Are you new to frugal life? Frugal living isn’t for everyone, but we all can apply pieces to our lives.
I will compare being frugal to getting in shape. There’s simply no quick fix, no getting ripped for spring break or getting rich by summer, it is a complete life style change and a whole new way of thinking.
Just like someone that works out who has cheat days where they’ll eat snacks, a frugal person will have cheat days where they spend money foolishly. The key once again is moderation, days on end where you spend tons of money and then save for the next week don’t count.
Of course there are times when many of us will get desperate and save as much money as we can in the shortest period of time.
In doing so we usually deprive ourselves of the basics that make life enjoyable. The key is to have a slow and steady build up of finances for the future without compromising the quality of life we have today. I have already covered the art of frugality, so below I provide the building blocks of frugality, which pretty much are general tips on how to think like a frugal person and embrace frugal living:
Always think twice before make you any purchase.
You don’t have to think about anything in specific but just pause for a minute. Take a minute or so to realize what you are about purchase. Chances are the rational side of your mind will come into play and you will start thinking about why you are even about to purchase this product.
Look into alternatives when being frugal.
There will always be alternatives in life, whether it’s getting an insurance quote or buying a car used as opposed to brand new, you will always have options. Do not just look into one other alternative, look into all of the possible alternatives, and there is a good chance you will find a better deal. There’s nothing wrong with consuming a cup of coffee in the morning, but there’s no reason that you need to purchase a fancy latte from Starbucks or God forbid a $5 energy drink.
Find a discount.
If for some odd reason you don’t find an alternative or a substitute for the product that you absolutely need than just find a discount.You can find a discount through coupons, websites (www.redflagdeals.com), or even just by asking sometimes. Remember retailers need you more than you need them
Can you live without this purchase?
Sometimes you’re going to have to take a step back and ask yourself if you could live without this purchase. Chances are the answer will be yes, aside from nutrition, insurance, property, water, and other basic necessities of life. Before you buy those $400 sunglasses think about, is the sun so bad outside that you need to buy $400 sunglasses to protect yourself?
Make a shopping list.
I know most people think it’s lame to walk around a store with a shopping list, so you could put it on your Blackberry or iphone and walk around the store playing with your cell phone just like everyone else these days. The point of a shopping list is so that you do not walk into a store without knowing what you exactly need. If you walk into a store knowing that you want something in general, chances are you will make a couple extra purchases that you would have never imagined prior to entering the store.
Set a budget.
This goes without saying, everyone should always have a budget in place. It doesn’t have to account for every penny but it should be what you live by for a specified period of time. You should not go over this budget unless you absolutely need to. Helping a family member in need is a good reason, buying the newest shoes isn’t. How will you budget your money?
Are you ready for frugal living?