A lot has already been written about frugality. However, people tend to forget about where it actually starts from, and that is the mind: you need to develop a sense of responsibility regarding your finances with respect to your expenses and savings.
So, to start with, you’ll have to be proactive in your efforts to lead a frugal life.
How do you stay proactive to get a frugal life?
If you’re sick and tired of living from paycheck to paycheck, having to hang up your phone daily, or making lame excuses to avoid going to parties with your friends, then employ these frugal living tips to take proper control of your financial situation, eliminate debt from your life, and lead a happier, financially sound life:
• Initiate - It’ll be impossible for you to take control of your finances, unless you decide to do so. Actually, the more you avoid your debt problems, the worse will they get.
Hence, you need to make a proper analysis of your finances such as your income, budget, expenditures, savings and so on. Moreover, try to figure out the reasons for your expenses and how you can follow a better budget.
• Inform - Use proactive words to inform others about your hope to become a better, financially responsible person. You’ll not only minimize friction with your peers—informing them about your goal will actually help you to steer clear of peer pressure against following a budget and a leading frugal life.
So, if you proactively explain your intention to become more frugal, your near and dear ones are much less likely to coax you into a meal at a high-end restaurant or another round of drinks.
For example, inform your relatives and friends that you've organized the lunch at your home, before setting out for a ride around the town. This will not only save you a lot of money on those expensive restaurant meals but also foster stronger relationships among your near and dear ones.
• Inspect - Listen to your inner voice. Have suitable reasons for every purchase that you make, particularly those outside your budget. You must show solid reasoning behind your decision not to contribute toward your savings/retirement accounts as well. Always leave enough time to shop without rushing to buy anything.
Stop and listen. Visit several stores, then return to shop at the one that best suits your budget and your lifestyle. Having reasons for all the expenditures will make you realize just how meaningless those were that sabotaged your resolutions.
Ultimately, when you’ve mustered the courage to lead a frugal life, you should get down to work on the next phase of your financial plan to get rid of your debt: defining your goals.
You may have other obligations to fulfill—your work, taking your children to dance classes, or setting up the next venue for a party with your friends—but if you don’t have your finances under your control, then everything is sure to fall apart. Therefore, practice all the frugal principles you are aware of. Your life and that of the others around you, will be happier.
Zinaida Grace is a financial writer associated with the Oak View Law Group. She’s an expert on topics spanning bankruptcy to retirement planning and budgeting to credit counseling and everything in between.
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