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Frugal Living 101: To Live Frugally, You Just Need To Think Frugally

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By Regina

frugal-living-by-m.gifford.jpg If frugal living is something that you’ve thought about but haven’t quite mastered yet (or maybe you’ve tried it, but just can’t seem to make it work), then it’s time to recharge your batteries, take contol of your life, and start seeing frugal living for what it is: a mindset.

It’s not always easy to learn new habits, but it’s also not impossible. Now is a really good time to learn how to achieve the right mindset for frugal living.

To start living frugally, you just need to start thinking frugally 24/7!…

Old Habits Die Hard

It’s amazing how easy it is for us to learn how to spend money we don’t have. Things like commercials, what we think others expect of us, as well as just wanting something and having the ability to talk ourselves into it (even when we know we can’t afford it) are examples of the types of things that can steer us away from living frugally.

We’ve become a society that believes we have to go into debt in order to get anything. But the truth of the matter is this isn’t the truth. You don’t have to go into debt or always be broke in order to have some of the things you want!

Of course, you’re probably never going to have all of the things you want. That’s a fact of life. However, there’s no reason that you cannot find creative ways to get what you want — without spending a lot of money.


The Frugal Living Mindset

Frugal living begins with your frame of mind. It’s easier than you think to achieve the right mindset for living frugally:

  • Constantly evaluate your budget. I’m sure you will find (as I have) that there are things that can be trimmed from your monthly budget. When you cut a few things here and there, that money can be used for other things — including fun!
  • Practice delayed gratification. Instead of buying something the minute you see it and want it, make yourself wait a few days — or at least a few hours. You may find that your desire for the item has either subsided completely, or it may have leveled off to where you realize you don’t really need to buy the item right now.
  • Pay attention to how you shop and spend. Just be aware, that’s all. By paying attention to your shopping habits and your spending habits, you will start to notice patterns. Usually, it’s those shopping and spending patterns that get you into trouble — causing you to deviate from the frugal living mindset.
  • Know what your shopping mindset is at any given moment. For example, it’s very easy to go into “auto-pilot mode” when you’re shopping and simply grab and go. Or, maybe you always “look for variety” and like to try new things that you find when you’re shopping. Perhaps you’re one who’s constantly in the “buzz mode” where you are easily susceptible to advertising and specials. Where you really want to be is “on the hunt for a bargain mode.” That’s where frugal living sets in!
  • Always look for ways to reduce your spending. By thinking about how you can reduce the amount of money that you spend on things and figuring out which items you really need, you will be well on your way to frugal living. Those are the 2 most important ways to save big bucks.

tightwad-gazette-amy-dacyczyn.jpg Keeping these things in mind will help you to develop the best mindset for frugal living. In return, you can bet you’ll start saving a lot more money and you will, inevitably, be living frugally.

Don’t think of it as if you are depriving yourself of the things you really want (which is how many people view frugal living). Instead, think of it as being creative about how you spend and save your money. Period.

Thinking about frugal living in this way will lend itself to much more positive feelings and, ultimately, better results.

Take it from Amy Dacyczyn, author of the ever-popular Tightwad Gazette: