At some period of our lives we start to look at things little different than before. As soon as we start realizing that living frugally can bring us more joy in our lives as better for us.
Living minimalist and getting through life with some “hacks” takes also big responsibility. It is easy to make mistake and go the other way not-so-frugal.
In my life experience i have made some mistakes that i would like to share it with you. That is so you can try to avoid them and be better in this than me.
Living frugally, after all, is en vogue. Brown-bagging is in, sushi is out. Home-brewed coffee in, Starbucks out. Curling up with a good book in, rounds of drinks at the bar out. Macrame Christmas presents are in, shopping at the mall has gone out. You’re full of frugal lifestyle ideas and are excited about getting on this bandwagon.
I truly believe learning how to manage your money early on in life will pay you dividends later on. The sooner you can prioritize, the sooner you can figure out a way to reach your goals.
The Younger The Better
Unfortunately, due to a horrible lack of financial literacy, too many people enter their 20s, and adulthood, in confusion. I see way too many of my peers living paycheck to salary, and it needs to stop.
If you don’t develop good financial habits when you’re young, you’ll simply keep the practices that got you into the financial situation you’re in. That’s probably not going to allow you to reach any financial goals you might have.
Embarking on a minimalist lifestyle isn’t always a panacea. Make the wrong moves and you could end up damaging your financial profile rather than improving it, or bringing unintended misery on yourself.
Common financial mistakes
Wise Bread advises you to take care when tightening your financial belt and avoid common financial mistakes when trying to live more frugally:
* Spending too much money to save money. Spending big bucks on classes that supposedly help you learn to save money – yet fail to recommend against paying for silly financial courses – or buying bulk discounts of products you’ll never use are financial follies. In most cases, frugality does not require a down payment.
* Forgetting to install release valves. If you slash your budget so much that you’re forced to become a hermetic pauper who’s terrified of spending money, you’ll be miserable. Allow yourself to splurge in key areas that make you happy, because pinning yourself into a lifestyle that’s too restrictive will inevitably lead to an outburst that negates any progress you made. The key is to strike and maintain a balance.
You Only Live Once mentality. That can hurt you.
It pained me to type that out, but it’s something that needs to be addressed, especially among millennials.
A lot of us graduate from college feeling like we’re ready to take on the world. When we get a “real job,” we feel like anything is possible because we’re finally earning something.
We feel free. We no longer have to keep telling ourselves and our friends “no” because we can afford to go out and have fun.
You only live once, right? Might as well live life up to the fullest.
However, when you couple that with “fear of missing out,” you have a deadly combination. There’s a lot of potential for overspending.
I get it – I do. No one wants to say, “It’s not in the budget this month, ” and risk looking like a weirdo. (Even though caring about your money and how you’re spending it is great!)
It’s also not fun to look at your social media feeds the day after and realize what you missed out on.
However, we only have a lot money to spend on things. We need to find a balance between spending, saving, and paying off debt (if we have any). That balance can be found, and there’s no way to make it to every single event you get invited to anyway.
Relax, and stop stressing about living frugally. Spend time with people in meaningful ways according to your values, and budget for it beforehand.
DIY vs Frugality
Eating cheap junk.
Yes, that 99-cent burger is cheap. And that 59-cent taco is even cheaper. And while eating dirt-cheap junk food might save you a few dollars in the short term, it won’t do you any favors when it comes to your health. Most fast food is high in salt, fat, and sugar. Eat enough of it and you’re likely increasing your risk of future health problems, like diabetes or heart disease. If you want to cut costs on food, there are lots of cheap, healthy options at the grocery store. Bananas, peanut butter, oatmeal, beans, and rice are all inexpensive and good for you. A whole chicken is affordable and can provide several days’ worth of meals.
Always buying the cheapest item.
When you’re trying to save lots of money, it’s tempting to make every purchasing decision based on price alone. In some cases, this works out fine. For example, buying store-brand paper towels instead of the pricier national brand will save you a little cash – and unless you’re very particular about paper towels you probably won’t notice a difference.
Doing repairs yourself.
When you need work done on your home or your car, it’s tempting to try and go the DIY route: After all, why pay someone a ton of money when you can simply buy the parts and/or tools for the job and do it yourself?
Well, here’s why: Unless you have the experience and know-how needed to do the repair, it’s likely that you’ll make a mistake that can make the problem worse. And when that happens, you’re out the time and money you spent wanting to do-it-yourself, and you’ll still have to call in a pro to undo the damage. Save yourself the time, money, and frustration and get it done right the first time.
Although in some cases you need to spend a little money to save a lot of money, generally, this is not part of the frugal mentality you need to adopt. Beware of shopping sprees in the name of adopting new frugal behaviors; until you know the habit is maintainable, it’s not well worth spending the money. (Besides, there’s usually a more moderate or creative approach to the task that costs less.) Living frugally is way of life not a moral thing. Start practicing it.