Frugality is an old fashioned word, which is gaining new relevance in todays over consuming society.
The old fashion meaning of the word meant to abstain or go without, but today it means living a simpler less wasteful life within our personal finances.
Personally speaking a frugal simple living has been a way of life for my partner and me for the last ten years, due mainly to the fact that our incomes just wouldnt cover everything we needed if we wanted to own our own home.
Plus we also wanted to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and the two practices just seemed to go together so well.
By making conscious decisions about how we spent our money and what we were buying we discovered that we were naturally producing less waste i.e. packaging etc.
Many of our friends laughed when we started to lead a frugal lifestyle. They were happy to spend their money without thinking about the future and thought that we should stop worrying so much and do the same.
We think they thought that we were not enjoying life as much as them selves and didnt want to see us go without.
But we werent going without and when interest rates started to creep up and our friends started to feel the pinch, they began to see what we were doing made some sense.
Soon they began asking our advice
on how to live a more simple lifestyle as well.
Basically it means thinking and planning ahead in all areas of your life where money plays a part. So pretty much everything really, but the main ones are:
By simply sitting down and working out a simple budget for yourself, you can safe yourself from those nasty bank statement surprises.
It also means living simpler. For instance, I like a glass of wine, now of course I would like to drink the most expensive wine all the time, but that is just not reasonable. So I shop around for those special deals and discounts and only buy wine within a certain price bracket.
That way I can enjoy great wine and not break the bank. When you apply this principle to everything you buy, youll soon find yourself still enjoying a good lifestyle but within your budget.
For me being frugal is something i now do daily without much effort and without really having to think about it too much, it really can become second nature.
Have you ever noticed how advertisements on the TV, in magazines and catalogues are always showing us pictures of spacious open plan living with no clutter and everything looking so fresh and light?
This is because this is the image many people have in their minds about how they would like to live, but how many of actually do live in these wonderfully simple surroundings?
If you are anything like me you will notice just how much more stressful situations are when everything is crowded or in a mess around you. I just cant get my head together unless I have space to breath.
Being frugal has helped me to create this space and de-clutter my life.
I recently had to help my family move house and boy was it an eye opener for all of us. We really had no idea just how much STUFF they had accumulated over the years and just how much of it was totally useless or hadnt seem the light of day for years.
We ended up throwing most of it away, what a waste of money and resources. We all kept thinking what they could have done with all that money if they had just thought twice about what they were buying.
My first rule of saving money has always been to get organised and to de-clutter our home. That way I can value the things I have, I live in a lovely spacious environment and I always know what I need.
Try it yourself, even if it is only one room at first. Sort everything out and think to yourself, do I really need this? I bet youll be surprised just how much you end up giving to the charity shop and how youll find your new de-cluttered room a relaxing space. Youll soon be doing the rest of the house.
I bet youre thinking, how on earth am I supposed to de-clutter my home with kids around? I never said it would be easy but it is do-able, the secret is to get the whole family on board with the new plan.
It will be far easier when everyone is pulling in the same direction and everyone will benefit in the long run. Getting the kids to understand why you are living frugally and how budgeting your money is important it will be far easier to achieve as a whole family.
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