Buying a home with cash is a Simplymuslimmom goal. It’s a delayed gratification sort of goal that requires quite a few lifestyle changes. We choose to live a deliberate frugal life to make this goal come true insha Allah.
However, virtue overdone becomes a vice. Frugality is not an exception either. It’s easy to land on either side of extreme, over spending or over scrimping. If you’re not cautious, you can end up being cheap of instead of becoming thrifty. I try to be careful so I don’t become cheap or stingy in my pursuit of living a frugal life.
Here are 11 ways I try to strike a balance in frugality-
I don’t buy bio-hazard products-
I refuse to buy products that are toxic for the Earth, no matter how convenient they are. I don’t buy Styrofoam products, cleaning agents that contain toxins etc. I try to purchase things are responsibly produced, to conserve the rain forest and the ocean. Does it cost more money to buy environmental friendly products? Yes, it does. But reducing our carbon footprints and conserving the Earth means the world to us and we would rather not scrimp on that one.
I don’t spend hours to find coupons/discounts-
I refuse to spend hours to look for coupons and discounts to save money, especially on non-essential, discretionary items. The hours spent are usually not worth the savings. I’m frugal with my time and money and the money that can be saved from a coupon must be worth the time I’d have to spend to get it.
I eat halal food-
Halal meat cost is more than regular meat where we live and I’m happy to pay this price to feed halal food to my family. I read food labels and choose restaurants carefully to avoid consuming haram ingredients. Sometimes it entails making food from scratch at home, but so be it. Alhamdulillah.
I tip well-
Technically, I’d save money if I hadn’t paid a tip for a service that I’d received. But, if I can’t tip 15%-20%, I’d rather not take the service. I’d rather do it myself or do without.
I don’t eat junk or unhealthy food-
I rarely use coupons to buy food, unless it’s $$ off of a certain amount that our local Whole Foods and Safeway sometimes offer. We cook almost all our food from scratch and you can rarely find any coupon on whole, healthy foods. Surely I can feed my family on super cheap or junk food for almost free using coupons. But I refuse to sacrifice our family’s health to save money. I’d rather eat less but eat well.
I don’t skimp on heat and air conditioning-
Keeping the heat and air conditioning very low can save yo money but you’re likely to suffer during hot and cold weather. The suffering is not worth the savings. Instead, we choose the be mindful about our energy usage. You can find ways to insulate your home well in winter and summer to help you save money on the energy bill. You can feel better by using the energy sparingly as opposed to cutting back too much on them and feel poorly.
I celebrate traditions-
We try to save in certain areas so we can spend a little more in others. One area where I don’t regret spending money is on our family traditions. These are Islamic and family traditions that we value and don’t scrimp on them. We make memories through these tradition and I try to make it fun and memorable.
I don’t lie to save-
I’m not willing to lie or be dishonest to save money- using expired coupons or by lying about a discount/promotion. It doesn’t matter how big or small the saving is, our integrity as muslims is non negotiable. A lie, no matter how trivial it may seem is still being deceitful. An expired coupon or a lie may save me some money in this world but that saving won’t matter to the next.
I don’t cut corners on zakat or sadaqa-
Cutting corners on paying zakat or sadaqa is not an option for me. Allah(swt) gives me anyways, His(swt) blessings are not dependent on what I spend on zakat or sadaqa. I would rather spend to please Him than trying to save by clinging to my money and not be charitable.
I don’t compromise with beauty-
I want my home and the people who live in it to look and feel beautiful and I don’t compromise on that, be it buying natural beauty products that cost more than it’s toxic counterparts or finding great quality, nice clothes. I also enjoy living in a beautiful home and enjoy decorating it seasonally.
I don’t clutter my home with free stuff-
It took me a while, but I learned to say no to free or almost free stuff that have no real purpose in my life. Ignoring the temptation of cheap stuff at no cost to you takes time and practice. The end result is a clutter free home and a clearer mind.
I enjoy doing my hobbies-
Hobbies are not free, not most of them anyways but I don’t want to cut out my hobbies to save money. I like to make things and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I also like to read, and although it’s mostly free thanks to the great libraries that we have, I’d buy a book if it’s useful to me.
As much as I like to live a frugal life, I try to indulge in the small, fleeting blessings that Allah(swt) sends my way all the time. A balanced, happy life is a blesses one and that’s what I strive for inshaAllah.
Do you live a frugal life? What do you refuse to do to save money?