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How to Become More Frugal

By Cary Anderson

Ever feel like money just vanishes from all around you despite your best efforts to save and live cheaply? Of course you want nice things. Who doesnít? But doesnít the idea of financial security and freedom sometimes seem like an impossible goal?

Itís a common problem. Life expenses creep up on us and we never have as much money as we anticipated we were going to have. Thereís never enough of those little green pieces of paper around when you need them.

There are others, however, who donít seem to share these anxieties. We all probably know one or two people who seem to excel at saving and living thrifty. Whatís their secret? How have they escaped the cycle of always feeling one step behind of the money game?

People who learn to excel at frugality enjoy lives with less stress and more freedom. Thatís what we all want, right? So how do we get over the hill onto the other side of financial security? Well, it starts with practicing our frugality.

No matter how much money we make, being frugal is the key to financial freedom. There are people making half a million a year shackled to more money-related stress than many people making one-tenth that sum. People of all income levels have learned the importance of frugality for sustaining financial freedom and peace of mind.

How to Be More Frugal

Reconnect with whatís important. When we get caught up in the game of making money and trying to get ahead, we lose sight of the importance of our relationships with friends and family. If you want to be a frugal person, start behaving as frugal people behave. That means making more time to focus on whatís really important in life. Have conversations, get out of the house and exercise, savor a good book or learn something new. Relearn how to be content without needing to make purchases.

Downsize. You donít need as large of a house or car as you think you do. Donít let your castle become your prison.

Invest time in saving money. Before buying something you truly need, do a little due diligence. Shopping has become so convenient we can make purchases with one click of a button. But consider searching for a used version of what you need. The time invested is often worth it when we find a bargain.

Go a while with little. You can really learn a lot about whatís important in your life when you spend time without it. Strip your life down to the bare bones and live a few months as a minimalist. Cancel the cable subscription, try to see if you can manage rarely using your car, try using little or no air conditioning, dry your clothes in the sun, drink water from the tap, etc. If itís possible to live without it, try it. By giving yourself a chance to experience this lifestyle, youíll be able to appreciate the expenses you choose to have rather than feel burdened by ones you need to have.

Listen to your motivations for spending. We can learn a lot about ourselves by listening to our motivation behind making purchases. Whatís the reason behind why youíre about to buy what youíre about to buy? Be honest with yourself. There are certainly plenty things we buy for a very valid reason, but are there expenses with a not-so-good reason behind them?

Successful frugal people have mastered the practice of having control over their spending. Remember, misery loves company. Donít let the misery of others trapped one step behind the financial game deter you from making positive changes in your life. Some might call it being a cheapskate, but a better term for it is ďsmartĒ.


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