Six ways to maintain frugal motivation
Staying motivated and focused on long-term money-saving goals is a common challenge. The daily grind of making positive choices that work toward your goals can be frustrating, especially if your goals aren’t recreational or fun. The thrill of spending money you don’t have or splurging senselessly can seem more fulfilling than experiencing a sense of denial and sacrifice, but that feeling is temporary. In order for any positive outcome to occur, you need to be determined and firmly commit to reaching your goal.
For tips on maintaining a good attitude, visit www.frugalvillage.com/2007/02/25/avoid-negativity-and-feeling-deprived/.
The following are methods to stay motivated:
REMEMBER THE STRESS.
Don’t dwell on the negative, but remind yourself of the stress money has caused. Let that serve as a deterrent and a catalyst for change. Poor credit? Buried in debt? Living paycheck to paycheck? You have it within your power to change your situation. Imagine being able to have a money discussion that doesn’t include someone getting upset.
WRITE IT DOWN.
Write down where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re heading. This will later serve as visual proof of your progress and confirmation that your hard work is paying off. If you’re at a frugal plateau, this record of your money decisions will help you understand why. You can also identify your weak spending areas, so you are prepared to combat them and hold yourself accountable.
Read books and seek out others who have been successful. You might discover tips that could work for you and witness that your goals are truly attainable. Learn to say “NO” to those who aren’t inspiring or are derailing your efforts.
Look at your thriftiness as a game. How low can you go? How much can you save? How great do you feel when you overcome obstacles? With each small success it becomes easier. Feel confident that you are being a good role model, whether it’s for your children or for someone else who might be struggling. Remind yourself that you are being less wasteful. Think about the freedom and peace of mind you can enjoy, and the bragging rights that come with accomplishment. Be content with now and appreciate the difference between having what you want and wanting what you have.
DON’T GIVE UP.
If you make a mistake or overspend, don’t let it prevent you from picking up and starting over. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Sometimes life simply happens. Don’t beat yourself up over unforeseen expenses or repairs that might set you back (that’s what emergency funds are for, after all). Don’t be afraid to ask for support and help.
Like dieting, you can occasionally treat yourself to “dessert.” But indulging is a small treat or reward, not a big-ticket purchase. Remember that if you overspend, you’ll have to work a little harder to start to see progress again.
In this consumer-driven and wasteful society, we still have the option of living frugally. It’s a lifestyle change, and your progress will depend on consistently making positive choices, both big and small. It isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, however. You can pick and choose what works for you, experiment and try new things, or jump in with both feet and see where the journey takes you.
photo by sweetonveg