She’s frugal not just by my point-of-view, but by everyone who knows her. I have to clarify because y’all know I’m not very frugal, so almost anyone can be more frugal than me. 🙂
We were talking about money, because that’s what we like to do, when she said she was going to become a millionaire by switching to one ply toilet paper. That’s the only “frugal switch” she was going to make and it was going to make her rich beyond belief.
Now, before you start thinking she’s crazy, I should tell you what preceded this part of the conversation.
We were talking about frugality and saving money when I flat-out said, “I don’t coupon anymore because it doesn’t really save me money“. (That’s a whole ‘nother post.)
“Plus, you’ll never get rich just by being frugal.”
This is when she piped up and said she was going to become a millionaire just by switching to one ply. After which, we all laughed hilariously.
Now, let me tell you why you’ll never actually become a millionaire just by switching to one ply.
Why You’ll Never Become a Millionaire Just By Switching to One Ply
In this case, what I really mean is that I don’t think you can frugal your way to becoming a millionaire.
Sure, saving money is great. Everyone should save money so they can build an emergency fund and put money toward other savings goals. But in general, I don’t think frugality by itself is the key to becoming a millionaire, or whatever other figure you want to use to symbolize being rich. 😉
One reason I don’t think frugality is the answer to reaching financial goals is because there’s only so much you can cut from your budget.
Once you’ve cut all frivolous spending, you are still left with needing to pay for things like basic shelter, food, clothing, and yes, toilet paper.
I also know that most people won’t be happy if they never spend any money on things they enjoy. Yes, there are free hobbies you can participate in, but most people will spend at least some money on the things they enjoy. If your income is low and frugality is the only thing you are doing to get ahead financially, even small purchases could set you back on your financial path.
Think about it.
When I was earning around $2,000/month at the beginning of my financial journey, I could barely make ends meet while paying my minimum debt payments. There’s no way I could make leaps and bounds at paying off debt or building an emergency fund, let alone any of the other financial goals I have. I didn’t even really have enough to live off of when you consider what I should have been saving for non-monthly expenses like annual doctors appointments, taxes on my car, etc.
So What’s the Answer?
In order to get to the point that I even had the option of putting extra money toward my financial goals (or spending it on some lifestyle inflation to help my health) I had to find a way to earn more money, not be more frugal.
Most people who you see really rocking it financially are the ones we are being frugal most of the time but still spend money on the things they value and enjoy. They do this by finding time and ways to earn more money, creating multiple streams of income, focusing on passive income, and by investing.
Yes, the most financially successful people I know actually do all of these things in combination. You should too if you really want to become a millionaire.
Should You Stop Being Frugal?
By no means do I think you should stop being frugal, or trying to be frugal in my case, because frugality is still useful in helping you achieve your financial goals.
The income you earn will still go further when you are frugal. You’ll be able to put more of it toward debt, savings, or building a passive revenue stream if you are frugal.
Frugality and saving money isn’t something that comes easily to me as I’m a spender at heart. I’m still trying to find a balance between frugality and just earning more money to help me pay for the things I want out of life. But I haven’t written frugality off entirely and I don’t think you should either. Just remember next time you spend 10 hours clipping coupons that switching to one ply just to save money isn’t going to make you a millionaire.