What is Being Frugal Really About?
To many people, the word frugal brings many thoughts to mind -- most of them unpleasant. They think of Mr. Scrooge or the 60's mom that could make a chicken stretch through four meals. Often, we are so caught up in making others think that we have plenty of money that we forget that we don't. In fact, most of the people who scoff at living frugally aren't well-to-do. They are the ones that are struggling financially.
They wouldn't even consider letting others think that they are frugal. It is the well-to-do and those with money that often really understand what frugal living is. It is being in control of our money. This is a characteristic that most successful, and wealthy, people display. They understand that we control our money, it does not control us.
But don't think that it is easy. Frugal living is quite hard. It takes a lot of thought and discipline. Money is a tough lion to try and tame. It will seem to beat you back every time. But if you look at living frugally as a challenge with great rewards, you will be able to handle it just fine. Frugal living gives you the ability to own a vehicle without having an auto loan. You are one of the few that can go shopping without a credit card. If you are frugal and wise in your money decisions, you can have everything you want, without the stress and emotions that come with debt. To be frugal, you have to make a commitment.
You can't simply be frugal once a month and see results. You have to train yourself to be frugal in every situation. You have to make it a part of your daily routine. Look for ways to recycle and cut waste and spending. The one secret that will keep you frugal lies in setting goals. Once you have identified what you want to achieve, it will be easier to be frugal. You are working towards something. Make a budget and track the things you do that are making your dreams reality. One of the largest problems that many consumers face is shopping. To be frugal you have to decide to not shop anymore -- at least for things you don't need.
The frugal shopper knows exactly what he needs and he looks at all of his options. Being frugal means that you make do with what you have. You use all of something before you buy a new one. You don't have to give the things you love up. All you have to do is see that they fit in your budget. If they don't, you may have to put them on the back burner for a while until you free up some room. Frugal living isn't about doing without, it's about doing better. Know where your give and take is. If you care deeply about your wardrobe, but not so much about your food, spend less on food and keep your clothing the way you like it. One of the best features of frugal living is that it is based on you.
Yes, I can tell you that frugal people save the twist-ties off of bags of bread. But if you have no use for those twist-ties, they are wasting your time. Being frugal is make the best of what you have, not what I have or others have. You are cutting your spending in order to save for your goals. We all do it in different ways. Frugal living is essentially living beneath your means. You are saving and not spending every cent you make. It's a challenge, but one that makes you a better person. It teaches us, and our children, self control.
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