Avoid Negativity and Feeling Deprived
A sense of deprivation, temptation, or resentment is a common experience for some frugalites during their frugal journey. These emotions can sabotage your efforts and undermine your goals. A shift in attitude can help keep you on the frugal track, or get you back onto the frugal wagon.
Frugality is about tradeoffs and more specifically, focused frugality is about choices and priorities. The key is in recognizing that when exercising frugality, you are choosing to give up something, in order to have something else. Making consistent decisions that work toward your goals versus against them, is inevitably what determines your successful achievement of your goals.
Delaying/deferring consumption aka postponing spending (read: saving and avoiding impulse spending) is an ideal exercise to stay on track. This is a valuable strategy for an entire family to practice. This anticipated self-control honors your internal economics and personal goals. It narrows the probability of experiencing buyer’s remorse as well, thus some seeds of discontent aren’t sown.
You can ask yourself the following questions before making a purchase:
*Can I afford this?
*Am I informed on this item?
*How will I pay for this?
*Do I need this?
*Can I make this?
*Is there a lower cost alternative?
*Can I borrow this?
*Does this purchase have other related costs involved?
*How long did I or do I have to work to pay for this?
*Can I make do without this?
*Do I have room for this?
*Will this purchase help me toward my goals?
*Have I comparison shopped?
*How do my positive decisions benefit me?
*If I waited to purchase this item, would it be less expensive?
*Is there a better place for my money to go?
*Are there negative consequences?
*Am I monitoring my reaction to advertising?
Slow, Steady Fire
Inspiration and support can help keep you motivated. Celebrate your frugal victories and small successes. You should have methods to remind yourself why YOU are practicing frugality. Planning treats for yourself can help you with your frugal goals. Rewarding yourself and giving yourself an allowance or “mad money” will prevent you from overspending or feeling resentful, deprived, or blue about your circumstances.
You can setup a mini incentive plan. This can give you something to look forward to on a consistent basis, so you can maintain the same compelling determination toward your frugal goals, as you did when you first set your goals. This isn’t to be confused with senseless splurging. Acknowledge that it’s ok to have some things you don’t want to skimp on too.
Frugal treat suggestions:
*Picnic and parks
*Small plants or garden seeds
*Try new recipes
*Thrift Store shopping
Some motivators include:
* Success stories
* Forums with like-minded people
* Friends and family
* Books, blogs, magazines
* Successful mentors
* Quotes and Affirmations
One surefire way to sabotage your efforts is to compare yourself to others. If you constantly focus on what you don’t have or how you measure up to others, you’re going to feel rotten. You’ll become judgemental of others, as well. You can adopt an “enough” train of thought, and comprehend that everything above food, clothing, and shelter is truly optional and make your own personal decisions from that point.
The “Jones Factor” is going to keep you on the “money-go-round”. Is it time for you to step off? Only you can make that decision. Focus on what you DO have and find appreciation and contentment. Surround yourself with the right people that are uplifting, encouraging, and supportive.
Change your perspective and develop a frugal attitude of gratitude. Without gratitude and contentment, it’ll never be enough and you’ll never stop comparing yourself to others that have “more”. Your surroundings shouldn’t have such impact on your self-worth and happiness.
What choices are the most difficult for you to make?
What was your last spendy temptation? Did you cave?
What products entice you and why?
What was your latest frugal victory and how did you feel?
How do you reward yourself?
What inspires and motivates you to continue on your frugal journey?
Have you read “The Millionaire Next Door”?
Personal Pearls of Wisdom
With each time that you say no to something that you know isn’t going to help your goals, you become stronger and it becomes easier to do. It gets to the point where you honestly don’t want to do wasteful and impulsive spending. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life. If you are spending every waking moment thinking about saving money, it’s still controlling you.
If you stumble and fall off the frugal wagon, don’t give up. Just brush yourself off and hop back on. Regroup and refocus and continue on your path. It takes time and you aren’t always going to see immediate results.
Keeping records (ie. tracking spending) will help you when you need to see the numbers and facts. You are welcome to participate in the FV forum challenges too.
I like to tell myself that overconsumption just isn’t sexy or appealing. lol Hey. Works for me! I’m not impressed by those that flash material possessions. That’s not wealth imo. However, I don’t assume that others unlike me are in debt. Many people that aren’t frugal, have very healthy spending and saving habits. Just because someone chooses a different path than my own, doesn’t imply they aren’t responsible or are buried in debt.
What you save. (net worth not income)
How you aren’t wasteful.
How you encourage and support others.
What you do with your spare time.
Talk to me about lifetime learning.
How you give to others.
How you bring value to society.
That impresses me. That’s appealing.
Honor and value your priorities and long term goals and not just your short term desires and wasteful whims. Live below your means, but the operative word is LIVE! Money doesn’t buy back time.