It’s Frugal Friday! Each week, I’ll share tips, encouragement, and practical ideas for living a frugal lifestyle. This week, we’ll take a look at making some choices that can help you stick to your budget and achieve your savings goals.
If you have little kids, or if you’ve spent much time around little kids, you might notice that when toddlers see something they want, they want it now. It can be hard to reason with a toddler, because the concept of delayed gratification is hard for them to wrap their minds around. The promise of a cookie after eating a nutritious supper probably won’t satisfy them.
As grown-ups, we sometimes face similar situations when we make decisions with our money. Credit cards make it so easy to go out and by expensive, wonderful things, regardless of whether we can actually afford them. If we wake up one morning and decide we want a new 60-inch TV, it can be in our living room by afternoon. What’s not to love?
Just like a child who gets to eat a whole package of cookies, buying anything we want without a way to pay for it can put us in a world of hurt. When we get serious about working within a Shoestring Budget, we’ll need to get serious about delayed gratification too. That might mean that we need to wait a few months (maybe quite a few months), while we plan and save for that new TV.
What are your long-term financial goals over the next few months, years, or even decades? It might be a family vacation, a newer car, paying off debt, retirement savings, or all these things. What kinds of choices will you make on a short-term basis to help you achieve those goals? Sometimes I need to forgo a new outfit or a nice dinner out in order to reach my goals. Knowing that there’s a reason behind it helps it feel less like deprivation, and more like a responsible step toward the future that my family wants.
This week, think about your long-term goals, and consider what small steps you’d be willing to take to help achieve them. Maybe make your own pizza instead of ordering out. Wake up a few minutes earlier to pack a lunch instead of eating out. Can you find a place or two where delaying your gratification will help you work toward your goals? We’d love to hear your plans, strategies, and encouragement for frugal living in the comments. Thanks for sharing!
If you’re just joining the Frugal Friday series, check out these other posts:
- Tracking Your Spending
- Creating a Budget
- Fighting Spending Envy
- Could You Cut the Cable?
- Saving on Food Expenses
- Schedule to Save (keeping track of due dates to avoid fees & penalties)
- Staying Organized with Holiday Shopping & Rebates
- Frugal Lovin’ (Love & money, plus date night on a Shoestring Budget)
- Waste Not, Want Not (buying what you’ll use, and using what you buy)
- Frugal Fashion
- Frugal Beauty
- Frugal Cooking tip: Prep Once, Eat Twice!
- Budget Check-Up
- Plan ahead for Christmas
- Creating an Emergency Fund
- Getting by on a Single Income
- Reducing Fixed Expenses
- Free Printable Frugal Living Resources (meal planners, expense trackers, and more!)
- Saving on Gasoline
- Tips for Tax Time
- Healthy Eating on a Budget
- Frugal Living with Kids
- Frugal Fitness
- Save with Second-Hand
Megan has been frugal most of her life, but has been really honing her frugal skills as the chief home economist for her family of six, surviving and thriving on a single (teacher’s!) income. If she can do it, you can too!