It's good to be frugal. It's almost required if we are concerned about the environment. Recycling and conserving resources are two ways that we can be frugal and protect the environment at the same time.
Another benefit from the frugal lifestyle is we have more control over where our money is being spent. If the lifestyle is embraced to meet a goal, such as paying down debt, then there is more focus needed to meet this goal. When debt is paid off, what remains is your money and the choice of how to use it. The goals change. Perhaps more is put into an emergency fund or saved for a vacation. The freedom to do what you want with the money is priceless.
Some frugalistas become so entrenched in saving money, they forget about the comfort of family members. Unless the family lets a frugalista know she is going over the line, she never knows where the line is.
There was a point that I got so excited about a lowered grocery bill that I forgot about the people I was buying the groceries for. The solution was DH told me about it and I came up with a solution that worked for both of us. It was simple enough to offer him a snack a week of his choice without a coupon or sale when he said he was unhappy. This brought balance into my efforts.
People are always more important than the money, but balance has to be found at that end too. Endless chips and cookies each week are budget busters. But one choice added to the bill can't hurt and makes for contented family members. Life has to be balanced with living.
What really helped my situation was the first time DH saw the savings from the grocery budget that paid cash for Christmas. He was hooked and a great supporter from then on.
So indeed move forward to pay off debt. Stay on a close budget and deny yourself any extras while paying off debt. When the debt is paid off, reevaluate your goals and strategy. Enjoy the results of your hard work and use your money to enjoy life and each other. Make it work for you.
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