My Frugal Manifesto

Peg-at-Independence-HallThe Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines manifesto as “a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group.”

So, here goes…

My Frugal Manifesto: 8 Principles for the Good Life
by Peg Cheng

1. Live your values
My core values are creativity, service, humor, compassion and frugality. If I could not live these values, I would be unhappy, I would be lost at sea. Thankfully, I am able to live these values pretty much every day and they’re reflected in how I spend my time and money. What are your values? Are they reflected in your everyday life?

2. Live below your means
Don’t spend more than you earn. Simple way to live free and stay out of debt.

3. Pay yourself first
What this means is put a specific amount of money away into your retirement account and your savings right when you get paid. Then, live off the rest. I admit that I’m good at putting away for retirement but not always for savings. It’s something I’m trying to get better at.

4. Pay with cash, not credit
Truth be told, I do order some things online that I can’t get in stores. It makes me feel better that when I do this I’m using a credit card that gives me points (which I’m saving up to trade in for a flight to Europe). But on a daily basis, I use cash for my purchases. It’s the simplest way to avoid debt and understand the value of the dollar. Marcus and I take out a specific amount of cash each month for groceries, supplies, going out, etc. When we run out of cash, we stop spending. If you’ve never done it before, try it for a month. You’ve got nothing to lose and only knowledge to gain.

5. Quality over quantity
I don’t like having a lot of things and the things that I do have, I want to be things that I love, that will last a long time. As William Morris said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You tell ’em, William. Buying quality means I might spend more money up front, but I will spend less money in the long run because my things will last longer.

6. Used can be just as good as new
If you don’t believe me, you need to go to a Goodwill in a rich or well-off neighborhood. You wouldn’t believe all the great stuff people donate! Of course, don’t buy it just because it’s cheap. Buy it only if you need it.

7. Health is #1
When in doubt about something you want to spend money on, ask yourself, will this improve or preserve my health? If yes, go for it. Your health is the most important thing. Without it, you’re either dead or miserable or on your way to one of them.

8. Relationships matter more than things
I shouldn’t have to explain this, should I? Okay, fine. The relationships you have with people you love matter more than money and things. If you find yourself surrounded with money and things but not good people, then it’s time to change. Stop spending money and instead, spend time with people that matter to you.

That’s it. That’s my manifesto. I hope you find it helpful to your own frugality journey.

It seems appropriate that I include a photo of myself standing in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, at the site where our founding fathers debated the Declaration of Independence, for my last post for Super Frug. I mean what is the Declaration of Independence but a manifesto for our nation?

Yes, Super Frugers, you heard that right.

This is my last post.

I’ve blogged about frugality and the joys of buying less and living more for the last three years. I enjoyed writing all these tips and I hope you enjoyed reading them. Now it’s time for me to move on.

Curious what I’m up to next? Go here for my latest projects, passions, and gigs.

I wish you all the best, now and always!