Do you ever ask yourself why you’re frugal? Why is it that you think about finance more than the next person?
It’s an interesting question as many people have had to be frugal at one time in their lives then are unable to let go of the frugality even after the absolute necessity has passed.
This is sheer foolishness on the whole – but it’s understandable. At one time on their life, such people often had real financial worries and they fear falling back into the same fears again.
So what they started saving and investing and working hard for was probably peace of mind rather than to be rich. But as things tend to spiral along many frugal people fall into the trap of simply wanting more – and a whole lifetime can pass by in this way as Charles Dickens admirably demonstrated in his wonderful novel “A Christmas Carol”.
We don’t all get the same kind of epiphany Ebenezer Scrooge had unfortunately. But if we did – we’d surely remember that financial frugality is really about relaxation; being able to enjoy one’s life without the constant fear of lack or of our possessions that make life comfortable being taken away from us. It’s also about the ability to be generous to those closest to our hearts – whether family and friends or perfect strangers we know are in need via charitable giving etc.
Now the biggest debt most of us has is the mortgage. At the moment, the world’s economic jitters have slightly pushed back the spectre of rising interest rates but this surely won’t last forever. Nevertheless, there are some great fixed deals on the market at the moment if you’re able to switch – including five year one from HSBC which comes with zero costs (most have hidden costs somewhere along the line such as legal fees etc.). This new range of differently termed mortgage deals is explained in the HSBC news room in full.
But go for the five year deal if you can afford it. This is because this will bring you peace of mind for quite a decent length of time and this is what effective financial planning should really be all about. It isn’t about trying to get rich quick or about trying to buy bigger and better things continually. But nor is it about counting your ever growing pile of metaphorical pennies as you get older. Instead, it’s about taking a balanced approach with as much future visibility as you can muster.
Remember – peace of mind is, quite literally, priceless. And it’s the ultimate goal of frugality and good financial sense.
Even a five-year timeframe isn’t a huge amount. But that’s the maximum deal length anyway and five years is enough for most people to be able to put their financial house in order. And even if interest rates stay low for longer and you lose out (and that’s a big IF by the way) at least you’ll have had peace of mind along the way.