5 Tips to Change Your Lifestyle And Live Frugally
Saving money, cutting down expenses, sparing yourself from all sorts of expensive and luxurious expenditures, being open to other options, being thrifty, succumbing yourself to prudence, being resourceful and economical. These are just a few out of the many word/ideas that come in to our head every time we hear the word ‘Frugal’ or ‘Frugality.’
But no matter what word and or idea an individual has about the word ‘Frugal’ or ‘Frugality,’ but being a keen observer; have you ever notice the common denominator that these words all have? It all boils down to an individual’s ATTITUDE towards dealing with MONEY. It’s like a subtle way of telling everyone: “It’s all in the mind!”
Is that simple? Not quite.
There’s been thousands or maybe millions of published articles, news, blogs, and what have we about Frugality; and these are all done through the means of newspapers, magazines, blog sites, social media sites, and some of which are even aired through TV shows, radio programs and all sorts of communication disseminator. All these are done just because of one purpose: Instilling Frugality.
And why is that?
As we all know Frugality is almost everywhere. Sadly, no matter how many times we encounter the word, most (if not all) who gets to read and absorb them doesn’t go far beyond that. It defeats the purpose as indicated on the first paragraph (saving money, cutting down expenses, etc.) Furthermore, there’s a big chance for non improvement towards an individual’s financial status. Living a life of paycheck to paycheck is something everyone is trying to avoid as this kind of cycle brings nothing but risks of incurring more and more debt/s. Unreasonable debts, to be more specific! And thus, this is severely affecting every aspect of an individual’s being well in fact it’s YOU who personally controls over money.
So how do we go about Frugality? Here are the top 5 out of the usual tips of Living Frugality that were carefully studied and collated just for you!
1. Identify the problems and formulate all possible and reasonable solutions.
In the world of MONEY, when we say ‘problems’ this pertains to identifying a certain type of expenditure under two classifications: NEEDS, and WANTS. Regrettably, many of us know their definitions… and that’s about it! Only a few gives value to their sense and purpose. But to help people understand what the difference between the two, here are their definitions (based on Frugality) and their examples:
a. NEEDS: The kind of expenditure that only deals with MAN’S PRIMARY AND MAJOR NEEDS – Food, Shelter, and Clothing. NO MORE. NO LESS. And if we were to observe these needs carefully, notice that this is where most of your paycheck goes into, correct?
Although at this age of time, other PRIMARY and MAJOR needs are to be considered such as electricity, transportation, etc. This will now vary on an individual’s lifestyle; HOWEVER you can still apply frugality into it such as switching off unnecessary lights, walking (if workplace isn’t that much far from where you stay,) and the likes.
Example: Clothing – Armani, Ralph Lauren, Polo, etc. These are all premium brands of clothing! The quality, the materials used, and the designs are all worth it! And so is the price! But the real question is ‘do you really have to spend an entire fortune out of clothing?’
b. WANTS: Obviously, these are the not-so-important kind of expenditures an individual has in a budget list.
Example: Clothing – You’re a die-hard NIKE fan. If you think you already have enough shirts in your closet and you saw a newly released NIKE shirt, you better get a hold of yourself from swiping your plastic cards in getting that NIKE shirt as it is already considered NONSENSE expenditure.
And what are the solutions in overcoming these problems?
a. Prioritize all your NEEDS. From the most important ones to the least important ones (but are still considered NEEDS).
b. After prioritizing the NEEDS, deal with them ONE STEP AT A TIME.
c. And lastly, before spending something, make it a habit to determine whether the expenditure that you will be making is a MUST or NOT.
2. Strengthen your cash flow.
Frugality is not just about saving money. But as for the definition we have tagged on Frugality indeed, it is about saving money however at any angle we look at it an individual is still SPENDING MONEY. The only difference is that in Frugality, the way an individual spends money is on a smarter way. And if the level of expenditure is not controlled, regardless if an individual is being smart or not, then there’s nothing left of your money!
This applies to those individuals who lives their lives depending ONLY on their paychecks every pay date. So what happens to your life then? You’ll just depend on your promotion where the probability of you getting promoted in your company is very small? Consider the time frame as well. How long do you think you’ll get that promotion? Just for you to get a bigger amount of paycheck every pay date. Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
It’s the 20th century already, people! There are tons of ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF INCOME for everyone!
a. Part time jobs
b. Online-home-based-jobs (yes, they do exist! But you just really have to be vigilant!)
c. Setting up your own business/ Entrepreneurship
d. Make use of your talent to earn money – writing, singing, dancing, etc.
AND SO MUCH MORE! Now, if you feel like you can’t take another job with you… Blah! Blah! Blah! Always remember these two sayings:
a. YOU CAN’T HAVE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
b. NO PAIN, NO GAIN!
Else, quit whining about your financial dealings!
3. Don’t just read. Comprehend!
The problem with the majority of us is that after reading something (regardless of topic), once we’ve closed that book, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. We also close our minds and do not apply the ‘lessons’ we get from that article/story we’ve just read. But what’s the whole point then of reading if you’re not going to apply the things written, correct? And let’s all face it. Out of ten, how many people do you think they apply the things that they’ve read and or learned into their daily lives?
Reading is a very good source and or foundation of information and ideas – true enough. And I will not argue with that. However, the CORRECT APPLICATION of what has just been read is the one who strengthens the value of the book/article.
So how would you know if Frugal Living is effective to you or not?
4. Consistency is the best policy!
After determining your problems, formulating hypothesis/solutions to your problems, and applying them to your daily lives, are you expecting a dramatic change right away on your financial status? Surely, you will not see the effect right away, but if you are being consistent and if you look at the bigger picture as to how Frugality will affect your life in terms of your financial dealings, eventually you will see the changes you’ve been waiting for!
There’s no easy way out, especially if you’ll be living a life of Frugality. There will come a time where your guts will be tested – but are you going to give in that easily? Remember, Frugality is ATTITUDE towards MONEY. So how far do you think your ATTITUDE can go in dealing with such circumstances, especially if Money is involved?
Indeed, Frugality MAY NOT be applicable all the time. But if you make it a point and a habit to make use Frugality in everything you do (especially if we’re talking about expenditures), wherever you go, or whomever you’re dealing with, then you really have to look for a way as to how you can inject Frugality in a certain situation. And in the long run, you will see the benefit of living a frugal life.
5. Depend on your own self – SAVE!
Economic crisis is everywhere. In a blink of an eye, you might just end up losing your job because of manpower shortage in your company. And who do you blame, the people seating in the government? And what happens after blaming? You’ll start getting unemployment checks and all sorts of benefits from your previous employer/government? And that’s it? What happens to your blaming? Does it resolve your financial dealings?
Or if in the case of retirement, are you just going to depend on your 401k? What if your 401k is not enough to suffice all of your family’s debt/s? Are you already fully paid with your mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, etc? Do you really think that by the time you retire you have enough money to satisfy all your NEEDS? And if the answer is NO, to all of these questions, who do you blame?
Yes, WE DO ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN! But we don’t have the right to just simply have our lives depend on the Government or to whoever that is that you can think of especially if money is the one that we’re talking about. Every individual still has the responsibility towards money, especially to SAVE MONEY. So that worst comes to worse, you still have something left for yourself.
So as early as now, start living a Frugal Life. Take the pain now, and when the right time comes, all of your pain towards hard work will pay off!
Written by Jack Medina