Weekend Reading: Cicero: Why Frugality is The Root of Riches

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading frugality root of riches Weekend reading frugality root of riches
Weekend Reading

How do you reap the benefits of the “riches of frugality”? Despite his privileged background, renowned Roman philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero, was known for embracing a simple lifestyle. His work inspired numerous thinkers throughout history because according to Cicero, frugality leads to riches.


The real meaning of frugal: In our society, people often fall into extremes of excessive spending or extreme frugality, neither of which is ideal for long-term wealth building. However, Cicero believed in a balanced approach, where frugality cultivates virtues such as honesty, compassion and courage. Living a simple life, he argued, would develop these virtues within us.

Beyond strengthening your character, frugality also provides a sense of abundance, both financially and mentally. It allows you to focus on fulfilling endeavors without being consumed by material desires. Cicero recognized that external possessions and experiences do not bring lasting happiness. You must nurture your mind and focus on what truly matters.

Your greatest asset in life is time. By focusing on the riches of frugality, you reap more energy and mental clarity to pursue meaningful endeavors, which improves your mind and helps you achieve true “richness” in life.