There are tons of article out there that promise to give you the top 10 frugal living tips, money saving tricks, etc. But, there really is only one frugal living tip that you need. You can read every book, blog, or guide you want about frugal living and saving money. But, if you don’t follow this one tip, all the financial knowledge in the world will not help you!
I am not saying that all those other frugal living tips are worthless. What I’m telling you is that the tip I am going to share with you is the number 1, most important, frugal living advice I can share. This is the platform you stand on while using any of the other tips you have read or heard about. Everything else comes much more naturally then. So, here we go!
Frugal Living Tip #1 : Change Your Money Mentality!
Finances, budgeting, saving money, spending less money, etc. can all be controlled by how you think about money. It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you change your mentality. I have never had or made a lot of money, but I have a never felt like I was struggling or unhappy either.
My mom has always told me that I am “a freak of nature” because of my money mentality. Every time we discuss financial decisions or how someone we know is struggling, I look at her with my mouth gaping wide with that look on my face. You know, the look that says “Seriously?!” When I know how much money someone makes and I see the possessions they have and then I hear them say they are broke or can’t go out because they haven’t got paid yet; I am dumbfounded.
My mom has to remind me constantly that not everyone was born with my way of thinking. But, if you can learn to change how you think about your finances, you can save more money, and be more content with your lifestyle.
Stop Trying to Keep Up With the Joneses
So your neighbor got the new 4k TV, and your mom just brought this new laptop over to show you what she got for your sister for Christmas. And you sit there with your lack of technology, and think that you need it somehow. This is all social conditioning created by companies that want you to buy products. You’re under the impression that everybody has so much stuff and you feel inadequate. The best thing you can possibly do when you start to realize that you want something just because someone else does, is to really think about what that product or toy, or whatever can do for you. How is your life going to be any better if you spend all of this money just to have what everyone else has. You truly have to just stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
Find Happiness Outside of Things
What makes you happy may not have a monetary value and that’s fine. In fact that’s great! Just because you have the latest and greatest doesn’t make you any better. You have to realize one thing and that’s this: the more you have, the more you want. If you constantly are buying new things you’re never going to be satisfied with what you already have. The trick is to live a simple life without all of the material possessions that society places such a premium on. You have to learn to enjoy the experiences in life and not the things. If you have children do you really want to teach them that happiness comes from objects?
Really think about that, and think about the kind of kids who expect tons and tons of presents for Christmas. They barely get done opening 1 and they want the next.this is what we are becoming. We are becoming spoiled little children. When you go to buy something new, do you ever stop and think about how much work that you have to do to pay for this? Do you ever stop and think how much time away from your loved ones you will have to spend at work, just to get this item that you want so badly.
Think About it
Next time you’re at the store, I challenge you to stop before you pay before you even get in line and look at what is in your car. Look over each item, and decide if it’s really worth it. We have become so impulsive when we shop that we just throw things in, get home and realize oh I really didn’t need this. It you really is just a mindset that we have to change.
Frugal Living Priorities
Make a list of what’s important to you and see what shows up. Don’t even think too hard about it just start writing and you’ll see where your priorities are and chances are there’s not going to be a big screen TV, or new Mercedes.
I know if I made that list mine would be my daughter first and foremost. And yes, I do need money to take care of her and to give her fun things but when it comes down to it all she really needs is a roof over her head, food, clothing on her back, and a safe place to live. More than anything- she needs love. She needs quality time with her mother. I can’t buy any of that. But if I’m so busy trying to make money to give her tons of toys that she’s never going to play with, I’ll never have time to love her.
The Psychology of Frugal Living
Everything about budgeting, saving money, and learning to spend better- it’s all based on psychology. So my one simple frugal living tips is to change the way you think about money. All the studies in the world that tell you different ways to save money are based on changing the way you think. So my suggestion is that you just stop and think think about what you want. Think about why you’re spending money. Think about what you’re spending it for, and what you hope to accomplish. You may reveal some truths about yourself that you didn’t know. You may be using money to cope with different things in your life, instead of dealing with them directly.
Everyone’s budget and spending habits seem to be kept secret. There’s a reason that people don’t really like to talk about them. It actually is deeply rooted in the way we think. It can reveal a lot about who we are as people. I know this is a frugal living post and it’s probably a lot deeper then you expected when you clicked on the link. But, I hope you got something out of it, and leave me a comment to let me know what you think or how you feel about it.
I love this article because it shows that frugal living isn’t just about hoarding money. There is such a thing as saving too much. I am in a constant battle with myself over this. I’m still learning to splurge on the things that could benefit me emotionally, or enhance my quality of life. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to spend.