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Can You Become a Millionaire by Switching to One Ply?

October 19, 2016

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Can switching to one ply toilet paper to save money really make you a millionaire? Find out if frugality really is the answer to getting ahead financially.I was out at dinner the other night with a good friend of mine who is known for being very frugal.

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.

Can switching to one ply toilet paper to save money really make you a millionaire? Find out if frugality really is the answer to getting ahead financially.
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Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

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16 responses to “Can You Become a Millionaire by Switching to One Ply?

  1. I love the title of this post! 🙂

    I am semi-frugal, but like you said, frugality itself isn’t the key to becoming a millionare.

    It’s great to save a few bucks, but I think the bigger benefit of frugality is knowing HOW to spend your money when you do get it, so you don’t behave like some out-of-control lottery winner and blow all your money on stuff that’s not truly valuable to you.

    To me, frugality is more of a set of training wheels for how to manage your money, whether you have a lot or a little. And good money management is what leads to wealth. 🙂

    1. That’s a GREAT way to look at frugality. I’m more frugal than I used to be and I’m much better and remembering to only spend my money on things I really need, want, or value instead of giving in to peer pressure or pressure to “keep up”. Of course, I still slip sometimes, but I’ve learned a lot more financial self control over the past couple of years.

  2. Great article and a great point of view! I think the lifestyle inflation is much more important than living in a cave only coming out on triple coupon Thursdays LOL. Have a great day!

    1. Thanks Steven! I totally agree! In fact, I recently wrote about how I have inflated my lifestyle in some areas and that it can actually be a good thing. I do want to save and pay off debt, but I also want to live my life and have fun. It’s definitely about balance!

  3. I really like Lindsay’s comment above about frugality being the training wheels for money management. I wonder if people focus on frugality because it is easier (not easy, but easiER) than increasing your income. I look at the amazing work you did, Kayla, to get yourself where you are today, and I genuinely don’t believe I have the stamina to walk that route! (My wages are reasonable to begin with, so maybe at this point I’m just not uncomfortable enough to make the effort).

    1. I get what you are saying. I think frugality is usually the first step people take because they can probably find at least a couple of immediate ways to cut spending. If they’ve never lived on a budget or analyzed their spending before, they can probably cut some things right away like their cable bill, maybe getting salon services, eating out as often, etc. Increasing your income is the way to really get ahead (in my opinion), but it takes a little more time and effort to show up in your bank account than cutting spending today.

  4. Me too. I am a spender at heart and sometimes try to be frugal. It’s really a matter of balance, but being frugal most of the time is more helpful when it comes to saving money more. Loved the conversation you had Kayla.

    1. Thanks Kelly! I struggle with being frugal. I’m more frugal than I used to be, but not as much as I sometimes think I should be.

  5. I am on a spending ban because I found that I was spending way too much on things that didn’t add any value to my life. I think it is a balance though. The thing is if you don’t get spending under control any additional money you make will get spent. The goal of my ban is to swing things to the opposite extreme while I explore what I really want to spend on. Right now travel tops the list!

  6. Haha I would have laughed also by her comment on the one ply thing. I think the concept of frugality can help achieve financial success faster. For all those who have not yet cut down their expenses to necessities only I think its a great idea to do that.

    I mean I have pretty much cut down my expenses to the bare bones but dont get me wrong, I splurge way more then I need to on restaurants and stuff.

    1. I have definitely cut some things from my budget, but I don’t think I can live on a necessities only budget for a long period of time. I think I’d feel deprived and end up splurging anyway.

  7. Girl preach! For two years I lived on the skimpiest $800/month budget and it was terrible. The only fun thing that I did was watch Netflix and I probably shouldn’t have even had that. It’s a terrible way to live. At some point you’ve cut all the fat and you need to start making more.

    Oh and by the way I lived on this money in Omaha, NE where the cost of living is generally lower than the rest of the U.S. (for the most part). I have found that big wins help me more than little wins. BTW, I now love buying Charmin and Cottonelle. ^_^

    1. I hear you on the low cost of living being a big help! I live in rural Kansas, just “down the road” from Nebraska. 🙂 I know I’m still not as frugal as I probably could be, but the current level of my budget works for me.

  8. You make some great points in this article! Being frugal is a great idea, but how much can you actually afford to cut out from your budget? Also happiness is definitely a key factor when it comes to living a frugal lifestyle. It is important to save money for emergency funds and to pay off debt, but to what expense? If you aren’t happy in life then you are doing something wrong! Not to mention 1 ply toilet paper hurts, I am more of a 2 ply person to be honest haha!

    1. Yes! These are exactly the things I was thinking. I do think being frugal is a good practice, but as you said, you have to find a good balance between frugality and spending on things that make you happy. 🙂

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