Recently, I came across the expression in the title and I really like this way of putting it.

In “these trying economic times”, incidentally an expression which I hate, sacrifice has come to mean giving something up, rather than exchanging something to gain a better position, like in chess.

That said, I sympathize with the idea that being frugal beyond your means sucks. When I decided to become financially indendent, I did not know all the little money saving tricks to get full value for a quarter of the price and all I could do was to spend less and get less. Conversely, now when I read list of frugal “tips”, I find myself shaking my head and mumbling “Isn’t this stuff obvious!?!”. Once frugality becomes second nature, frugality no longer feels like deprivation. Conversely, not being frugal feels stupid or ignorant, which it kinda is.

However, having the “means of frugality” is worth a lot, as previously noted. Thus, frugality is key to early retirement, if you want some certitude in achieving it (you can probably forget about “making it” in leveraged real estate for next decade). After all, in the end, wealth is not about how much you have, but about what you can get.

Originally posted 2009-06-30 04:28:48.