"Fruga... what?" Maybe that’s all frugalism means to you. Or maybe you have heard about this lifestyle before. No wonder, because it is becoming something of a trend. The aim is to save for early retirement.

To thank and bid farewell to your boss before heading off into a self-determined retirement around the age of 40 may seem like an unattainable dream to some. But not to frugalists. They are fixed on a goal and want to stop working as soon as they can. 

What is frugalism?

It’s a way of life based on saving and investing. Every single franc brings financial freedom a little closer. With that in mind, frugalists live as simply as possible, even forgoing what most people consider normal expenditure: a small apartment in the suburbs instead of a detached house with a lake view. A bicycle instead of a car. Balconies instead of the Balearic Islands. The kitchen is equipped with the bare necessities. Their wardrobes contain few outfits. What makes some people feel bad is nothing out of the ordinary for the frugalist.

Synonyms for frugal are "simple" or " modest". Frugalists believe that they are not going without the finer things in life by living the way they do. On the contrary: they believe that many possessions are unnecessary for a fulfilled, self-determined life. Frugalists are not demanding so they find it easy to do without certain things. That means they don't feel their quality of life is impacted by not acquiring more possessions.

The role of equities, funds and real estate

The low cost of a frugal lifestyle leads to large savings. Many frugalists therefore build up expertise, invest in equities, funds or real estate and try to grow their assets – always bearing the goal of financial and professional freedom in mind. 

How does minimalism differ from frugalism?

There is a clear difference: minimalists are less interested in asset accumulation than frugalists. Their priority is to abstain from consumerism and generally maintain a simple lifestyle. They focus instead on what really matters to them, which could be anything from friendships to the contents of their shoe cabinet. 

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