You may hear a lot of people talk about saving money and being frugal, but it can also have a negative connotation for some people. Just because you adopt the frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean that your life as you know it now will change.
We can all tighten the belt and spend a little less for what we have. Let’s face it; if we have the money, we often don’t make an issue of paying full price when we don’t necessarily have to. This is a mindset. When you begin to live frugally, you are changing that mindset – not your lifestyle per se.
Some people equate “frugal” with “cheap.” This is by no means the case. With “cheap” you get what you pay for, which is nothing. That is still wasting money. It’s the same as if you had paid full price. Frugal means searching for another way to do something or get a service that is of comparable quality but costs less.
Get the best deals that you can on all things in every area of your life. There is nothing shameful or wrong about that. Companies offer deals to earn your business. So, let them work for your favor and let yourself enjoy the ride. You may even find that frugal living end up teaching you how to look at life in the long term instead of just the here and now.
Think of it this way. Someone that pays full price because they have the money is not considering the financial ramification of doing so. If you can get a new wheelchair for $500 outright but $250 by using Medicare or looking into your private insurance, why not do it? It’s a little more legwork, but the savings can be put towards something else.
Do you like to travel? Even in a recession or if you need to tighten the financial belt, you can still travel. What has changed or is trying to change here is your mindset. Have you seen the commercials for places like Travelocity? You can stay in four-star hotels and eat in fancy restaurants by taking advantage of travel deals.
Living frugally does take some research. Look at exactly what you are getting with some of the discounts and deals that are offered for travel, clothing purchases, rental cars, dining out and supplementing your income.
Do the kids want money for weekends with friends? Hold a yard sale. They learn how to organize, decide what is good and what is not for sale, sell products to neighbors, friends, and strangers, and also how to value a dollar. You get a cleaner home and they get the cash for a job well done.
Try frugal living. It doesn’t mean that you are destitute or have to give up doing some of the activities you are accustomed to. You just simply learn how to do them better.