Day 16 Frugal Living Challenge:Frugal Out of Necessity
I hope you are ready for a very real, very honest look at some of the reasons why some people MUST live frugally rather than choosing to live frugally. There is no disillusionment in Frugally Sustainable’s sixteenth post. Please take the time to read it yourself. In a nutshell, here are some reasons why frugality becomes a necessity:
- We see frugal living as a burden
- The definition of our wants and needs is all messed up.
- We flat out buy too much.
- We don’t take responsibility.
- We don’t have a budget.
- We don’t earn enough money.
- We don’t have an emergency fund.
- There’s too much clutter.
- We’re living trying to impress others.
- We shop for therapeutic or recreational purposes.
- We think that vintage wisdom is a thing of the past.
Daily Goal: Identify the reasons why you are living frugally out of necessity. What will you do to correct yourself and set a new course for your family? What are some other reasons that you feel like cause people to live paycheck-to-paycheck?
Me: It has taken us the first five years of our marriage to figure out where our money leaks are and what we need to do to NOT live frugally out of necessity. I think the economy hitting bottom was, in the long run, a good thing for us. I know that sounds ludicrous, but it was what (besides the birth of our daughter) made us grow up as a couple.It has fostered honesty and clear communication between us. These are the problem areas we have discovered:
- eating out
- ‘toys’- things we justify to ourselves as necessary entertainment
- multiple impulse buys on small things- they add up!
- not having a budget and not sticking to it when we finally did make one.
- not setting aside whatever money was left over from the budget for savings and emergencies.
Those were HUGE issues for us. Now, in our sixth year of marriage we have finally gotten our act together and these five leaks are not at such a five-alarm status with us. We have finally chalked up the self discipline (for the most part) in just saying ‘no’ to the areas that were wreaking havoc on our finances.
You know what the really cool part is? We actually enjoy the challenge of saving as much as we can now! Don’t get me wrong- we are not cheap. We spend as little as necessary on things like groceries, clothing and shoes. If there is a coupon or a discount to be found, we USE IT. We can feel where these efforts build our savings or allow us to do the things we want to do together or for others. For example, we like to participate in 5K races (me), tri’s and big obstacle races (husband). We don’t worry about the participant fees – which are often to support a special cause or charity- and we have tons of fun creating memories as a family. It doesn’t generate tons of clutter in our home, either.
We are enjoying the awesome freedom of self-control.