Until this past year, frugality got a bad rap. Many people misunderstood, assuming it's nothing more than being "cheap" when, in reality, frugality is making sure that you get the most from the money and resources you have, even if they are limited.
For those who are just beginning to embrace frugality as a part of their lifestyle, here are 10 frugal commandments to live by.
Thou shalt not buy things you don't need. To get the most from the money that you have, it's essential to have a basic understanding of the difference between wants and needs. Chances are that a lot of things that you assume are needs are only wants you have disguised as needs in order to justify purchasing them.
Basic needs are food (including water), shelter and clothing plus the essentials needed to work so that you can provide those basics. That means that the TV (and virtually every other gadget in your house) is a want and not a need. Having the willpower to buy only those things that you really need (being frugal doesn't mean being stingy, but it does mean that any wants you do have are specifically saved and budgeted for as opposed to impulse purchases) is essential to getting the most out of frugality.
Simply put, if you don't need it, don't buy it, no matter how good the price.
Thou shalt only buy when you have the money. One of the basic premises of frugality is having the money to pay for the things that you buy. By budgeting and saving for those things that you want and paying for them with cash rather than using credit, you ensure you aren't paying far more than you should be for the products and services that you buy.
Those who are frugal are usually a generation or two behind on the latest gadgets, but they still perform the functions that need to be done and they get them for a fraction of the price.
Used products are often a fraction of the price of the new models and in many instances perform the needed task just as well.