Frugal living- the good...the bad...and the lonely?

by Caroline
(Denver, CO)

Hi. I'm going to put in my two cents' worth about frugal living.

Recently, due to hitting a wall with my overly indulgent lifestyle, I've had to reign myself in and start living more frugally.

So, I started off by doing a one month spending freeze from mid-February to mid -March. I did pretty well with it, and it got my finances onto a much better path, but here's the deal: It was boring....and lonely...It felt very isolating. I actually went through some really rough patches because of the new lifestyle.

Financially, it's been getting much better, and that's really exciting, so I've been looking for a way to make this new frugal lifestyle sustainable for the long run. I've found some good ideas to keep me feeling like I'm still living a life....

Free computer classes at the library. I'm talking about Wordpress, HTML, etc.
Free books, music, and videos from the library.
Art galleries.
I'd like to become more involved with the meetup groups- the ones that don't require you to spend money to participate...
The couponing thing is kind of a fun little challenge. I mostly just do the self care items, as most of the food choices are not things I would normally eat.

Anyhow, what I'd like to know is, has anyone else experienced the lifestyle shock that I'm experiencing, and how did you deal with it, and stick to your frugal plan?
How long did it take to get used to your new lifestyle? And is it rewarding enough to make you feel like you can stick with it for the long run?


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Yes, this can be fun!
by: Caroline

Thanks, Becky. These are some good tips! I've been thinking about trying out a bookclub, as I do love to read.
Also, taking the digital camera out for a spin once in a while is a good cheap thing. Maybe taking portraits of family members and friends will give me the interaction I'm needing.
Something that I've also discovered recently is that doing a little extra cleaning, and getting things just a little more "SHINY" at home really lifts the spirits and makes me feel like Im living the "high life" (LOL!)
Thanks again, and good luck in your frugal endeavors!

Redirect your focus
by: Becky

I, too, have experienced a sense of self-imposed isolation in order to get and keep my finances on track. But there are a couple of ways I have found that really help...

Redirect your focus. If you need to reign in your spending, take a look at what is in your house or apartment. What can be completed that was left at the side of the road? This way you can finish a couple of small projects and not be bored.

Also, I keep a couple of jigsaw puzzles around to allow me to concentrate for a few nights on something different, but that gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

There's always joining a book club so that you can go meet and talk to others. They even have some on the classics so you may not have to run out and buy the latest but borrow it from the library.

With the nice weather settling in, outdoor activities are great to keep you engaged in the world, and healthy! Go for a long walk. Hang out at a park and watch the wildlife. Take a stroll through the flowers and learn to identify them and the trees.

And of course, to stay connected, post your accomplishments on Facebook and talk to others through that medium. You may give someone an idea or the inspiration they need to get themselves together financially.

And do not forget to give yourself a reward every now and then. You don't have to be cloistered to succeed - especially in the long run. So, once a month, go for a bit of a splurge. Or save them up and maybe take in a long weekend at the end of summer or beginning of fall (when a lot of the prices drop...)

Keep up the good work. It is worth it in the end!

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