Friday, October 23, 2009

Extreme Frugality Sucks

Being too frugal will make you miserable.

I've been reading hundreds of blogs lately. It's like my new addiction. I've noticed a few recurring themes now when it concerns financial blogs. The blogs with massive subscribers are either a) Informative, interesting and useful or b) Not so informative, but the blogger's story and background is dramatic and harrowing ... such as "This blog is about my journey in paying off my $159,000 debt."

The blogs that I choose to subscribe to would be the informative and interesting one. Is it really beneficial to read about someone who racked up over $100,000 in stupid credit card debt and heavy bouts of consumption binge? Sure, it's gripping and interesting, but you are really wasting your time unless you're in the same situation and trying to pay off the same silly consumption debt.

I have never had any consumption debt. Have never wanted to follow the crowd and buy a gazillion number of shoes and Louis Vuitton handbags. The sheer crowd of females in the city carrying LV bags proudly... there are so many of them that it's almost like an Louis Vuitton Brown Bag Army Brigade. I love good quality bags or shoes and pretty things just like any typical female but I just will not buy an LV Bag that will lump me into that category.

I have one credit card. If I need larger credit, I contact the bank to have the limit increased. It's so pointless to parade around with 5 or 15 credit cards. I have some investment debt. A positive net worth. A bit of student debt left to pay off which I don't choose to pay off with a lump sum payment because it's indexed to inflation and I can earn a better return elsewhere.

I hesitate at taking or reading financial advice from anyone and any blogger who has racked up consumption debt.

Would you consult an acoholic about how to quit drinking when they are still drinking heavily?

In order to progress and develop your skills in finance and investing, you need to take a good look inside yourself. You need to focus more on earning passive income than trying to learn how to be super frugal.

The bloggers with massive consumer debt, they will blog about selling things on ebay, craigslist, how to save money here and there and how to be so frugal that you live your life miserably. If you have debt, then yes, it's probably a good guidance for you.

But if you have savings and a positive net worth, your time is better spent reading websites and blogs where the bloggers have a positive net worth as well. That way you can learn more about how to invest, the type of assets you can invest in, how to calculate returns, the terminology and the financial geek speak etc.

But things like, never eating out, always cooking your own food from scratch, spending all your weekends cutting out coupons to save $3 or $5, growing your own vegetables, driving all over town to find discounts and bargains, signing up for 15 credit cards that have 0% introductory interest just so you can arbitrage and place it into a bank account and earn 3-4% interest and all those time consuming activities.

Is your time more valuable if you used it on productive matters such as starting your own business, improving your professional skills and working on increasing your income via a better paying job or improving your investing skills so that you can grow your passive income?

Extreme frugality is not the road to riches. It's the road to feeling miserable and cantankerous. Spend in moderation and focus on reading materials that will improve your business, professional or investment skills and you will discover what I've discovered... the bliss of earning income passively from investments and multiple income streams.


  1. Now i've read up on the frugal lifestyle, this blog makes alot of sense.

  2. Hi Anon, thanks for you comment. Frugality is necessary for those with plenty of consumption debt. If you've got a positive net worth or some savings, it is much more beneficial to focus on how to build passive investment income as opposed to how one can cut expenses to the bones and live in discomfort and possibly misery.