Frugal means sparing or economical with regard to money or food. Reckless means without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action. How can you be frugally reckless? It seems impossible. A perfect oxymoron.
It’s not, though. It’s the best lifestyle ever. I feel so much happiness and freedom. I put as much of my daily life as possible on autopilot so that I can focus my energy on what really matters to me. I am able to explore the world while being completely reckless and reliant on my good habits.
The goal of this blog help you build a frugally reckless life, too.
Your goal should be “to be as efficient as possible with your time and money while maximizing your happiness.”
You MUST have a good handle on your finances. You CANNOT be afraid of your money, and you have to know exactly where it is going. I recommend not spending even one penny frivolously until every penny of your debts are paid off and you have an emergency fund. At a minimum, you should be saving 15% of your gross income in an IRA or 401k (and realizing that means 30-40 years working), although I always recommend aiming to save as much as possible while still maximizing your life and focusing on your priorities. Never spend more than you earn. This is how you can become financially independent.
When you have a clear picture of where you stand, you need to evaluate your priorities. Family? Friends? Home? Travel? Career advancement? Every decision you make with your time and your money should be based on your priorities and your personal happiness.
Once you recognize what you value (and what you don’t), it’s time to develop a lifestyle and sustainable habits and to learn to make frugal decisions that support your priorities. The answer is not a crash diet. You have to put in the work to reverse any negative habits that brought you where you are today and develop new ones that help you get where you want to go. It’s never too early or too late to start.
Recklessness NEVER applies to large purchases or commitments – homes, vehicles, pets, etc. These purchases must be made thoughtfully and be based on your needs. The truth is that if you get the big things right, then in the end the little things don’t matter.
Until you reach financial independence (and maybe even after if you enjoy working), your career will take up a large part of your life and your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to take risks. When you add up the amount of time you spend at work, it makes sense to make the most of it. When it boils down to it, no job is worth doing unless it is done well.
Make sure the people you surround yourself with are able to help and support both you and your priorities. Make sure you also give back, helping them and providing support as well. Your family and friends are priceless.
When you are in reckless territory, you should always maximize spending for happiness. That means experiences, since science has proven over and over that it will make you far happier than stuff. My personal favorite is travel, and I’ve visited some amazing places.
Frugal does NOT mean being cheap or missing out on life experiences. It means being smart and patient, maximizing how you spend your time and where you put your dollars, and living the best life possible – one that aligns with your values and priorities. Once you develop frugal habits, it is okay to be reckless within the bounds your habits have created.