So, you are interested in living more frugally or you are trying to live more frugally, but are struggling. We have all been there! It is really difficult to go from living one way and then changing things around. It takes conscious thought, planning and some self-control.
When my husband and I got married, he was not used to being as frugal with his budget as I was. We both decided to go back to school and move to the beach right after our wedding.
With these changes, our finances were going to be particularly tight. So, it was really important to get him into a frugal mindset.
Learning how to make frugal decisions is really important. If you don’t learn how to do this, you will likely have failure on your path to living frugally.
Sometimes frugal decisions are not the easiest path.
For example, here on our homestead we often choose to make the frugal decision to do the labor work on our own to save money. We put in our own fences, build our own coops and stalls.
This can add up to A LOT of work. But it is worth it because saving the money on labor allows us to spend less and make a profit on what we love to do!
I learned quickly that just saying, “oh, we can only spend X dollars for this all month” didn’t really have a big impact on my husband at first. But when I discovered that it was because he just wasn’t accustomed to knowing how to make frugal decisions, it was SO much easier for us to work together and meet our budgeting and frugal living goals.
One of the most important things about getting into the frugal mindset is to acknowledge WHY you are making the choice to live more frugally.
This will be different for everyone. Perhaps you are into minimalism. Maybe you need to cut significant dollars out of your budget. You could have the desire to save towards a goal – like buying your own land to homestead, or expanding your current homestead!
Whatever your reason for wanting to live more frugally, make sure that you are CLEAR with yourself (and anyone else that will help make or break your frugal living success). If this means writing your goals down, telling others for accountability, or creating a progress tracker then do it!
Once you have a clear reason for why you want to live more frugally, this will help you to make frugal decisions. You will know what your end goal is and why it is important to make the frugal choices.
Figuring out HOW to make frugal decisions becomes easy when you have clear set goals.
Next, know where you are willing to and where you are not willing to live more frugally. It will be a give and take. You won’t be able to buy new clothes monthly, go out to eat nightly and go on expensive trips often.
So, learn to WEIGH each situation against your goals.
For example, Does this trip taking a chunk out of your budget seem WORTH it against not putting savings into your retirement? If it does, and it fits into your budget then go for it! But, if it doesn’t, then learn how to say no.
Learning how to make frugal decisions all boils down to weighing out pros and cons in each situation. The answer may be different for different people in different situations. So, there is no clear cut “right” or “wrong”.
But you must accept that living with a frugal mindset will mean not always going with the first whim. It may mean creating a savings plan and waiting to buy or do certain things.
You also want to make sure that you are not making ONLY FRUGAL DECISIONS.
If you never splurge once in a while, life won’t be too much fun and you will likely fall off of your frugal living plan at some point.
The last component of learning how to make frugal decisions is knowing that you will need to plan things. This means spur of the moment buys are not usually on the table.
Having a good budget tracking system is important because then you will have planned and clearly know what “extra” you have to work with.
Planning helps with frugal decisions because it means you’re prepared and aren’t forced to spend when you don’t need to. For example, if you are taking a road trip, making sure you are prepared for eating cheap while you travel takes some time and planning, but can be a significant money saver.
These tips should help you stick with your frugal mindset and successfully learn how to make frugal decisions!