If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming that you are trying to become more frugal. Whether you already think you are frugal or not, I’m sure there’s more you can be doing to save even more money.
Now, everyone has things that they enjoy spending money on, and you probably try to rationalize with yourself for why you deserve that extra spending.
But, you probably don’t need a lot of the things that you spend money on.
If you truly want to pay off your debt more quickly, retire earlier than you thought you could, or reach whatever other financial goal that you have, then being more frugal is one path that may help you realize your goals.
I think earning more income is great, and it can definitely help you reach your goals.
However, some people believe that saving money alone doesn’t work and that earning more is the only way to improve a person’s financial situation. Others believe that saving money is better than earning more.
As far as saving money by being frugal, most people have room in their budget to cut back a little more, and the average person wastes a lot of money each month. And, even if you are a high earner or focusing on making more money, spending less will still help you on your path to financial freedom.
This is because earning more money won’t solve all of your financial problems. If you solely focus on earning more money, then you may never realize that you have a spending problem. This may hold you back for years because you didn’t think it was worthwhile to take a moment to learn how your spending habits may be negatively impacting your life. This can lead to lifestyle inflation, wasting money, trying to keep up with the Joneses, and more.
All of this is why I believe that the average person, no matter what you make, probably has at least a little bit more room to be even more frugal.
But, for the average person, it may be difficult to become frugal if you’ve been wasting money for years. That’s why I created this article. My hope is to show you that you can be frugal and take charge of your financial life.
And, being frugal doesn’t mean you are going to lead a boring or meaningless life– it’s exactly the opposite! Being frugal will allow you to focus on your long term goals, find enjoyment in what you already have, and you may find that being frugal can lead to new and fun experiences you never knew existed.
1. Accept frugality and stop believing the myths.
First, you will need to accept frugality.
The word “frugal” has many negative associations. People think that if you are frugal, then you are cheap, boring, and even a bad person. Many assume that frugal people only eat rice and beans (and nothing else ever), that they just sit at home all day and do nothing, that they have no hobbies, and more.
Many people think that happiness comes only from spending money. However, that is a sad way to think about money. Yes, money can help improve your life, but it’s not everything. And, if not managed well, it can lead to debt, stress, and more.
Being frugal isn’t always what happens when you are out of options.
Sure, there are times when people must buckle down and spend less than they usually do, like if you are living paycheck to paycheck. However, living a frugal life can go beyond cutting things from your budget. It can be something that isn’t just a short-term solution– it’s one that you can benefit from for the long-term.
What I’m talking about is just living your own life and learning how to save money by not engaging in needless spending just to keep up with others, going into debt, spending beyond your means, and so on.
There is absolutely no reason to go broke in order to have a good time. I believe that you can balance living a good life while saving money.
The power of frugality means that you can still live a great life while on a budget. Money doesn’t have to dictate how good of a life you have.
There are many reasons for why a person may choose to be frugal, such as:
- You want to avoid debt.
- You want a simpler life.
- You know that you can still have fun while being frugal.
- You want to appreciate everything and anything around you.
- You want to stop trying to impress others.
Despite all of the negativity that comes from saying you’re frugal, it’s still how I’ve chosen to live my life. Sure, I still have my splurges, but I am very conscious about how I spend my money.
I don’t feel like I’m missing out on what life has to offer. My life isn’t boring (I travel full-time in an RV!), I have great relationships, and I’m pretty sure I’m not a bad person!
I know a lot of people that are choosing to live a more simple life by being frugal, and they are some of the best people I know.
Sadly, those negative assumptions and myths about frugality cause many people to avoid it all together.
And, for many people, it isn’t until they are much older that they realize how much money they wasted when they were younger. They realize that they could have been more thoughtful about their purchases, saved more, and spent more time focusing on finding happiness through simplifying their lives.
However, by that age, it can often feel impossible to try to make up for all of that lost time when it comes to saving, earning money, and investing.
So, in order to become more frugal, I want you to be more realistic with your spending and understand that frugality isn’t a means to an end.
Instead, it’s just the beginning.
2. Ditch that expensive car.
The other day on Facebook, someone mentioned that they finally bought their dream car as a reward for their new salary. Their new salary? $40,000 a year. Their new car? $40,000!
You’re telling me that you are fine with working a whole year just to have that car? And, that doesn’t even include what you’ll spend on financing costs, fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc.
Sadly, this isn’t completely surprising.
The average person in the U.S. spends $483 on a new car payment and $361 on a used car payment.
This is crazy especially when considering that many take out high-interest rate loans in order to make their car payments. Back when my husband worked in new car sales, he often told me about new car buyers with car loans at interest rates of 20% and above.
While $483 a month may be affordable to some, I’m going to assume that it’s a lot of money for most people. Plus, once you add in gas, maintenance, insurance, taxes, registration costs, and more, that number is going to be much larger.
If you want to be more frugal and take charge of your financial situation, then you will need to analyze your car expenses.