Follow in the footsteps of the frugalocracy

Sam Jackson

February 28, 2012

November 13, 2018

Follow in the footsteps of the frugalocracy

If you've seen Zooey Deschanel starring in “New Girl”, British TV's latest imported hit from the USA, you may not at first glance think you have much in common with the dewy-eyed darling of indie cinema.

Equally, the sight of celebrity oligarch and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich clapping enthusiastically at Stamford Bridge may make you feel that a lifestyle like his is a millions miles away from yours.

However, just because someone has an income that gives them vast amounts of money, it doesn't mean they always have to spend unreal sums of money. The recent publication of Deschanel's divorce papers showed that she saves $73,000 of her monthly $95,000 salary – spending just a quarter of it - and has amassed $3million in savings. Likewise, billionaire Abramovich was spotted arriving at court for his recent £3 billion legal battle wearing a digital watch worth just £93.

From oligarchs to film stars, from footballers to business leaders, many famous names have shown lately that it's good to follow strict financial plans, save money and cut costs, regardless of how much you earn. We look at how you too can budget like the frugalocracy - the high-earners who nonetheless budget thriftily like the rest of us and save for a rainy day.

The pleasure of thriftiness

The trend is now, for those who are comparatively comfortable to start with, to budget like the rest of us. Karyn Fleeting of the Miss Thrifty blog argues: “It is partly because people want security in a tough economic climate, but also that they are rediscovering the pleasure in thrift.”

Being rich could easily mean that you no longer find yourself able to enjoy the satisfaction of finding a bargain – this doesn't mean bagging a discount on a Ferrari GTO, but simple pleasures like haggling to get your mobile phone deal lowered, using BOGOF options in supermarkets or using the local sandwich bar instead of an expensive well-known chain.

Set yourself some targets

It's great to have something to aim for. Not just something as tiring as a list of the weekly shopping budget, but some positive targets like not letting your bank balance dip below a certain figure, or having your remaining mortgage balance reach a certain amount by the end of the year. It could be aiming to shave some money off the various utility and electronics deals you already have.

Pay off your debts before you splash out

To live like the ‘frugalocracy', it is best to prioritise getting rid of debts such as mortgages and credit cards – comparing the best deals around, and if possible overpaying on your mortgage so that you can benefit from the lower rates you get from paying it off quicker.

If you check your credit report and credit score regularly you can give yourself the best chance of managing your finances, and maybe joining frugalocracy.

Your credit report lists your credit accounts and shows you what you owe, who you owe and how well you are managing your repayments. It could give your memory the jog it needs to pay off what you owe or budget for upcoming repayments.

Experian Credit Expert: A monthly fee of £14.99 applies after your free trial. You may cancel during your 30-day free trial without charge. New customers only. Free trial period starts on registration - further ID verification may be required to access full service which may take up to 5 days.

Sam Jackson

Money Dashboard

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