Planning for a more frugal lifestyle
This year is our year to put all of what Mr. Norman and I have learned about being more frugal into place to make a difference financially.
We spent last year, trying reusable products to replace ones we spend money on monthly. We also learned how to make some of our own products to cut cost and use healthier products in our home, and I cooked, cooked, and cooked some more. I learned how to make so many new foods that we enjoyed eating out, but for a fraction of the take out price and with healthier alternatives. We are still learning to be more frugal and will continue to share our journey with you all.
What is frugal living and is it for you?
First, lets clarify what frugal living is not! Frugal living is NOT living cheaply and it is not living without the things that you enjoy having. It is not about depriving yourself of things. People think that frugal living is for the poor, but that's not true. It's for the smart. Frugal people are resourceful people who need to cut down on unneeded expenses.
Living frugally is simply prioritizing goals and expenses by importance. It is allocating resources such as money and time to these goals and being okay with there not being much extra money for wants.
Why be frugal? To save money, save time, gain self control and become aware of wants versus needs. Being frugal can also help simplify your life and help you focus on what you really find is important. For us, that was family time and being present with our daughter.
Now that we know what frugal living is, let's talk about if it is for you.
Ask yourself these questions...
1. Am I short on money or always playing catch up? If so, you are living outside of your means.
2. Am I too busy working to enjoy what is important to me?
3. Am I up to my eyeballs in clutter of material things I have no space for?
4. Am I in debt?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, living more frugally can help you.
Google search frugal living and you'll find lists and lists of how to cut back on daily expenses. And while this is great information, cutting day to day expenses is only part of frugal living. Frugal living is getting more of what you want out of life. This is why everyone's frugal living looks different. Frugal living does not belong to any certain tax bracket or social class. It can be freeing in many different ways and you will get from it what you put into it. There are many aspects and things to do to become more frugal. Today we will talk about planning for it.
To begin living more frugally you will need a plan. This plan does not have to be concrete and it can change daily but most importantly you need to identify why you want to be more frugal, make a budget, and start cutting expenses right away.
To make this easy we will identify 2 steps in planning.
1. Budget: Make a simple budget to begin with. 3 parts of this budget should be income, bills/expenses, difference.
2. Cut cost & expenses: This can be started immediately by unsubscribing and cancelling memberships. Check today's local ads and look for sales on things on your grocery list, plan a meal or 2 this week that you can make easily at home, and making your own coffee are all ways to instantly save money right now.
The planning phase, while important may take a while as you need to get down and dirty with your bank accounts, bills, and spending habits. Don't wait until your plan is complete to start making more frugal choices. Take it step by step and ask yourself, what can I do today to save money. Maybe you can walk instead of drive, do a no spend day where you literally don't buy anything you do not aboultely need today, pack your own lunch, the list goes on.
Baby steps and being passionate about your whys are all that is needed to make changes starting today. If it is important to you, you will find a way. Actions lead to confidence. And those baby steps will turn into habits. Try different ways to save money and see what works best for you. Not every frugal living tip will apply or work for everyone. Do what you can with what you got!
We are here for you. Please leave comments, questions and share what you guys are trying or want to try.
Happy New Year! Let's break old habits and learn to live more meaningfully.