Leading a frugal lifestyle as a single is pretty easy. After all it’s only you who has to make the decision to live a simpler life whilst saving money for your future.
But what happens if you have a partner or harder still a family, including children who’s concept of money is completely foreign to them.
Well I won’t pretend that it will be easy but I will say that without the whole family all pulling in the same directions and aiming for the same goals, your chances of living a frugal lifestyle will be impossible.
Our aim here is to take you through some steps which will help you to ascertain just which areas of the family need convincing that frugality is a good idea and how to go about it.
Your first step is to sit down with your partner and discuss your attitudes towards money and how both of you have managed your budgets up until now.
It is amazing how many people have never had this discussion and leave the family finances to wander along for years with no real direction, leading to possible arguments in the future.
You will also need to find out how both of you have managed your finances up until now, if you have been together for some time, this is a good way to evaluate your current situation. These are just a few questions to both ask yourselves:
It is also important to talk about how you feel about money and your attitudes towards it. For instance one of you may be quite penny pinching, whilst the other has quite a casual approach to money. This way compromises can be made to balance out each other’s spending.
Talking about just why a frugal lifestyle would be a good decision for your family, and highlighting all its benefits, is the best way to get your partner to become motivated and a true convert to the frugal way of life.
Setting goals is also a good incentive. Write your goals down on a large piece of paper and fix it to the fridge door or other prominent place as a constant reminder.
Some of the most popular goals are:
Having goals that the whole family can see and benefit from will help focus everyone to work towards the common good rather than just for themselves. For instance the next time you want to buy a totally unnecessary luxury item, you will think of those goals and how you would be letting everyone down.
You might feel a little sad for a nano second about not buying the goodie, but that will be followed by a good positive feeling of how strong you are and how you are helping the family reach their targets.
Getting the kids involved with the whole frugal living process will not only help the family finances but will also give them valuable lessons for their own future lifestyles and budgets. Read the next page to find out how the kids can also be involved.
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