Living frugally definitely isn’t easy. It can be especially difficult to forego that overpriced cup of coffee or a brand new pair of jeans if you’re a complete beginner at living a frugal lifestyle. As a newbie to living frugally, here are some things you need to learn:
1) Start gradually.
You can’t expect to drastically cut your budget in half and follow it faithfully on your first try. Not only will you feel deprived, but your family will feel the pinch, too. It takes a bit of practice to adopt a simpler, more frugal lifestyle. Take baby steps and gradually redirect your resources to better align with your goals.
2) Embrace your goals.
Yes, saving money is one of your goals—but you may find it more motivating to have a specific reason for your saving. Are you aiming for an earlier retirement? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to pay off your mortgage? It will be easier for you to make frugal choices if you keep your eyes on your goals.
3) Be on the same page as your loved ones.
Don’t be the only one in the family making frugal choices. Your spouse and children need to be just as committed to making lifestyle changes if you truly want to improve your financial situation. Set common goals and discuss the sacrifices and changes each family member will need to make. Encourage each other when the going gets tough.
4) Make selective sacrifices.
Keep in mind that you’re just starting out and that you shouldn’t deprive yourself of some luxuries. If you’ve been having home-cooked meals all week, then why not treat your family to a nice lunch this weekend? Don’t be afraid to splurge and indulge from time to time.
5) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Remember that as you venture into living frugally, you will have good days and you will have bad days. Don’t be disheartened by the occasional slip-up. Understand that mistakes are part of the learning process. With practice, making frugal choices will soon become second nature to you.
6) Monitor your progress and reward success.
Monitor your progress on a monthly and annual basis. You’ll feel a wonderful sense of fulfillment after paying off credit card debt and mortgages, and from seeing your account savings grow. Celebrate financial milestones! You deserve it!
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