If you're reading this, chances are good that you're looking to gain an edge financially. Chances are also pretty good that you've opened your eyes to the unfortunate reality of American lives – it's driven by financial pressures. It's overwhelming. So we pick up tools to deal with stresses of work, debt, and scarcity.

Frugal Busywork

Whenever I think about frugal living, I remember what somebody once told me: “Don't mistake being busy with being productive.” The same is true with your finances. If your goal is to pinch pennies and cut, cut, cut – then you'll always be busy. If you get joy in finding ways to save $10/year on your budget, then it's a fine hobby to have. But it's busywork – not a wealth-building activity.

Frugality is a tool

If you're stupid with money, or seem to be consistently $50, $100, or $500 short each month, then you need to get on the frugal train. If you make good money, but want to put away an extra $300 a month (and don't consider yourself a frugalista) then you can definitely find ways to save on basics like cable, cell providers, internet, and transportation. There are great accounts of people who downsize everything to pay off debt or live lean during a transition period. But…

Cuts ≠ Growth

Cutting expenses only go so far. It is the building block of financial literacy – but living a life of extreme frugality (although it works for some) without a growth mindset is defensive living.Pinterest - Why Your Frugality Isn't Enough

Invest your time in growth strategies

So stop being busy, and get productive with your time (and money). Put your time into making more with a side hustle, by launching a blog, or with a new job. Then get that money working for you with smart, simple, robo-advisor investing platforms. It's very tough to get ahead if you're not growing what you have. Financial security begins with frugality, but is achieved with a growth mindset. So get out there and make the cuts you need to, and then get you money working for you!