Being frugal. What’s the point?

Why being frugal?  What’s the point of being frugal? It’s all about how you want to feel.

why being frugal, saving money, why save money?

What is the point of being frugal, living frugally, looking for sales, looking at flyers, buying secondhand sometimes, avoiding the shops, not buying that cute dress or those, oh those shoes?

Marguerite Tennier (makesenseoflife.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.ca

First, let’s look at what being frugal is not.  It’s not to become like the Scrooge, although at the beginning of your frugal journey it may feel like it.

 

Becaue let’s be real.  If you have always spent money like someone else was going to pay the bills, changing your ways will take some adjusting.  But you can make the transition a lot easier for yourself if you change a few small things about your spending habits.

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The first small, well not so small, thing to change is your mindset.

 

For example, I have a way to change my mindset when I am thinking of going swimming – like in doing laps at the local pool – and I don’t feel like it.  It’s winter, or it’s raining, or I am tired.

 

Then I look at the end result:  how I will feel when I get out of the pool.  I remember how I always feel when I get out of the pool after a good swim and it’s always: wonderful.  I have never regretted the end result, which is feeling wonderful, and usually 10 years younger. I have however regretted not going to do my exercise at the pool.

 

I now apply this same technique to my frugal spending, or non-spending.  How do I want to feel when I receive my credit card statement?   The lower the balance owed, the better I feel.

 

A few years ago I only used my credit card for purchases at department stores and I remember receiving statements with a “ZERO” balance.  What a feeling!  There again, I have never regretted not spending money, but I have had some regret for some purchases I did for something I wanted but did not need.

 

This zero card balance is always fun but I vividly remember January credit card statements with a zero balance.  Not that I had not bought gifts but I had saved money throughout the year and paid cash for everything.  (Note: there are 24 weeks left to save for Christmas).

 

Now that I use my card for every purchase, for points, I never have a zero balance due.  Grocery shopping, insurance, car maintenance, gas and other living expenses amount to at least $300. and I expect this.  My goal is to keep it as close to that minimum as possible and when I do, I know I have achieved being frugal.

 

I have also started asking myself: Do I need one more t-shirt to sit with my other 30 other tops?  Do I need another pair of shoes when there are 10 pairs I have not worn in a year (yes, true).  And my total weakness: books.  I remind myself that my library at home can keep me occupied for a few years, and the public library has 98% of books and magazines I want to read!  I loved this article in the Globe about a couple finding unexpected benefits of frugal living.

Marguerite Tennier (makesenseoflife.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.ca

 

The second thing about being frugal is to be able to take advantage of what you need as well as your most important want(s).

 

There are certain items I absolutely want to have.  Yes I could live without it.  But remember: being frugal is not about being Scrooge, it’s about being clear on your priorities.   Some are kitchen appliances like my food processor. I have owned my Cuisinart for over 30 years and I have started shopping around for when it dies on me.

 

Although I don’t use it often, I use it regularly to make hummus, for some recipes as well as to make ground chicken and beef, buying chicken breasts and inexpensive pieces of beef on sale.  It usually saves me at least $1. sometimes more a pound to make my own ground meat. And of course, when I make hummus, I get a pound for around $1. instead of $6 or more at the store.  Bonus: I know exactly what’s in my food.

 

I also make sure I buy quality for most of what I buy.  Better pay $10 now for something that will last 10 years and less and having to replace every couple of years, or worse months.  Whether it’s a bottle opener (I finally invested in a good one), or a set of cookware, quality beats it every time.

 

What are some purchases you have made and regretted because you wanted to save and bought low quality?

 

Like I said above, Christmas is just 24 weeks away.  When you save money, you have money to buy your Christmas gifts in July and the Summer and Fall months and take advantage of sales.  Today is a good time to see Amazon’s Prime Sale for even more savings.  If you were thinking of getting Prime, you can try it free for 30 days.  If you have Prime or want to, today is the day.

 

Now you know the secret.  “How do you want to feel when you receive your credit card statement at the end of the month?”  Remembering that trick can help you walk away from non-necessary purchases.  To help you a little more, remember the feeling of dreading to open the envelope from your credit card company, or the even worse feeling of realizing your purchases have cost you hundreds in interest alone, so that the bargain dress really cost you double.

Of course, all the money you save while being frugal is not just for taking advantage of sales.  It’s also the money you can put toward paying down debt as well as the money to fill your emergency fund and increase your savings.

 

Is it possible to live frugally and still have fun?  Absolutely.  Remembering how you want to feel is the best way to motivate yourself.

 

If you enjoyed this post, please let me know and share it with your network and on social media.

 

Marguerite

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