Achieving financial empowerment through frugality

Being frugal can help grow your wealth and secure investments without sacrificing your dream lifestyle, says Serina Bird.

Many will assume that being strict with your money will restrict you to a basic lifestyle.

Well, Serina Bird proved to KnowHow Founder Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that being frugal will in fact lead you to financial empowerment, and still enable you to live ‘the good life’.

Serina is a money coach, author of The Joyful Frugalista and host of The Joyful Frugalista podcast.

Her frugal habits have been engrained from her youth, and her mission today is to showcase how great opportunities can be created by spending less.

“I [have] had to field a lot of comments from the media and others about how it’s not really fun. It’s frugal, it’s a lifestyle. I was like, ‘well, what’s the alternative? Going out and racking up a whole lot of debt on your credit card?'” Serina said.

“Being in touch with your finances and having that sense of empowerment, of being in a good financial position, it can help you sleep at night. It gives you choices. It’s just amazing.

“Saving is so important. But you’ve also got to have the confidence to make that money work for you. So it’s not just about saving.

“It’s the whole picture of how you get your money to bring you joy, to have your values in alignment with your purpose and passion.”

Serina said it’s important that ‘frugality’ is seen as an action word, rather than a derogative label.

“When you talk about frugality, traditionally this brought up a lot of really negative connotations for people. It’s almost the worst insult in a way … most of us have a deep need to be seen as generous, abundant, loyal and kind, rather than scrooge, mean, stingy and poor,” Serina said.

“But frugality is quite different … it’s all about resourcefulness. It’s all about that challenge of, you know, say, for instance, doing the research to find the best deal. And that sense of satisfaction when you land that deal and it doesn’t cost you a lot of money, it’s pretty amazing.”

Serina emphasised that by being patient and disciplined, you’ll reap the long-term benefits of frugality. It particularly gives you a better perspective on the ‘big picture’ and helps you to make the best financial decisions.

“Every dollar counts now. There are little quirky things I do at home … and sometimes I wonder whether this really makes a difference in the scheme of things. I’m probably only saving to three dollars here, five dollars here, ten dollars here. But then I realised that it is in fact all those little bits that make a difference,” she said.

 “Often because I’m spending the time saving in small amounts, when something shiny like an investment comes my way, before I go ‘that’s going to be the next best thing since sliced bread’, I sort of go, ‘well, how much is this really? Let’s look at the real numbers here and what I have to work for this. Can I get a better deal?’

“It’s just this mindset of always looking at things totally, because it means that what you’re doing in the minute and day to day rolls into how you then look at the bigger picture … and that allows you to be successful not only in the small things, but in the big things at the same time.”

Serina also reassured that your quality of life doesn’t need to decrease when you’re frugal, as long as you have the right ‘money education’.

“[My Mum] she really did teach me a lot about how to look really good without necessarily spending a lot of money, and about how to invest well without necessarily breaking the bank doing that, and just how to do things in different ways,” she said.

For those looking to adopt frugal habits, Serina said to start with focusing on your food expenditures and negotiating your finances.

“People are often really busy and we think, ‘why should I bother?’ Well, really, what are you working for? You’re working to earn money, and so saving on food is a really big and obvious one,” Serina said.

“Secondly, it’s just renegotiating everything … and going through all your bills. You can save yourself a week or two worth of work.  You can go on a holiday for a week or two based on the money you will save doing that. So it’s really makes a huge difference.

“Mortgages is a big one. That’s not something people do so often because there are certain fees involved in that … but still, do your sums. I do my sums about every two to three years … I check my energy bill once every 12 months and make a few phone calls to see if I can get a better deal.”

Listen to Bushy Martin’s full interview with Serina Bird here.

Want to Know How you can build wealth with the help of leading, qualified experts? Talk to the team at KnowHow, now.

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