Frugal Living and Thinking Long Term
The term frugal living is thrown around quite often today. Frugal living equates to examining how you spend your money and learning how to make do with what you have as well as learn to do a lot of things on your own. This includes anything from changing your driving habits to save gas to doing your own auto and home repairs as often as possible. You have to make things last a little longer and not go out and purchase the newest model television or latest DVD. It means delayed gratification. You know that you are going to need a new car so you begin saving for it in order to pay cash instead of financing. There are those that take it to the extreme and go without television, carry only basic phone service, grow their own vegetables and even raise their own livestock. The key is to find the changes that you are comfortable with and stick to them.
If you want that new big screen television or a new car then consider frugal living as your way to get it without adding any debt. It will take longer than if you whip out that credit card but you will pay the price in the store, not all of the interest added to it. This is all about long term thinking, not getting what you want when you want it. Steps you can take to launch your frugal living approach are:
- Instead of cutting television out all-together consider getting the smallest package your cable company offers. Or go a step further and get the basic channels offered for free.
- Wash out the sandwich baggies and reuse them or better yet, invest in those plastic food containers that can be thrown in the dishwasher.
- Don’t skip pizza night. Make your own pizza at home. Let each person add their own toppings. Kids love doing this.
- Create a meal plan for the week and stick to it. If you are ready to tackle the couponing world then find a few forums and start diving in.
The objective of frugal living is to give you the peace-of-mind in your financial life that comes from not having debt. Most of the stress in the average person is from worrying about money. Living frugally helps to eliminate stress and can make you appreciate the things you do have in life. Practicing delayed gratification by having to save up for large items is not only good for you in how much you appreciate life but it teaches your kids invaluable skills that they wouldn’t have learned otherwise. All of these things add up to your greater self esteem.
Taking small steps towards frugal living can help you plan for the future. You can invest extra money to help pay for retirement, college, weddings, or a new home. You should always be thinking toward the future and about what you can do today that will help you live better.