Everyone is using the term ‘sustainability’ these days – heck, even I’m doing it! I’ve traded the word ‘frugal‘ for sustainability. Why? Too many people think of ‘frugal’ as cheap or coupon-clipping and not what it really is – smart and continuing. To sustain one’s lifestyle as in living within one’s means. Sustain-ability.
Mostly, the term ‘sustainability’ is used when referring to the environment but sustainable living can happen for the wallet, too. And, when your wallet is living a sustainable life – meaning one that can afford today’s lifestyle while still considering what lies ahead in the future – everyone is happier. And when you’re happy about your financial picture, there’s less stress which makes for a healthier life, too. (Healthy and frugal living make a good pair – find out why.)
Happier and healthier living based on the sustainability of a wallet? Yes. It’s called budgeting.
Budgeting is how we have money to do what we really want. Whatever financial goals there are – building a nest egg, saving for retirement or traveling the world – knowing how to budget, save money, and be frugal helps us get there.
The only way to have money is to save it. The only way to save it is to live below one’s means – regardless of income changes. Keeping expenses low and consistent – and living frugally – is the key to having money to save.
Sustaining a lifestyle that’s affordable – today – and takes into account the future’s financial needs makes everyone breathe a sigh of relief. Money troubles are stressful but living and budgeting for wiggle room instead of paycheck to paycheck gives peace of mind. And makes people happier. And that keeps us healthier.
How are you feeling about your finances? Happy and healthy or stressed out?
Go Gingham related links:
Debt – you decide on the level you’re comfortable with
Budgeting and how to track expenses – Part 1
Budgeting and how to track expenses – Part 2
Budgeting and how to track expenses – Part 3
Living a frugal life by choice: strategic frugality
More related links:
- Kiplinger’s “Are you saving enough for retirement?” quiz. I only got four right but you get to take it again. I didn’t bother because it seems like saving more is better, right?
- Wall Street Journal’s “Are you saving enough for retirement?” Good news for 401Ks and super cute photo.
- Time/Money’s “Here’s how to tell if you’re saving enough for retirement” I suggest viewing this as a list and while it’s heavy on infographics, they make some good points.
12 thoughts on “Sustainability for the Wallet”
Start saving young: every raise, every windfall. Even if there are multiple sources of income, live on one income. Put the other income sources toward any outstanding debt you have.
And save more than you think you need. Retirement expenses will increase as you and your family members age.
Karen, I think that is really good point – “And save more than you think you need.” I have been reading lots of articles recently about how people think social security is going to be their source of income for retirement. That’s not a good plan.
Thanks for your perspective, Karen. 🙂
I couldn’t agree more, Sara. All the electronics, shoes, and new clothes in the world don’t compare to money in the bank!
Vanessa, we are two peas in the same pod on that! Although, you know I love shoes!! Buying them at Goodwill is the way to go 😉
Thanks for writing in, Vanessa!!
But I so, so loved “fancy, frugal, and fun”! Sustainable just doesn’t roll off the tongue in quite the same way. 🙂
Oh, Rita, I’m still frugal, fancy and fun!! 🙂 You are right about that!
We just spent the last month buying only groceries and gas, nothing we just “wanted”. It was hard to pass up a few things, but not that hard, and it will feel good to have a bigger pile of cash in the bank!
Ohhh….Erin! Very impressive! I like it and can’t wait to read about where you’re traveling to next! 🙂
What a good way to save money and add to your nest egg! Keep it up!
I like the wallet sustainability concept! We had a difficult year with “elderly parent issues” and I am definitely on the “save, save, save for retirement” bandwagon–you never know what financial challenges may be lying ahead.
So true, Kris! Plus, don’t forget about college! It’s not an inexpensive endeavor. Yes, scholarships help but they don’t cover everything.
Keep up the good work saving!! 🙂
Oh my gosh, your post struck a BIG chord with me! I love using the word “sustainable” in lieu of “frugal.” People tend to equate frugality with hardship, deprivation and becoming less. Sustainability is associated with continued growth and renewal. From now on, I will describe my lifestyle as sustainable. Thank you Sara for my new terminology and keep up the good work!
Yay! I like your life-STYLE, Nikki! You nailed it.
Thanks for writing in and have a great day ~
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