Millennials: Learning to love frugality is a must in our financial lives. Yes, I know you are making more money now, and you want to live a little, but lifestyle creep is real. Don’t fall into that trap. Plus, we still have high levels of student loan debt we need to pay off. So how can we pay our bills but still have a social life? You guess it: Through frugality!
Learning To Love Frugality Step #1: Determine What’s Important In Your Life
Here’s a hard truth: We can’t have it all. I don’t care if you were told that by your parents or saw it on TV, it’s just not true. The same goes with your finances.
We all have big plans for our money. When payday arrives, we want to go out for lunch, have drinks at the bar later, buy something from our Amazon Wishlist, and purchase a plane ticket to a long-needed vacation. However, reality soon hits and you may not be able to do any of those things. Or maybe you do, and put it on a credit card.
Learning to love frugality requires you to determine what’s most important in your life. While you can’t have it all, you can have some.
For me, back in 2018, I wanted to travel. So I stopped going out to eat and curbed my entertainment spending to save money for travel. As a result of my frugality, I had enough money to take two vacations that year! Hence, my sacrifices paid off big. I still think about all the fun I had traveling.
As of 2020, however, I want to buy my own home so I can open a home-based business and work for myself. In order to do this, I gave up eating out and spending on entertainment, but I also gave up traveling. Yep, this decision was hard to make but I had to do it to afford a house and save up money to work for myself.
Once you determine what’s important in your life, learning to love frugality becomes easy, as you understand why you’re making certain sacrifices.
Learning To Love Frugality Step #2: Be Honest About Your New Lifestyle
With frugality comes sacrifice. Thus, there will be certain actions or events you won’t be able to partake in anymore. Instead of avoiding those situations, just be honest about your new lifestyle.
When it comes to me, I tell people I’m currently not going out to eat. Then I tell them why. However, I keep my reason short and simple. I say something like the following: “Oh, I’m currently taking a break from eating out” or “that restaurant is a bit outside of my budget.” Most of the time people understand. However, I do get asked “why” and I explain my reasoning in more detail.
With this in mind, this step could hurt your social life. Some friends might not understand and may not invite you to lunch or dinner or drinks. To combat this, invite your friends to your place for a potluck with bring-your-own-drinks. That way you keep your frugal ways while your social life doesn’t suffer.
Learning To Love Frugality Step #3: Be Frugal, Not Cheap
When learning to love frugality, many people go too far and become cheap. They see spending any amount of money to be a bad thing. However, there are times when the frugal option is to spend money, sometimes a fair amount.
Take shoes as an example. The cheap option is to buy a pair of $20 shoes. While these shoes do the job, they may hurt your feet after awhile. Or they could wear out faster. Then you have to buy another $20 pair of shoes! However, if you spent $60 on a durable and comfortable pair of shoes which lasts for months or even a year, you saved more money by only buying once.
I want you to know it’s fine to spend money, yet spend it on quality, not quantity. That is what frugality is all about.
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