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Frugality (also known as thrift or thriftiness), often confused with cheapness or miserliness, is a traditional value, life style, or belief system, in which individuals practice both restraint in the acquiring of and resourceful use of economic goods and services in order to achieve lasting and more fulfilling goals. In a money-based economy, frugality emphasizes economical use of money in meeting long term personal, familial, and communal desires.
Strategies for frugality
Some of the main strategies of frugality are the reduction of waste, changing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing free (as in gratis) options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.
Sometimes associated with the concept of frugality is a philosophy in which one does not trust, or is deeply wary of, "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual.
There are many different spiritual communities that consider frugality a virtue or a spiritual discipline. The Religious Society of Friends and the Puritans are examples of such groups. The basic philosophy behind this is the idea that people ought to save money so that they have more available for others.
There are also environmentalists who consider frugality a virtue since it brings humans back closer to their roots as hunter-gatherers, carrying little and needing little, and finding meaning in nature instead of manmade religion.