Four of us will be sharing our stories today at the SaveUp 2011 conference. Well, parts of our stories – we’re limited to 12 minutes apiece.
Our fellow DealPros voted the four of us having the tales they most wanted to hear. We’ll be talking via live stream, and you’re invited: If you RSVP and then “attend,” your name will be entered into a drawing for an iPad 2.
But why stop with only four stories? The folks at Savings.com asked that all the DealPros write about their frugal journeys today. They call it “synchronized blogging.” (A demonstration sport in the next Olympics?)
Thus you can read some 40 different stories. Those journeys are as different as we are from one another – and as similar, since we all practice some form of mindful spending.
The luxury of choice
The stories vary because there’s no one way to be frugal. All of us love stretching our dollars, but in different ways – and for different reasons, such as:
- Being thrifty now to meet future goals (family, house, paying cash for a car)
- Lifestyle shifts due to downsizing or medical issues
- Environmental awareness – reducing, reusing and recycling
- Wanting to be home with our kids
- Having a career that is fulfilling but that doesn’t pay much – hence the need for careful money management
- Planning to retire early
Here’s why I do it: Because it has let me live on my own terms.
Frugality kept me afloat during major life changes. It got me through an interminable divorce, allowed me to help my daughter as she struggled to come to terms with disability, and enabled me to get through college at midlife without student loans.
Being careful with money means I can remain a freelancer instead of having to take a 9-to-5 job. That in turn lets me travel, both to visit family and friends or to go to entirely unfamiliar places like the United Kingdom. I can accept invitations to events like SaveUp or the Financial Blogger Conference instead of having to decline because my boss won’t give me the time off.
Call it voluntary simplicity, call it living intentionally – I call it the luxury of choice. In the past six years I’ve been given a lot of opportunities. Frugality has allowed me the option of saying “yes.”