Growing up and bearing witness to the financial tumult of my parents, my spending habits have become increasingly strict. Instead of being frivolous with my money, I choose frugality because I understand how money disappears faster than a burglar from the scene of a crime. I’ve repeatedly told my friends and family how I actively fear spending money because of this fact. In some ways it’s haunting, but these two things – fear and frugality – have been instrumental in my financial success.
At the risk of addressing the obvious, living as an independent adult isn’t like shooting fish in a barrel. Expenses stack up to rival the height of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Rent, gas, insurance, groceries, food, heating oil, car repairs, utilities – the expenses can quickly accumulate to such a dizzying state that it can be stressful at best and crippling at worst. Yet I’ve been able to overcome this with my own approach so I’m not succumbing to stress or collapsing under the anvil of myriad costs that shows no mercy.
I’ve relinquished a lifetime supply of college bonds and the entire sum of inherited money - not to mention countless paychecks - to my parents to alleviate their own financial adversity. Despite this fact, I’ve been able to attend college for three years, buy my own car, and live independently in a considerably sound way - with some obstacles presenting themselves along the way – with virtually no debt to my name. I’ve also traveled to Hawaii for three months with no financial support from anyone, friends or family alike. I’ve been able to do these things through my own toil (at multiple jobs, mind you) and tenacity…and, of course, with a bit of fear and frugality. (Can you tell I fancy some alliteration?)
I’ve also been fortunate enough – through my own desire to approach life pragmatically and logically - to dodge expenses that others may subject themselves to. I cook all of my meals instead of habitually dining out. I’ve escaped materialism so I’m never tempted by “things” – not to mention the sky-high tabs that come with them. I travel on foot to work and back instead of relying on driving services. The list of “little things” that I’ve abstained from for the well-being of my financial state truly goes on. Eschewing these things, combined with my toil and tenacity and my deep-seated fear and frugality, has coalesced into a wonderful synergy that has turned my financial story into a financial success story.