Often we live with a wish to have more or have something we can’t afford just because we saw it somewhere on TV. We strive to make better living wrong. All the time. I think to myself how wrong do we want the material things in our life? Do we know how to be frugal?
Striving to that finance utopia is something we all want to do. But the question is should we strive for that or should we go and live frugal? To find out the great goods of frugal living we must first change our mindset.
That is something we need to work on for a long time. It’s not so easy to leave the daily habits and change your living in a second. That’s why today we will talk about changing the mindset to live frugal.
Why Frugal Living and why to be frugal at all?
There are plenty of reasons to live a more frugal lifestyle. You might be saving up for a big vacation or new car. Maybe you want to reject consumerism and trim unnecessary expenses from your life. It could be that times are tough and everyone has to make sacrifices somewhere. Or maybe there are simply other things you’d rather be spending your money on. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to make personal budget cuts and keep more money in your own pocket.
The problem is, once you’ve cut back on restaurant visits, transferred your debt to a lower-interest credit card and gotten that latte habit under control, where else can you cut? At some point you get the absolute necessities, and you can’t cut those. Can you?
You can get by with a lot less than you think you need and manage the things you can’t cut (food, transportation to work) for much less than you’re paying right now. Serious frugality and frugal living, however, can get tricky.
If you are living on a tight budget, you have to live frugally. To live frugally, or to be frugal you have to develop patterns of thinking that makes you a money saver. You have to change the way you feel about spending and saving. You must condition your mind to be creative and resourceful about getting the most benefit from the least use of your financial resources. Frugal living is the answer.
Okay I’ve started the frugal living, now what should I do?
Analyze your living situation. The cost of home and home-related expenses accounts for about 43% of spending for those who are 65 to 74, research shows. So to save money, it may be worth downsizing to a smaller home. Less square footage and acreage eases pressure on the budget and can be less stressful to maintain. Downsizing also gives you the opportunity to earn money by selling household items you no longer need.
Plan carefully if you are thinking about moving to another home or a different part of the country because it’s costly to move. Make sure the area has the infrastructure you’re looking for such as places of worship, medical facilities, universities and colleges.
If possible, visit any new location you are considering to see if it feels right, he says. Make certain you’re going to be comfortable there, he says. You want to walk into your home and say, “I’m really glad I did this. This feels right,”.
Cut the fat from your food budget. It’s easier to eat cheaper in retirement if you make more of your meals at home, and this is the stage of life when many people do just that, says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks eating trends. “An in-home meal costs about a third of what it costs to buy the same food at a restaurant, and you don’t have to get dressed up to go out.”
When you will retire, do dine out, they are saving on tipping by eating fewer meals at places with waiters and waitresses. In 2006, 39% of all restaurant meals ordered by retirees were at places that had waiters or waitresses, but in 2014 that dropped to 34%.
I have money, do I need this?
As we might to earn less money, our income has gone up almost every year since retirement in 2017. Rental income increases from the rental house, stocks pay dividends that are reinvested. People take up hobby occupations that end up delivering occasional windfalls. All in all, we are now at a point where we could probably triple our annual spending forever, without running out of money.
And yet, I continue to ride my old commuter bike everywhere, get filthy doing local construction projects, and buy everything used from Craigslist. We’re even shopping around for a smaller house in the neighborhood, to downsize our space a bit. How could this possibly be?
It’s because our current life is already more than enough. We don’t want to lose the challenge and the spice that is part of life right now. I have only one digestive system, so I can’t eat anymore spectacular food than I already do. My house has already been big enough to hold everything I own, plus all my friends. My subcompact Scion hatchback can easily hold the whole family and our stuff, and exceed any legal speed limit. How could an even fancier car possibly make us any happier?
Another factor in happiness for me is the satisfaction that comes from efficiency. I love seeing things that are efficient, elegant, well-designed. I love to be frugal. And of course you’ve probably noticed my corresponding boiling rage for things that are not. Buying treats for yourself that aren’t truly necessary is inefficient. It’s unsatisfying.
Always keep in mind the quote by Warren Buffet: “If you buy what you don’t need, soon you will have to sell what you need.”