Friday, January 11, 2008

Tips for Being Frugal

In a world where everywhere you turn, someone is telling you to spendSpendSPEND, it can be very difficult to try to save money or get your debt under control. We're all tempted at times and I thought that it was about time that I introduced some tips for being frugal.

These are things that have helped me and my husband as we prepared to save to quit. I hope that they can help you as well.

Tips For Being Frugal

1. Make sure that everyone is on board. If one person in a couple is trying to save money while the other person is spending, then you're fighting a losing battle. Facing debt head on or saving towards a shared goal is something that a couple has to do together. Both partners need to participate actively.

2. Check out free things. There are many free events in your town and participating in these things will help prevent you from feeling board (and spending money because of this). Also make sure to use your local library. Many people love reading, but choose to buy books! This is a waste of money, unless you will use the book over and over again. Instead, borrow books from the library for free.

3. Spend sometimes. This is just my personal opinion, but I feel that if you are too frugal, you are one day going to hit a breaking point where you end up going on a major shopping spree and thwart all of your efforts. So instead, I think that it's a good idea to occasionally spend money. For example, go out to eat once a month instead of once a week. Buy a new bracelet instead of a whole new outfit. You get the picture.

4. Watch less TV. This is really rough for some people, I know. However, when we watch TV, we are exposed to a lot of advertising, not just during the commercials, but within the programs themselves. The people in TV shows almost always have nice gadgets and nice clothes and when we compare their lives to our own, we find that we come up short. This is crazy! We're comparing our lives to fictional characters. When you watch less TV, you'll find that you start to have less desires for more material things. You'll also be able to spend more time on things that matter more to you--reading books, exercising, or working on your business. It's OK to have a few TV shows that you enjoy...but you just shouldn't veg out in front of the TV for 5 hours every night.

5. Make it a game. Instead of thinking of being frugal as being a chore, make it fun. Challenge yourself to meet deadlines. See how fast you can fill up your coin jar. Have a bigger bank account than the Joneses.

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