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Get family on board with frugality

By on April 18, 2009

photo by Trinity

Frugal living seems filled with sacrifices. You can feel as if you’re alone and swimming against the current. It can be tough to convince your family to waste less and spend wisely to reach your goals if they view frugality as deprivation. It’s often through your cheerful frugality that others will follow suit. While showing the numbers — a decreased utility bill or shopping receipt — works well, sometimes more subtle proof that your frugality is working can get your point across, too. They’ll come around in time.

CONTENTMENT: Frugality teaches you to prioritize the way you handle your money through identifying wants versus needs. You gain a new perspective on what you already have. You have a road map. You find peace because emphasis is placed on what matters to you. Your satisfaction will be noticed. One reader, F.C. in North Carolina, shares: “My favorite thing about frugal living is that I am content. I went to Wal-Mart with my husband tonight. I did not see anything that I wanted. Months ago, I would have wanted everything in sight! I am content with my life, my belongings and my home. I just feel that way.”

KNOWLEDGE: You’ll feel increased joy by simply learning new ways to cut costs. Even if you don’t apply everything you learn, it’s empowering to know cheaper alternatives if and when you want or need to. For example, if you have a tight week money-wise, instead of being anxious or afraid, you’ll know how to manage. Your strength is passed onto your family. They see you enjoying yourself while you learn new things. Your happiness is contagious, too. They learn from you! One day, one of them might surprise you and share something frugal they’ve done. It helps everyone prepare if a larger hardship occurs.

HELPING OTHERS: Your frugality teaches you lessons that you naturally want to share with others. It might be simple, such as how to make something on your own or when your store has markdowns. Or maybe you share your abundance through donations or with family and friends. This shows your family to look outward and not focus only on themselves. Another reader, Tigo in Kansas, shares: “I see how stress-free our lives are compared to others around us. The kids are also seeing how it impacts them to do things frugally and how their friends are starting to have issues. My son’s girlfriend’s dad was laid off. We are having our own issues, but were able to share from our stockpile to give them basics. My son helped the dad get a job (he is now the son’s boss), but he hasn’t said a word about how silly mom is for shopping salvage stores for stuff.”

LESS STRESS: Frugal living creates less stress. You notice your household produces less trash and items are lasting longer. Not only that, there’s freedom that comes with living below your means. You learn to enjoy and appreciate simple pleasures. You rid yourself of excess, too. Not to mention the money you didn’t think you had! Another reader, Michelle, in Texas, says: “The thing I love is not living paycheck to paycheck! That to me is a big improvement! We used to wonder how we would make it, and now all the bills are paid on time and we have plenty of groceries and extras and still have money!”

Also read: Set the standard for your family

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