There are a lot of myths that go along with the idea of frugal living. The biggest one, I think, is that frugal living is somehow a sacrifice. But think of frugality in terms of not being wasteful, and your perspective will probably change.

Take the little things. It’s no sacrifice at all, for example, to put a banana peel into the compost bin. In fact, we actually gain something from doing that (good soil) that would otherwise cost us money. And of course we gain when it comes to the big picture too, because there is less waste hauled to the dump.

Frugality increases creativity, because you get into the habit of thinking about things in a little more depth. Instead of automatically assuming that something is trash, or only good for one particular use, you start to see things with the attitude of “what else is that good for?” or “huh, what could I do with this?”

It also causes us to be more observant. I got a free laptop because I noticed a build-up of old computer equipment, and mentioned that I might be interested in buying some of it if they were going to get rid of it. The laptop was slightly damaged when I got it, but my husband got it fixed for free. One installation of Ubuntu later, and we have something that’s very close to a netbook at no charge. That’s hardly a sacrifice.