It seems like almost everything gets more and more expensive these days. Unless you are one of the relatively few people who just happens to have so much money that you don’t know what to do with it, you probably find yourself in a situation where you are working more and more, yet you are able to pay for less and less. Years ago, working hard and and having a decent job meant that you could have things in life like a nice house, a couple of decent automobiles and even have enough money left over after you paid all of your monthly expenses to enjoy life a little bit. Maybe you could take a vacation or make a big purchase that you have been saving up for. Today, you can work two or even three jobs and you still find yourself barely able to make ends meet. Mortgages are ridiculous, as are car payments and virtually everything else. In today’s world, paying the cable bill can cost you at least three digits and when you go to the grocery store, you practically have to have someone catch you when they total up your bill. The question is, what you do about it? Basically, you have to learn how to be frugal without feeling like you are giving up everything or completely turning your life upside down. Fortunately, it is possible.
Learning How to be Frugal
For some people, learning frugal living now is not really that difficult. For others, it can be something of a cultural shock, at least for awhile. It really depends on how much money you are used to spending on a regular basis and whether or not you feel deprived if you are not able to go buy that next big ticket item. If you like to go shopping and go out to eat all the time, learning to be frugal will be something of an adjustment in the beginning. If those things are really not that important to you, you can probably learn how to live on next to nothing without feeling like it is really a big deal. Regardless of which category you fall into, you can learn how to be happy and frugal at the same time. It just takes a little practice.
How to Live Frugally and Be Happy
Living frugal does not have to feel like a punishment. There are a lot of things that you can do to reduce the amount of money that you have to spend to live comfortably. Of course, there are obvious things like owning a house that is roomy, yet sensible and following suit with a practical automobile. However, there are a lot of things that you can do in your day to day life that can make a huge difference. For example, you can reduce your electricity usage by simply turning off appliances when they’re not in use and unplugging things like computers and televisions when you are not using them. You can also reduce heating and cooling costs by properly insulating your house and utilizing fans when necessary to move air around. If you have a fireplace, you can use that as a main source of heating and turn down your central heat. You can also reduce your food costs by shopping on sale days, doing your food shopping at stores that are more economical and even growing your own food. If you really want to learn how to be frugal, having a garden is a great place to start. You can even refer back to frugal blogs. Frugal Girl has a lot of great insight in living below your means. Believe it or not, there are all kinds of sources available on the Internet that will show you exactly what you need to be doing to live a more frugal lifestyle. Many of these are very effective and they are also quite easy to follow.
In addition to following the aforementioned tips, you can get really serious about living a frugal lifestyle. Use coupon connections that you get online to save even more money on the items that you still purchase at one store or another. You can even collect rainwater and then use it to water your garden, wash your hair or any number of other things. You can do this in exactly the same way that you might want to incorporate solar panels to reduce your electricity usage. If you get a lot of sun, you can run a good portion of your house off of the solar energy all day long. You can even use solar lights outside to create some good mood lighting that you don’t have to pay for every month. The truth is, it is really up to you to be as frugal as you choose.
Thrifty Living that Doesn’t Feel Like a Compromise
You want to live a frugal lifestyle because you want to save money. What you don’t want is to feel like you’re punishing yourself in the process. If you feel like you have to compromise on everything that is important to you, you’re not likely to stick with it because it simply becomes too much trouble. If you are not able to enjoy life, living frugally becomes essentially the same thing as being poor. However, by saving money in all of these other places, you can keep that money in the bank and do the things that you really enjoy doing. If you have a favorite coffee shop that you like to stop by, you can now easily incorporate that into your budget where you might not have been able to before. The same is true for going to the movies every week or having a special date night where you have dinner out. When you are able to save money on all of your necessary expenses, you start to be able to really enjoy life because the money that is left over can be saved or spent on something special.
Try a frugal lifestyle and see what a difference it can make. You can always start out small and then get more into it as you go along. You might be surprised at the amount of money that you can save.