On the topic of thrifty living, do you remember being a kid, always being told by our parents that money doesn’t grow on trees. Whether you loved or hated those words, you have to admit that we would be doing much better these days if we heeded them. These days, most of us are being thrifty or frugal because circumstances drive us to do so; and we call these times the “hard times”. So let’s make it easier on ourselves and learn how to be thrifty. Here are a few plays from the frugal playbook.
Do a reality check. Is your current lifestyle too extravagant for your income? If so, then adjust either your lifestyle or get a better source of income. Most times, it’s never the latter, so you may want to adjust your lifestyle for now.
Calculate your income versus your expenses, and figure out a way to set aside the biggest amount you can for your savings. Do NOT touch your savings fund for whatever reason besides emergencies.
Remember how it was when you had your allowance from your parents when you were in college; how you saved your allowance and sacrificing to save for something you want. Relive those days. Sacrifice now, and reap what you sow later.
Disseminate your thriftiness to every aspect of your household. Bills are expenses. Figure out what to do to lower those expenses. Reduce electric consumption. Opt for alternative energy sources.
Cook your own food. Labor isn’t cheap in this country, and already cooked food is actually worth far less than if you cook it yourself. Stay away from convenience foods and reduce the number of times you call for pizza.
Kick those vices. Imagine how much you spend if you are smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. Imagine how much you spend per month. Imagine how much you spend a year. Imagine how many months worth of bills you could have paid if you didn’t buy all those cigarettes or beers or what have you.
Silverchair’s song “Tomorrow” had a line that went “You say money isn’t everything, but I’d like to see you live without it”. It means that, despite what anyone says, money is important. However, you don’t have to have a lot of money. You only need enough. Being thrifty is about knowing which are worth spending your money on. If you know how to spend your money wisely, you can have fun being thrifty.