Frugal living can actually be fun. Saving money and getting good deals can be a little like a sport – even a competitive sport, if you know other people who enjoy it. If you’re used to thinking of saving money as depriving yourself, you should reconsider. Saving money can mean doing without some things, but it can also mean being able to afford something else you’d much rather have.
It’s about priorities
Ask yourself why you want to save money. Are you building a nest egg? Trying to get out of debt? Or is there something you want that you can’t afford, so you’re looking for ways to finesse the money out of your budget?
Frugality is about trade-offs, and once you adjust your way of thinking, it can be fun. For example:
- Do your debts cause you stress? Focus on how much better you’ll feel once they’re under control. Now, every time you pay off a little chunk and see those numbers falling closer to zero, you’ll get a good feeling. This makes any sense of “deprivation” seem not so bad.
- Do you want a new toy of some sort, but can’t afford it? Do some math. You might find that just two months of doing without Starbucks would pay for that toy. Once you look at it that way, it doesn’t sound so awful.
- Do you worry about what would happen if you suddenly had a couple of thousand in medical bills or car repairs? If you feel like you’re living on the edge of going into terrible debt (or worse), you’ll feel so much better with a little savings in the bank. Now whatever you have to do to save that money will seem exciting instead of like drudgery.
Make it fun
Part of the trick with frugality is to make it fun. Convince yourself, and preferably anyone else in your household, that you have some exciting reasons to save money, and then you’ll enjoy it.
Some people make frugality a negative thing. It’s as if they feel they need to suffer, and doing without is a good way to make themselves suffer. These people have a negative attitude – probably stemming from some unhappiness in their lives. Some people feel guilty about enjoying themselves. Don’t let their attitudes convince you that frugality has to be like that. Frugality doesn’t have to involve guilt or unpleasantness. In fact, if you like being in control of your life, frugality is one of the best ways to feel you have some control.