Secrets to a happy and frugal life


As humans, our thinking system governs how we live our lives. To be happy in your life, you need to have a positive thinking system. Having a positive thinking system is an essential way to a happier frugal life. Close your eyes for a second and think about people that you know in your life. Are all of them happy? Do you know people that are always upset, frustrated or angry? Do you know people that are always happy, relaxed, or worry free? Who would you rather be? Do you want to be upset, angry, and frustrated all the time? Or would you rather live a happy life?

Now think again, who would you want to surround yourself with? Happy people or unhappy people?

We all like to stay in our comfort zone. This is human nature. We do not like pushing ourselves and going outside of our comfort zone. Comfort is like crack, it kills your drive. If you live comfortably all your life, you will never get anywhere. You'll just be average and probably won't get noticed. I truly believe that in order to achieve something, you need to be driven. If you want to be better at something, be uncomfortable and change your thinking system.

Now think again, do you surround yourself with upset and unhappy people because you feel more "comfortable" around them? If so, are you really better off than these people?

Having a positive thinking system relies on how you see things around you, how you see your own life.

Close your eyes again. Imagine you're holding things that you don't want or like in your left hand - things like debt, mortgage, relationship problems, and health problems. Imagine you're holding things that you desire or want to achieve on your right hand - things like financial freedom, fun, happiness, healthy relationships, and good health.

What happens if you are holding your left hand too close to your face? All you can see are the negative things that you don't want. You can't see all the positive things you are holding in your right hand at all.

Does this sound familiar? This is exactly what so many of us do! Many of us are so focused on what we don't want and the bad things in our lives, that we cannot see the positive things that we really want. The bad things are blinding us!

How can you achieve a happier life while living frugally?

Simple. The best way is to practice getting away from negative thinking and using negative words. For example, if you focus all your energy on getting rid of your debt, you’ll most likely find it difficult to get rid of your debt. The phrase “getting rid of” is a negative term on its own. The more you focus on it, the more you will get. What you should do instead is focus your energy on increasing your savings, then using your savings to pay off your debt. Another example is people who focus on building up an emergency fund. They can’t sleep at night if their emergency funds don't cover over 6 months of their monthly expenses. All these people think about, is their emergency fund. When you focus all your energy on the word “emergency” what do you think will happen? Emergencies will happen to you more often than to other people. If you save for “rainy days” what do you think you’d get? Obviously more raining days ahead. I suggest focusing on having an "opportunity fund." In case you're wondering, here's my stance on emergency fund. I used the word "emergency" in the blog post because if I were to use "opportunity fund", few people would know what I'm talking about.

The same concept applies in day to day lives. Do you ever notice people's answers when you ask them how their day is going?

"Not bad"
"Not too shabby"
"Not bad, not bad at all."

Why do we use double negative? It drives me bananas to hear people say that. Why not just say that you're doing good or that you're having an awesome day? If using double negative is positive, then the following must make perfect sense.

Speeding is bad on its own
Running the red light is bad on its own
So speeding and running the red light must be a good thing when putting them together right?

NO, I don't think so!


Using positive words will force you to focus on the good things in life. Don't get me wrong, I don't want you to get high and only have happy thoughts and be hippie-like. Bad things happen in life but we shouldn't focus our energy on crappy things. If you spend every minute of your life thinking about bad things, boy you're going to be one miserable bastard. Do you really want to be that person?

Focus on positive thoughts. You'll feel better about yourself and you'll be happier.

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  • Reply
    October 9, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Good post! I really like the left hand/right hand analogy. I've actively been working on being more positive, but I still slip up. Definitely saw it last month when I went through my expense sheet. I was annoyed that I didn't save very much this month. But I still saved over 50% of my income, much more than most people will ever save! Just requires a bit of a mindset change and a lot of work.

    • Reply
      October 9, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Hi Dividend Developer,

      I do slip up here and there too but the important thing is to have a positive mindset. 🙂

      • Reply
        October 12, 2014 at 12:14 am

        Feels like I am slipping constantly sometimes.

        Keep cranking,

        Robert the DividendDreamer

        • Reply
          October 12, 2014 at 12:16 am

          Feels like I am slipping constantly sometimes. By the way, I liked the article.

          Keep cranking,

          Robert the DividendDreamer

  • Reply
    October 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Great post, Tawcan. Like DD mentioned above, i love the left hand/right hand analogy.
    Good point on surrounding yourself with positive people and changing your language to put a more positive spin on it. Ive been through a lot of emotional stress in my personal over the last couple of years...and most of it is behind me now. It was a huge learning experience though.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      October 9, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Hi R2R,

      Hope your personal journey over the last couple of years has helped you to become a more positive and happier person.


  • Reply
    Money Pincher
    October 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Great post! Reading this brightened up my day already! 😀

  • Reply
    October 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for this post Tawcan. I really enjoyed reading it 🙂

  • Reply
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter
    October 10, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I have been a bit of a student of positive thinking over the past five or so years, and it's true that the way you think about things and the wording you use in your mind when you are considering your circumstances can have a huge impact.

  • Reply
    Chatter Around the World - 65 - Roadmap2Retire
    October 11, 2014 at 7:16 am

    […] Secrets to a happy and frugal life by Tawcan […]

  • Reply
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter
    October 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I am being paid dividends through positive thoughts and speak, and gratefulness. If I do have something negative to say (ie when people asked me how I was feeling after jetlag settled in when I got back from my trip a few days ago), I'd always follow it with a positive statement. Ie: "I'm tired, but grateful to be home and back into my routine!". Positivity is SO powerful.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Daisy,

      Good point about being grateful. We should all practice being grateful about our lives.

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