If you’re working on achieving financial freedom, chances are you are trying to stay frugal in the process. Whether you’re following a debt management plan to get rid of debt, or you are practicing frugality as a lifestyle, you may have hit a few bumps in the road. It’s not easy to stay frugal all the time, but here are some tips to stay frugal even when nobody else is.
Tips to Stay Frugal
A common misconception about being frugal is that you’re somehow “cheap”. Being money-conscious is a great thing, but it’s easy to get discouraged and influenced by the less-frugal people around you. Don’t let them get you down! There’s no one right way to get out of debt. The way you choose to spend your time and money is nobody else’s business, but if you need some help to stay frugal in the face of adversity, here’s some help.
- Keep your eye on the prize. Sure, you may have to take a rain check on plans here or there to stay on your budget. Or, you may not enjoy spending money on something that isn’t absolutely essential right now. And that’s okay. Whenever you’re having doubts, just remember your end goal. Pin up reminders around the house if that’s what you have to do!
- Save easy money. Instead of completely cutting out an area of your budget like entertainment, try to change your expectations. If “pre-frugal” you enjoyed doing dinner and a movie, you don’t need to swear off a night out just to save. Instead, try going out on bargain Tuesday (or whatever day of the week has a deal). Embrace it! You’ll save a few bucks and have a nice time. Both the restaurant and theater will be less crowded than on a weekend, anyways.
- Be flexible. I know, I know. If you’re trying to stay frugal, it may feel like planning is in your blood. And it seems counter-intuitive: staying frugal by being flexible? Well, sometimes, life happens. If you go $5 over your daily budget, don’t beat yourself up over it! You are more likely to stick to your budget in the long run if there’s a little wiggle room. This way, you are less likely to get discouraged or frustrated and give up all together.
- Don’t let frugality take over. Yes, trying to stay frugal is important, especially if you are eliminating debt. But don’t let that frugal fever completely take over your life. Plan out your expenses and stick to them, but try not to have your budget be the subject of every conversation with your family and friends.
No matter your current financial situation, maintaining a frugal lifestyle is a great habit. Stay focused!
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today!