Frugality is getting the best value for money. It’s not about paying the least amount or accumulating the most number of things. That’s cheap not frugal. You want to focus on quantity not quality. You want to be value oriented, not stuff oriented. When you’re mindful about your purchases it has an enormous impact on other areas of your life as well. You start having more control over other aspects of your life. You improve the over all quality of your life.
We live an intentional frugal life. What does a frugal life entail? Is it all about scrimping and pinching? Do we live a life of deprivation? It’s actually quite the opposite. We live a well lived life without paying any interest and we don’t have any debt either, alhamdulillah. A debt free life allows you live a stress free life and not paying interest brings you abundant blessings from Allah(swt).
Frugality has a lot to do with how you spend your money. You want to be able to spend money without regretting. These regrets usually come from the following-
- Frivolous buys- a sports car that you don’t need, an appliance with all the bells and whistles, a pair of stilettos etc.
- Getting things because everyone else seems to have them- a house that put you on debt and you’re paying interest, vacations trips or cruises where a lot of your friends are going that you can’t afford etc.
- Unplanned or impulsive shopping trips- Items that are too cheap to pass, sales and discounts, convenience items etc.
The purchases that we make are intentional, mindful and well planned- a lesson learned from living the frugal life for many years. You want great quality items that consistently add value to your life, increase the quality of your living and last a long time- eventually paying for themselves. For example, I bought this Breadman panini maker over 11 years ago that’s still going strong alhamdulillah. All the paninis and sandwiches that we ate over the years instead of going to Panera have paid for it a few times already.
Instead of wasting money on impulsive, trendy items, we invest in great quality items that we enjoy regularly. Here is where we spend our money without regret-
Great quality food is fuel for your body. You want to focus on quality and not quantity, cutting out and cutting back on junk/processed/fad food improve your health and decreases mental fog and fatigue. Fewer bags/bottles/jars also mean less time shopping and organizing and more time pursuing your goals and more down time. Buy the food that’s best for your family- getting USDA organic, locally grown food and foods grown without pesticides and hormones. Develop the habit of buying good food for your family. A lot of the times we spend more for our purses or a big flat screen t.v than what we eat. We buy our purses from Michael Kors and then buy our food from a store that cost the least. Out family’s health must be a priority before anything else. Here is a list of the dirty dozens to get you started on your way to healthy eating insha Allah.
If food is fuel for your body then books are fuel for your soul. We are consistently working towards providing great books for ourselves as a family. You want to get your kids hooked on good books and start a collection before they learn to read. I have bought books from everywhere, from used book stores to Barnes and Noble. A home library is a great way to instill the love of reading in your kids. You do not have to have a huge house or an entire room to create this library. A few shelves and a comfortable place to sit and read is all you need.
Experiences and skills-
The result of investing to gain an experiences and to learn a skill can be life transforming. We learn all sorts of things, from quilling to quilt making by hand. You can use these knowledge to make a living if needed or wanted. The skills enhance your life in many ways and make you more self-dependent. I taught my kids to sew, mend and alter, and the lessons came in handy when we were getting ready for a trip once and my pants needed mending that was taken care by my then 10-year-old. It saved us time and money and the stress from running to a shop at the last-minute before our trip. You can also teach others what you’ve learned and get rewards from Allah(swt). There is no limit to learning and I believe you can learn anything if you’re persistent and hard-working insha Allah.
Another way to learn something is to experience it through participating, like travelling for example. You do not have to visit far away places or exotic lands to enjoy and learn. You can start by getting to know your city more and your state better and then use these experiences to travel farther.
Sadaqa is the investment for the here after. The reward however is enjoyed here as well. It’s amazing how Al Kareem enriches your life with His blessings when you spend for His sake to seek His pleasure only. The amount doesn’t matter, the intention followed by consistent action does. Make plans on how and where you want to give for charity. Find out organizations that support a cause that resonates with you and find out more about them before you make a donation. Diversify your charitable donations to earn more rewards. Don’t think your budget would allow you to be more charitable? Here are many ways to be charitable when you’re on a budget-
We like to use great quality items for everyday life. This applies to all the items we use regularly and occasionally- from toothbrush to tires. We try to refrain from making impulsive purchases, like something random at the store check out or trendy things like a Cake Pop maker. I’m also averse to buying single purpose items like meat shredding claws – I can get away with using a fork instead. I like to take my time before buying something and use this time to find a great quality item. I’m happy to wait if I anticipate a better price for the item that I’m looking to purchase. I make do or do without in the mean while. I also realized, while waiting sometimes, that I don’t need that item anymore. Patience does wonders I tell you ;).
You want to use good quality things for your family. Often times we “save” things for another day- nicer clothes for parties while wearing shabby clothes at home, better dishes for company while using chipped and worn out things for ourselves, and hijabs too pretty to enjoy everyday so wear the plain ones instead. This is a trick from shaitan to create false hope to keep us away from living the best life now. Allah(swt) gave you all these blessings now so you can enjoy them in the present, there will be other blessings for other days from Al Wahhab.
So eat good food, wear nice clothes and live in a beautiful home- do your very best with what you’ve now insha Allah.