t do them, but if I can afford to enjoy my life while saving money, why wouldn’t I?

Life is happening now, I don’t want to miss it.

Of course, it goes without saying that I’m in the very privileged position of not having to be frugal - the people I’m referring to in this post are the ones living this way by choice. This is simply my opinion on why it isn’t for me.


I'm a financial coach helping women to to manage their money and live fulfilling, financially sustainable lives. If you're ready to take control of your money and reach your financial goals, click a button below to find out how I can help you to master your money.

I also create courses and resources to help female entrepreneurs to manage their business finances.