Regardless of the get out of debt plan that you chose to solve your money problems, you need to change something about your life. Debt signifies a lot of mistakes that you have made in the past. If you do not make the necessary changes, you could end up putting yourself in a deep credit problem once more.
Some people only need to make small changes. Some require a complete lifestyle makeover. If you can relate to the latter, we highly suggest that you start adapting a frugal lifestyle.
What is the real description of a frugal life
In the past, we would cringe at the thought of a frugal lifestyle. We all think that it is all about deprivation, living cheap and devoid of fun. Well that is where you are very wrong
If you really understand the essence of this way of living, you will realize how frugality can give you abundance. When you think about it, this is hardly about how much money you are bringing in. It is how you find a way to make sure that you live within your means.
Contrary to what you may have grown accustomed to, frugality is not about restrictions and counting pennies. That will really make you dislike a frugal lifestyle. If you really want to adapt this way of living, this is how you should define it.
It is about making wise decisions about your money. While cutting back on expenses is one of the effects of frugal living, you should not focus on that. You have to concentrate on why you are cutting back in the first place. You cut back because these expenses are redundant. You eliminate some expenses because they are unnecessary and will not contribute to your overall personal growth. You choose to lower your expenses because you know that you are wasting your money and that it is better placed in your savings.
It is about stretching the potential of your limited money. It all begins by knowing how much money you have so you can determine how you can stretch it to its full potential. This way of thinking will help you identify how you can get the best value for your money with every transaction that you will make. It is all about analyzing your income so you know how much money you can use for each category expense that you have. When you have a particular amount for groceries, for instance, you are more encouraged to look for promos, cut coupons and budget if you know your spending limits. Or you can decide to plan month long meals so you can buy in bulk and save more in the process.
It is all about smart spending. Some people make the mistake of thinking that smart spending is all about not spending. That is not true. You need to spend but you need to choose carefully how you will do it. When you practice smart spending, it is not only about not buying when you cannot afford it. The real manifestation of this habit is when you can decide not to buy even when you can afford it.
It is about saying no to what you do not need. Anything that you know will not contribute to your personal growth or bring you closer to your financial goals should not be spent on.
It is being creative in the ways you can live an abundant life without spending too much. This is the real challenge in frugality. How can you go out on weekends and still stick to your budget? By taking advantage of local parks, beaches and museums within the area. How can you eat as much as you did without breaking the budget? By growing your own produce or learning how to bake bread or something similar. There are many ways that you can stretch your money – you just have to be creative and resourceful about it.
How to transition into frugal living
Shifting from an extravagant life into a frugal one is challenging because you are not used to it yet. Some of us who are deep in debt had to adapt quickly. But if you have the time, you can transition to it slowly.
But before you do that, you have to start by making a budget. There are free budget templates – like those provided by the Cool To Be Frugal website. Or you can use the free budget template here in the National Debt Relief site. Input how much you are earning and make a detailed list of your expenses. Once you have that, you can decide on the changes that you will make in order to implement the frugal lifestyle that will help you reach your financial goals.
Here are some examples of what you can do:
Prefer home cooked meals over take out or dining in a restaurant.
Brown bag your work lunch.
Learn how to shop in thrift and bargain stores.
Clip coupons whenever possible.
Find out how you can avail of free movie rentals or books.
Familiarize yourself with the local attractions and amenities in your neighborhood.
Group your shopping errands so you save on gas.
- Try to learn new skills (e.g. changing the oil in your car, baking bread, etc.)