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March 29, 2021

Could frugality make us healthier and happier?

Would you like to create a healthier relationship with your money?

If so, check out The New Frugality by Chris Farrell, host of National Public Radio's Marketplace Money.

Personal finance is more than just money, Farrell maintains. It's about figuring out what you really value and then putting your money behind those goals and beliefs.  

Frugality doesn't mean making your own laundry soap, clipping coupons and other Depression era penny-pinching though — far from it. It means spending your money on quality instead of quantity, he says, buying the best you can afford but the least you need.
For many, that's more easily said than done.

The real test will be for those boomers who never foresaw an end to the prosperity, buying instead into the promise of a retirement spent moving between the Caribbean, ski hills and their ever more valuable home. But with their meagre savings tied up in scary markets, that’s looking like a pipe dream for many.  

In some ways, The New Frugality is the fiscal equivalent of the green movement: A lifestyle of less waste, lower environmental impact, greater peace of mind, and in the long run, deeper satisfaction.

Extending this thesis into an entire book makes for a bit of repetition, and I did skim a few chapters, but it’s a useful read nonetheless. Better still, here’s a talk that Farrell gave recently that hits the highlights.

Are you becoming more frugal? What changes have you made? Are your new habits of thrift likely to last past any economic recovery?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money   



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...